MY daughter is getting married.
My daughter is getting married and she’s not even pregnant.
I don’t think.
There was a time when that was the first thing everyone thought.
They’d smile at you and say: “Oh, wow! Congratulations!” while they strained their eyes sideways to gauge whether the woman in question was still the same shape she used to be or whether she was… thickening…
Now though, it’s not an issue. I have three daughters and two sons. None of them are married (but, as I say, one of them is about to be) but all of them are gainfully employed as partners to their partners.
What’s more none of them are pregnant. One of them has two children – but she’s not pregnant now, nor is she married.
Does this matter?
Not a jot. We are a modern couple, my wife and I. We can handle it. What’s more we’re in no position to speak. Although my wife wasn’t pregnant when we were married, she was… how shall we say… between pregnancies. We had three before we tied the knot. And no – I don’t mean in any surgical sense but in a nuptial sense (indeed, we went on to have two more after we were married).
I’m sure attitudes are much healthier now than they used to be. When I was a lad it never occurred to me that my Mum and Dad did… it.
But then the year arrived for their silver wedding anniversary, followed six months later by their eldest daughter’s (my sister’s) 25th birthday.
Maybe she was premature. Yeah!…
It was more of a shock because my mum was… well… not like that. I mean… she was my mum.
But the real shock is that nothing’s changed since the beginning of the world. Just because the Victorians lived in a different culture doesn’t mean human nature was any different.
And what do you think was going on under those capacious Georgian dresses!
The world’s been at it like knives — cats, dogs, frogs, elephants, bats, beetles, polar bears and, yes, people — since the sexes were invented, and we might as well get used to it.
Indeed, we are getting used to it. That’s why I have a daughter with two children out of wedlock and no one minds.
Unless you’re a politician, of course. Then they sack you. It’s just happened to the deputy prime minister in England. He had an affair with his secretary so he had to go. Which merely confirms that the human race is the only species in the galaxy that is capable of hypocrisy.
Never mind, my daughter is getting married. The first of my children is getting married!
I am excited. I am thrilled. I shall have to make a speech. I shall have to give her away. Have to? I’ll be delighted to give her away; and before you make the joke about gaining a son-in-law, they only live a few doors away, so it’s true.
Pay? Waddya mean, pay? I know it’s traditional that the bride’s father pays for the wedding, but haven’t you been listening?
This is 2006! We do things differently here.