Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Get her to the mairie on time!

For those who want to enjoy a meta-experience, you can read Ella’s version of these events here.

Unsurprisingly, for me the morning of Ella’s wedding began much more calmly than for the bride. I woke up reasonably early – in the bride’s bed, which was a first for me! – with plenty of time to wash my hair, grab breakfast from a local bakery and do my hair and makeup before chilling out and waiting for the rest of the guests who were also making their way out of town on the RER. When the rest of the girls arrived, they brought a wave of stressed energy and lively chatter with them which was slightly overwhelming at first, but with the addition of bubbly and the realization that *they* weren’t going to be holding up proceedings since the bride was running late, I soon got to know them and felt we clicked very well. Of course, Ella has great taste in friends!

A series of slightly frantic phone calls, asking for overnight bags to be packed and bubbly to be cracked alerted us that all wasn’t going quite so smoothly on Team Ella over at the hair salon. Deep breaths, a glass of champagne (although no Xanax) and a reminder that nothing starts without the bride were needed when Ella finally made it in the door, late and more than a little frazzled.

When Ella had first told me she planned on taking the RER to her wedding, dressed in her wedding dress and sipping champagne en route, I had imagined us commandeering an entire section of the train, clinking glasses while posing for photos and laughing at the stares of French people all agog to see a bride on the train. (Generally, the French will stare if you speak English on the RER, or wear a bright colour or go outside in 13° weather without a coat, so that part at least wasn’t much of a stretch.)

It was an Interesting Trip, but not a Very Bad Trip. (Photo stolen back from Ella's blog)
The reality wasn’t quite like that. I’d like to say that things went off like a military operation, but the main thing our journey had in common with one was the amount of running and shouting that went on. We were women on a mission, with no time for hesitation or stragglers. Problems with the ticket barriers were dealt with with ruthless efficiency; we were assigned buddies to make sure everyone made it on and off the various metro and RER trains, and instructions for each step of the journey were barked out in advance: “We are getting off at the next stop, turn left, right along the platform, up the stairs. GO GO GO!”

Schnell!
Piling on to the RER, our last connection, was an opportunity for a breather, or so you’d have thought. Visions of the nine of us sitting companionably beside each other splitting a bottle of bubbly were thwarted by the lack of free seats in the carriage, and specifically an aggressive man and his jungle of plants. Allow me to set the scene – there are bench seats on either side of the aisle, enough to fit three or maybe four people at a pinch on each bench. Multiply that by four (two facing each other on each side), and you have seating for 12-16 people. Ample, one would say. Except that there was one couple on one side of the aisle who, instead of putting all their fricking plants right next to them, put them all on the floor across the aisle, hence taking up space for said 12-16 people between the two of them.

 Now allegedly the guy did offer to move the plants before we got there, and allegedly (or, um, actually) Ella and I might have steamed in a bit later and expressed our displeasure with the situation in a vocal fashion, but that still doesn’t change the facts that 1) your plants shouldn’t have been all up in everyone else’s business to begin with and 2) you don’t shout at a stressed bride, dude. Still, Ella and I held our own (most of the art of French arguments can be reduced to “make a lot of random noises” – “eh oh, pfft, bah non, quoi”) although we continued to get evil looks from his direction for the rest of the train ride, not improved by the fact that we were all swigging straight from a bottle of wine. I think it’s safe to say, though, that the rest of the train were on our side, despite the Rowdy Anglo Factor being particularly high on this occasion.

The way I look like I'm popping out of Ella's suitcase amuses me
It wasn’t the way I pictured it, it wasn’t how Ella had pictured it either, but it was the most memorable wedding dash I’ve been involved in, and I was proud to be a part of it!

9 comments:

  1. This made me laugh! Especially the part about the row with the plant man, ha ha! First coloured photo of the bride I've seen - gorgeous! Mum xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks mum! I didn't realise this was the first, but you can't really see the blue anyway.

      Delete
  2. I wish I could have been on that train with you guys! But I have a feeling me and Plant Man would have had some problems ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I think you would have been good backup! You were missed

      Delete
  3. I too had imagined posing in the station, showing up with 15 minutes to kill, and clinking glasses too! Not charging through the station where we only had several minutes to kill before pulling out of the station. I hope I wasn't too militant. I was scared of someone being left behind since there were so many of us.

    The plant man! N'importe quoi. Before we got off, I apologized for the misunderstanding and he was all smug about it like "Ok, I accept". Ok, sir...

    Thanks for this recap! It's nice to read it from another perspective. : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aha no, I may have exaggerated a tiny bit for comic effect, you were fine! Yes, I heard you apologising, thought it was very big of you!

      Delete
  4. Hilarous! great to read the full story. Wouldn't you think people would have moved to let you all sit together! pfft!

    Love Denise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right? Pfft indeed!

      Delete
  5. I'm laughing out loud here. Thanks for this post! What an adventurous start to the day.

    ReplyDelete

Feed the Comment Monster! Rawrrrr