02 March 2013

"If you put a mattress on your wedding list people will think you're dirty"


When we got hitched we had a wedding list at John Lewis. (I know! It's all I've ever dreamed of). My partner and I hadn't bought anything new in nine years. We were living like Stig of the Dump, just waiting for the day we could go to John Lewis. It was the happiest day of my life... SECOND happiest day of my life (I must stop saying that).

But when I went to John Lewis on the second happiest day of my life, I made a crucial mistake. I took my mum with me. Now, she's a wonderful woman, but dear god can she rain on a parade.

We stood in John Lewis and she said, 'Do you know what you want on your wedding list?' and I said, 'Yes... I've thought of nothing else. I want a mattress'.

'You can't have a mattress on your wedding list'.

'Why?'

'Because people will look at your wedding list and they will judge you. And if you put a mattress on your wedding list people will think you're dirty'.

'Sorry? If I put a mattress on my wedding list you're saying that my friends will think I've wet the bed?'

'Yes.'

'Fine. What can I have on my wedding list then, Mother?' - I was calling her Mother by that point, like Norman Bates in Psycho.

'Crockery!'

'Do you know how many people have been round to my house for dinner in nine years? I'll tell you: no-one. No-one has been round to my house for dinner in nine years. Why? I don't know. Maybe it's because I let the cats lie on the dining table and I feed them with my mouth, like Lady and the Tramp. Are you telling me that if I buy nice plates people will ignore the fact I'm essentially French kissing a cat?'

'Yes.'

'Fine.'  I put the crockery on the wedding list.

'What else do I need on my wedding list? Tell me, Mother.' - and she appeared with four tiny silver spoons, fifty quid a pop.

'What are they?'

'Mustard spoons!'

'I don't like mustard. My partner doesn't like mustard. Why do I need mustard spoons?'

'Because people will look at your wedding list and they will judge you. And if you have condiment cutlery, people will think you're better than you actually are.'

I put them on the wedding list, and Sandi Toksvig bought them for me.

- Susan Calman, 'Susan Calman Is Convicted', BBC Radio 4, 18 February 2013 
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