It was cough splutter twitch mumble years ago today, and we both dressed in black and leather. I must confess that we hadn't even wanted to do the whole marriage thing in the first place, because it didn't seem very rock'n'roll. However, it looked as if I might not have a home in the not-too-distant future and that as a married couple we could be offered a place on the council list, so we did it. We picked the date and I went down to the Registrars to book it. The man behind the desk spent a lot of time explaining that parking was so limited we'd need to tell all our guests to use the car park by the train station please, and he made it very clear that confetti was strictly forbidden, etc. etc. It all seemed very officious. I barely acknowledged his instructions and conditions, just nodding vaguely before asking how much these formalities would cost. If my memory serves me well, it was about £9.50.
So we made it as rock'n'roll as we could, and I'll never forget the Registrar's face when the two of us walked in together dressed like we were just off to a gig. He was surprised when our two witnesses were the only guests we'd invited as well, and none of us had cars or confetti. No family, no photos either. When we finally exchanged our silver skull-and-crossbones rings, the man's expression was priceless. I don't wear the same ring now, but I did for several years and I'll always remember one day when I was serving a very posh man in the record shop, he caught sight of my third finger left hand. "That's bloody bizarre" he said in a disapproving Sergeant Major type voice. "Is it?" I replied. (What did he think I was going to say: "Oh my god, I never noticed! Get it off me, quick!" ?)
Anyway I was talking about leather biker jackets, wasn't I? - and I was just saying to a friend the other day how something that was once quite a rebellious fashion statement for a female (particularly if you didn't actually ride a motorbike) has become populist now. So populist that recently Littlewoods advertised it as one of this year's Top Ten 'must haves' for ladies, along with ankle boots, an oversized bag and a skater skirt. It's in the mainstream... like Ramones Tshirts and doubtless many other items and styles that once meant something special to the wearer, once gave them an edge and set them apart, but not any more. Funny how that happens, and now that alone is enough reason for me not to want to wear another biker jacket - even though aesthetically I do still like them. But this is just wrong:
After our £9.50 wedding we pushed the boat out and had a slap-up meal at the local restaurant with our two 'witness' mates, followed by Mars Bars bought tipsily from the local corner shop and then we went home.... separately. Our plan didn't work and we were never offered a council place. We lived apart for several months before I managed to get a job and we could pool enough money together for rent in a shabby sub-let concrete flat above a shopping precinct, with a dodgy neighbour whose feral kids used to peer into our back windows and from where we once witnessed the nearby petrol station catching fire and lighting up the sky. And other stories which I won't bore you with! Very rock'n'roll, hmm...
Off for a slap-up meal now. See ya later!