Put A Ring On it…

Dearly Beloved.

First of all, I would like to welcome you to The Little White House on this early Sunday Morning.  My name is Mother Lois and I will be performing today’s service.  Please be seated.

 
It is great to see you all and to those who have joined the congregation for the first time, welcome.  Take a seat and I offer my hand in friendship and Love.
 
Today, being a day of reflection, embracing the word of the Lord and a good way to give your vocal cords a good workout as we belt out a few songs.  As you will see on the Song List, we have ABBA’s lovely rendition of ‘I do, I do, I do’.  Also, ‘Going to The Chapel’ and a real toe tapper, ‘Single Ladies- Put A Ring on It’.  
 
I have been asked my one of the parishioners, Miss Scarlett, to give you a little talk about Weddings and Future Son In Laws.
 
Before I begin, could we bend our heads in prayer….
 
Oh Holy Father,
We ask you this day to bless our families.
We ask that you watch over them with your guiding wisdom.
We ask that you shield them from harm.
We give thanks, Oh Lord.
Amen.
 
I was asked to write this blog by Miss Scarlett last night as we sat together watching one of the final stages of the Tour De France.  

As we both sat there in the warmth of our blankets, hurling abuse at the crowd who swarmed the riders like a million ants interfering with the cycling route and the cat cuddled up on Scarlett’s knees; she cheerfully told me, “Mum, you have 140 views on your blog titled ‘I’m So Ovarian It’.  You bloody champion!  Oh yes, by the way you owe me a blog!”
 
A blog, what do you mean another blog?  Oh shit, that is right you DARED me to write one about Future Son In Laws.  Oh god are you for real?  Damn, I thought that letter I wrote as a bit of fun for you had been enough?  

Mr. Darcy, we’ve been expecting you..

 

 
Obviously not, if the death stare I was getting from my own kid was anything to go by!
 
So here I am, sitting here in the early hours, fingers to the keys about to enlighten you about the joys of being the Mother of the Bride and that all important bloke in my Daughter’s life:- The Future Son In Law…. Mr Darcy.   
 

It all began one afternoon not long ago.  

I was at the local library, sitting at one of the desks doing my traditional ritual I indulge in.  Consummation of all things Bridal.  

It goes like this…. I walk into the library, empty my bag of books consumed with rapture, refill with a new supply of the written word.  

I then wander over to the magazines on display, grab every single book to do with brides and shut out the world while I indulge my senses with tulle, satin, chiffon, lace, diamonds and everything else that fills my feminine side with glee.  

It was there at the table, my daughter found me. 

Scarlett had done her bout of shopping and came back to the library.  To find me swooning over a rather beautiful delicate ivory lace ballgown with intricate beading down the waistline with a soft flowing small train and a finger tip veil. The right eyebrow shot up into the hairline, as she placed her bum on the seat and says to me, “Ah Mummy, still enjoying your fetish I see!”  

Guilty!


Before you knew it we were both head down, talking bridal, weddings, receptions, car hire, flowers, gifts, destinations for the honeymoon and indulging our girly side with glee.  With no man around to deter us. 


We oohed and aahed over the dresses, choice of shoe and bling bedazzling our eyesight.  I began to tell Miss Scarlett about my own preparation leading up to my Wedding Day and why I have a fascination for all things bridal.

I had never been one of those girls who dreamed endlessly about the design, style, fabric, texture, colour or even length of their wedding dress let alone whether to enhance my hair with a beautiful piece of jewelry or flowers, a tiara or a veil. 


I never gave thought of bridesmaids or type of cars for transport let alone what my future husband may look like.   

It never entered my head because I had been told repeatedly “no one will marry you and if you do find someone, you will be wearing space suits and be using a hover craft to the church on Mars”.  Got to admit that lashing of emotional abuse has a sting to it.

Add to that, I had been a bridesmaid to two friends who thought I would look smashing dressed in a pink sack with a equally ugly pink lace jacket had turned me off weddings.  


If that wasn’t enough, I’d watched my oldest Brother get married twice within 5 years.  Both times were a total disaster.  When you are told minutes before the wedding…”I am only getting married because it’s paid for and everyone likes a party”; you have a tendency to think this whole wedding business is a crock of shit.

So God decided to intervene along with the Angels in hand one sunny day in Sydney and along came the Redhead.


A heart stopping, earth shuddering, knee-quacking and whirlwind 4 hour together and suddenly, poof.  He was gone from my sight.

When one day in the mail, I received a letter from a Mr. O’Chunky.  Before I knew it, I was screaming on top of my lungs while racing around the house to my stunned mother’s witness, “I am going to be known as Lois O’Chunky.  Mrs O’Chunky”.  This would soon turn into endless writing over 6 months while we lived apart in separate countries.  Before we would meet up again for 9 days together.  

It was then he surprised me with getting down one knee and asks me the all important question…

“Do you want to be Mrs Red?”  

Hell yeah!  

He sealed the deal with a enormous sapphire and diamond engagement ring that we both bought together. He then tells me: We better start planning!

We knew we had to hash out as many details in the few days we had before his return to Australia.  Thus began the somewhat comical journey to setting a date to be wed.


Due to his family living in a teeny tiny small town in Northern New South Wales, with sugar cane pouring through their veins like liquid gold; they lived quietly on the land.


Often thinking going to the “big smoke…Sydney’ was enough traveling for them.  Their life was ruled by the planting, growth, production and harvesting of the cane.  

Until they met me, they thought New Zealand was just some place that happened to be ‘close’  to Australia.  As far as they knew, he was in New Zealand for stranger’s wedding (My brother’s 2nd wedding) and had no idea that their youngest son was at that moment down on bended knee asking some pint sized Kiwi chick to be a part of the family. 

I had thought we could get married in my place of birth, Auckland New Zealand.


As I had the option of marrying in the Church where my maternal grandmother and Brother had married or the lovely Church my paternal grandfather had built.  Visions of walking down the aisle with history all around me got thrown out the door with ‘my parents won’t come!’

The problem is?  

I’m then informed it makes sense since I am coming to live in Australia that it would be easier for his parents to come to our wedding.  In Australia rather then New Zealand.  Okay.  Thanks for that, what about my crowd of family and hangers-on?


Great back to square one…  Where are we getting married then and when? 

 


As the clouds gathered for a storm, we started off with this simple notion: we did not wait to wait any longer.  We wanted to be together forever and the time apart had been necessary due to family, work etc but we wanted it over. 


So both of us flung dates at each other, each being rejected because it interfered with someone’s birthday.  Not to mention planting time in the fields, cutting of the cane, someone’s anniversary.  


Before we knew it, it was now October.  7 whole months later in a matter of minutes and we still couldn’t pick a damn date.  Almost in tears, it was then the both of us decided the 24th of October.  

5 days after I turned 24 years old, 363 days after we met, we would get married. 

Bugger the cane and family… we were getting hitched. 


It was then The Redhead discovered that I did want a church wedding.  Big smiles all the way around till he dropped the clanger he was a Catholic, even though he was not a practicing one.  He thought it might be nice to “pop” into the Cathedral and say our vows before the priest.  


NOPE, not happening!  

I had NO intention of having to become a Catholic to say my vows and by the way our kids aren’t being raised as one either.  So we agreed on a non denominational church service to be held about 5 minutes from where we were going to live.

We both agreed that we would pay for our own wedding and therefore be in control of it.  We were so delusional.  Both sets of parents were hell bent of having a part of our wedding preparations.  But had no intention of parting with their money while adding in their 50 bucks worth of nonsense.  Less than 6 weeks before the wedding, The Redhead and I planned on eloping.


Just to stop the screaming matches and endless phone calls which were adding to the list of people coming!

La Mia Grande Famiglia Italiana…


Both of us had liked the idea of a nice intimate reception.  However my idea of ‘intimate’ and the Redhead’s idea of ‘intimate’ were poles apart. I come from a small family of two parents and two brothers.   


While he comes from a family of six kids, two parents and a whole gaggle of relatives. That day I discovered he was part English and Italian.   

So there I was thinking 65 people and he was thinking a whole avalanche of obscure relatives from the back drops of Kentucky.  Complete with their gun dogs which no doubt would be a jolly good old little wedding reception. 


I think I set the world record for how many times can you say the word…”fuck”…. in one sentence and my soon to be husband found out his pint size kiwi chick had a temper and boy could she use it.

What didn’t help the matter was when he mentioned he has some 30+ first cousins due to his father being one of 14 and his mother, one of 9.  This didn’t help because there was a vast array of 2nd cousins that made my eyes glaze over in sheer shock.  

We ended up with 130 people coming to our wedding.

Where to this day after being married for 28 years, I still have people coming up to me and saying… “I so enjoyed your wedding” and have not one bloody clue as to who they are!  

As to picking my wedding dress, I only had one day to literally pick my dress.  After an argument with my Mother over her lack of interest in helping select it, I trotted off to the one bridal shops I happened to walk past on the way to my new job.  


This middle aged woman came out, simpering and battering of eyelashes, dollar signs ripping through her eyes to meet me.  She soon freaked out when I told her, “I’ve come from a dress and don’t particularly care what it looks like as long it is comfortable.  I do want a veil and is there anything on sale I could buy?  By the way, my Mother didn’t give a shit about coming with me, so no point looking for her”.

Here comes the Bride…


So amongst these dazzling dresses that glistened in various shades of white and trailed enough lace work to shade every window in Buckingham palace; I tried on my first ever wedding dress.  It had a sweetheart neckline, a soft delicate lace bodice and full skirt. A nice fitting corset and puff sleeves (hello it was 1987 and Princess Diana’s fault). The skirt had scalloped edges with a satin bow at each rise of the scallop.  


It flowed to the floor and showed off my boobs to perfection.

I remember standing on the small platform, looking at the endless images of me in my wedding dress and felt a wrench in my heart.  


I was all alone on what was supposed to be a wonderful moment shared between Mother and Daughter.  The tears came as my new 12 foot long edged tulle veil was slipped over my diamante tiara and for the first time I saw what I would really look like as a Bride. 

All i will say on how much my heart hurt is this…I WILL NEVER EVER let my daughters feel that pain.


Before long, I was being dragged from shop to shop by one of my future Sisters In Law, after she discovered I had not organised anything other than a church, reception place and the Mercedes Benz to take us to the church.  


Let me correct that because actually I didn’t do any of that, The Redhead did.  He organised all of that stuff upon his return to Australia and I merely got a phone call or a letter in the mail to tell me what was happening.  I was so laid back about the whole thing and I got a few noses out of joint as to my general lack of concern and ‘non-bride like behaviour’.  

I had no idea brides spent months and months, even years pouring their eyes over endless reams of material.  No one had ever told me or shown me.

That was when I decided in my mind, it was just ONE DAY in my Life…. it was what happened after that day that was my main concern.  The years ahead were more important.  


I still hold to that belief, it is just ONE DAY and yes it is an important day.  But the other 5000 million days when you’re married are more important.  That one day is the stepping stone to whether you survive the pitfalls, disasters and joyful times.  Still be able to stand beside your partner and at the end of the day, say to them ‘I LOVE YOU‘ and mean it.

Little bit of colour on your magical day..


So there I was, dragged from shop to shop to organise flowers, table clothes, a wedding cake, shoes, hairdressers and collect wedding presents etc.  While answering questions nonstop as to why did you not have an engagement party? Not to mention putting up with non stop interference from both sides of the families. 


Then that magical day came so let’s select the bridesmaids and flower girls outfits.  


This was the true day that my ‘bridal wand’ got a wave around.  
I was determined that there would be NO pink, horrendous ugly sacks with equally ugly pink lace jackets.  Let alone just plain ugly anything.  

As I shifted through the bountiful supply of 1980’s bridal fashion, I heard from the other side of the room, these words…”oh, I love this!”   

My mother decided she would play ‘Mother Of The Bride’ and come shopping with me and my Sister In law to be, Julie.  There in her hands was a lovely Edwardian style, fully laced ballgown with a delicate sheer high neck in PINK!  

I groaned inwardly as I watched my Darling Julie take it up in her hands and watched her race off to the change rooms.  Oh shit.  After much muttering  the change room door opened up and out she came…. a regal princess with tears in her eyes and a beautiful smile radiating like a burst of sunshine after a dark cloudy storm. She looked so beautiful, she literally took my breath away.  

Mum, and I raced around the store collecting bits and pieces which we threw on her, trying out different styles which would complement my dress.  But more importantly, would enhance each of the three bridesmaids I was having and their own individual beauty.  It was an amazing day of gaiety, girly laughter, tenderness, tears of joy and walking out the door armed with three bridesmaids dresses, hats and gloves along with three flower girls dresses and all their accessories.  


I think that is how it is supposed to be?


I was on a roll after that as I had everything completed, finalized and paid for within 5 months of our engagement…. with only 2 months to go and $5000 lighter in the pocket.  Bring on the 24th October 1987.  Today I discovered via the internet that the average price for a wedding in 2015 is……$30,000.  A down payment on a house. 


The mind is boggled!      

When India met Scarlett…


As I am filling in details of my rather lackadaisical attitude towards my wedding and still eyeing up the delicious concoction of froth, that was a wedding dress in front of me;  I heard the words I never thought I would hear.  These words came out of the mouth of my oldest daughter’s mouth….… “Mummy, I want to get married!’ 


Oh My God, I swear the Angels burst into song.  The heavenly trumpets roared into life and all I heard was Etta James singing…. ‘At Last’.


In one casual toss of her long toffee coloured hair, her eyes resembling chocolate pools you could drown in and a faint blush to her cheeks, she had uttered the words I had longed to hear.  


Holy shit.  

It shook me to the core because all I had heard for years was the same band of words over and over again like a broken record – “I am NOT getting married.  I am not getting married for YEARS.  I MIGHT get married if I feel like it”.  So many times, I heard them uttered and each time I had to resist screaming at her… I WANT A WEDDING!!!!!!  

I have to say as much as I heard those words, I understood and could see her past relationships had caused alot of pain.  Which she had shed plenty of tears over, both here within the public of her blog but also within the four walls of her bedroom.  I secretly craved for her heartfelt emotions on the matter to be reversed,  


I wanted, needed and dreamt of standing there with a smile from ear to ear, wiping away my tears as I gently placed the veil over her face and watched her float on air to the Man of her Dreams. 


My daughter had stubbornly refused to grant that wish… until now.  Those words, “I WANT to get married” blew me back into my chair at the Library.     


Immediately, the environment of the Library disappeared and there before my eyes was the archway of a stain glass windows streaming with light, the altar ablaze with lit candles, a row of black suits to one side and a cacophony of red dresses to the left.   


A hush came over the gathered guests, as the chosen song for her entrance began…. ABBA’s song of ‘I do I do I do’ blasts over the speakers as I turn my head to watch, the heavenly sight of my daughter floating down the aisle on her father’s and my Redhead’s arm. 

Oh My God!


I was finally going to be wearing that tea length satin dress overlaid in red chiffon with netted skirt and gorgeous pair of red satin pumps, I had always dreamed about.  I was in ‘Mother of The Bride Heaven!’  I had been dreaming about this day since she had been placed in my arms, fresh out of the oven and smelling like warm milk and honey. 

Thank You God!  Thank You Wedding Angels!  I am going To be The Mother Of The Bride!


While I was in this stupor, it occurred to me.  If she wanted to get married, then she must have a potential man in mind and somehow I had not met this prospective son in law and he had managed to escape all Motherly Radars.


I must be losing my touch!  Heaven forbid. 


Under the guise of looking through bridal books, I began my interrogation as to whom this man could be.  


I mean I was pretty vigilant about observing body language that could possibly indicate a suitor could be on the horizon.  I could sniff out a ‘we are just friends’ signal a mile off. 


I had always been observant of any glazing of the eyes from possible mere mention or breathe of a name.  Not to mention any twirling of the hair while looking off into the horizon or doodling names while pretending to study for her Pharmacology exam is, was and could be a clear indication I should be even more vigilant than usual. 

After all I was her Mother and we all know that Mother actually translates into:-


M ….. Mastermind

O …… Observant

T ……. Torture
H ……. Hotheaded
E ……. Eagle eyed  
R ……. Repeat after me… ‘I will not annoy Mummy!’
Who is he???


The dastardly Mr Darcy had somehow managed to avoid any landmines I had set and I knew this called for my secret weapon of mass destruction…”why don’t you come home for dinner?”   


I knew I had to go to Defcon Six Status and with Steve Earle’ singing “Copperhead Road” swirling through my head as Tom Pedermore took the seed from Columbia and Mexico.  All the while ranting about the D.E.A. and Charlie, like Tom…. I had to come up with a brand new plan.

I was going to become a Private Investigator!  


It helped that my powers of persuasion incorporated a cleavage that could make any man weep.  Tender arms just right for your adult child to nestle in for a cuddle.  A nerve of steel for when you had to play ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop’.  A loud voice that could scream four blocks away and tell your children they were late for dinner; something you didn’t discover until you had children!  The perfected Death Stare of pure anger that could kill a rhino at one pace.  

Oh so many facets that is packed into one 5 foot 3 inches woman who can roar like a lion and be as tender as a petal in the breeze.  

I had one mission, by God, I would find out who this man was.  


All done of course with a slight smile, a casual nod of the head and my brain working a million miles an hour. 

Thank God, I was proficient in my skills massed over the years as a Mother.  Especially since I had completed my training for explosives when I had been part of the U.S. Seal Team that infiltrated countless enemy territories.  Of course I had kept up to date with my weapons training when I had been undercover with Delta Force, passing my Sharpshooters test with ease.  I  knew I may have to use my extensive training with the C.I.A. at Guantanamo Bay in Interrogation methods but hey, their pain, my gain


As I slunk into stealth mode, shaded my face in camouflage paint and double checked my full arsenal of weaponery; I turned from ‘Mummy’ into ‘Locked and Loaded Lois’… all with a smile. 


I started with a simple question, a bit of honey for the trap…”What kind of wedding do you vision?”  Ha, instantly she fell into the trap.  


As my darling girl told me her dreams, I mentally whisked out my training book on ‘future Son In laws’ and asked her a pile of questions.  Like height, age, profession, maturity levels… all the while turning up the heat of the white light overhead and placing my torture instruments at hand, if I needed them. 

God this was going to be ever so sweet.


She waxed lyrical about her dreamboat and the more she spoke, the more I mentally wrote down, all the while turning the pages with my hand.  As I appeared to look quietly bemused and nodded my head

Bond… Scarlett, Bond.

to encourage her to tell me more.  While tossing the odd question about parentage, siblings, housing, age, employment, managerial potential, holiday homes, type of car, interests, religion, political ambitions and then the coup d’etat….. “So when is the family going to meet him?”

Then was when I got thrown on my arse and left to pick myself up with one sentence.  


“Oh Mummy, I haven’t met him yet.  However I do know I do want to get married”.

Oh My God, I must be losing my touch!    


I swear my Mother had it easy with me!  I certainly never ever lead her up the garden path, threw her a few bones to gnaw on and then blindsided her.  Can I blame the bloody ovaries?  If the damn doctor had removed them and not made me wait for surgery, I wouldn’t have this lose of insight and ability to suss out what my kids are up too!


As I packed away my tea length satin dress overlaid in red chiffon with netted skirt and gorgeous pair of red satin pumps, I scrubbed off the camo paint from my face, threw out my Private Investigator Licence I realized I was muttering over and over again…… “ONE DAY, LOIS.  ONE DAY!”  


As to Mr Darcy….you had better be out there somewhere and when you show your face at my table…. just be wary.  You could meet ‘Locked and Loaded Lois!’  


A final word from Scarlett’s Mummy….seriously I am nice.


Those tablets the Doctor has me on are kicking in nicely now and I think the straight jacket can be loosened a bit!  Lol.

IF and WHEN Scarlett or any of her siblings: Frodo, The Princess or Pablo decide to get married, both Red and I will welcome their loved ones into The O’Chunky Clan with open arms, open hearts and plenty of love.


We have faith in our children that their own hearts are filled with enough knowledge, wisdom and love to make a marriage work.  As we regularly say to them: “If you are happy, then we are happy”.  That is all that matters.  

They are exceptional human beings (yes I am proudly biased) who have given their parents a lifetime of blessings.  Whoever their partners are… will be very lucky indeed.

As the sun has fully risen into the morning sky as I finish this blog, I will sign off.  


Miss Scarlett, it will my greatest honour to hold your hand, help your fasten your dress, place your veil and watch you become Mr Darcy’s Bride.  YOU make me feel so blessed. 

Oh yes, by the way, The Princess is NOT wearing her board shorts under her dress!!  


Mr Darcy, there is a letter for you to read….

Good Morning, Have a lovely day and Many hugs to you all


Love,


Locked and Loaded Lois xx


Announcing Mr and Mrs O’Chunky


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