31 July 2012
You know that awkward moment when someone over-shares something very personal? Right, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s that brief “did I just hear that?”, followed by the “how do I react to that?” as well as the “please let my face not show horror” thing that we all go through. Everybody has experienced that. In fact, one goes through the exact same cycle of responses when someone unexpected, unexpectedly “shoots a bunny” so to speak.
Now I’m not innocent by any means (not of the shooting bunny thing – why I’d never do something like that – I’m a girl!!!). I’ve also been guilty of over-sharing. And sometimes it’s more a lack of tact that deliberate over-sharing. Like that time I saw an old school friend and seeing her shape and remembering that she was pregnant, asking her how long until the baby was due. To which she replied that her baby boy was already two weeks old. Eish!!! So sorry about that. And yes, you guessed it. After that little faux pas, I was featured on that month’s “Foot-in-mouth-magazine”. Don’t you just hate it!
And would I ever, as long as I live forget the time I phoned my mom at home early one morning and my mom’s, then boyfriend (now husband) answered the phone. It took me completely by surprise. I really hadn’t expected it, which was rather silly of me as they had been an item for a few months and I’d known him for years. After my dad had died, my mom belonged to us – her kids – and now all of a sudden a man other than my father answered her phone. I was silent for a minute and then said, “Err, Hi, Rob! Is Maggie perhaps there?” (as if she’d be anywhere else). And then to my utter horror, Rob answered, “She’s right here. Lying in my arms, purring.”. I was stunned and mortified in equal portions. It was nothing personal against Rob – I absolutely adore him, but it was just so unexpected. It also made me realise that it must be true - quite obviously my dad had indeed died. He wasn’t just away on a 3 year long trip. It was a sobering moment and we often giggle about it today, in hindsight. But I will never forget that stomach-dropping moment when Rob first said it.
But the best example of over-sharing ever, happened at a good friend of ours’ wedding. It was a truly magical occasion. Our friend had waited until his 39th year to finally tie the knot and by that stage most of us had thought that he would never get married. He was the perennial bachelor, you see. His lovely young bride was still in her early twenties and it was just fabulous to finally see him so happy and content. They had a majestic wedding. Very grand and smart, without being show-off-ish. Beautiful touches - rose petals, loads of flowers, look-out over a dam on a wine farm, marquee tent for the service, a plethora of bridesmaids, flower girls, best men and page boys, red petal strewn carpet, flower arches, gorgeous glowing bride, bursting-with-pride-groom, fairy lights galore, metres of draping, gob-smackingly magnificent cake, bubble machine, beautiful and sentimental speeches, and then…..
The speech that never should have happened – EVER!!! The preceding speeches all spoke of the love the bride and groom had for each other. A few anecdotes of their separate and joined histories. Tributes to those that had passed on and that couldn’t share in the event. Toasts to the beautiful bridesmaids and flower girls. Thank you’s to all that made the day so magnificent. In fact it was all going swimmingly. And there were some lovely poignant moments and dabbing of eyes. Until the groom’s sister (let’s call her “Lise” – wouldn’t want to step on any toes and cause permanent embarrassment) stepped to the fore. You see, her task was to toast her mother, the lovely “Mrs Malherbe” (I’ve changed the mom’s name to protect the innocent) – as in the groom’s mother. To thank her for all that she had done for her children. The sacrifices she had made, the love she had bestowed, their gratitude to her and their love for her. But, sadly it all went a little bit pear shaped.
The sister regaled all with how remarkable her mother was, how down to earth, how humble etc. And then to highlight this, she told a very, very inappropriate story. It was about a time when they went to visit another sister (let’s call her “Esna”), that lived a few hours away. In fact, the mother and “Lise”, were going to surprise “Esna” with a visit. They drove far and pushed themselves to get to their destination, and once they got closer, even though the mom had need for a bathroom break, they decided to push on. Which meant, that by the time they reached “Esna’s” house, the mom was absolutely bursting. Big was their surprise though, when there was nobody at home. They decided to not ruin the surprise and to rather wait it out for “Esna” to return as she had in all likelihood just gone to the shops. But sadly for “Mrs Malherbe”, she could wait no longer. Now at this stage, we were all sharing nervous looks at our table, thinking “Please let this not be going where we think it’s going!”. You simply don’t share stories about your mother pee-ing at a wedding!
Then things got even worse. Apparently “Mrs Malherbe”, said to “Lise”, “Please fetch me a spade” and then “Lise” went in to great detail about how they had to dig a hole in the garden because “Mrs Malherbe” had to make a more, shall we say ‘solid’ deposit. No, friggin way!!! Absolutely no one saw that coming. It was truly unexpected. Everyone exchanged looks of “did that really just happen?”. There was stunned silence, followed by howls of laughter, and through it all, “Mrs Malherbe” sat with a glowing expression on her face. Not even slightly embarrassed, mortified or non-plussed at all! Just so proud to be sharing the special moment of her only son’s wedding.
It actually was a marvellous thing. Because how can you not have a fantastic time at a wedding when the ice has already been broken like that? We had a blast. Festivities included inflatable instruments and guests hamming it up on the dance floor, pretending to be in a band. We laughed and danced and ate and laughed even more. Such a happy, happy day. And not to be left behind, the bride’s dad also made the most of the occasion. He spent the remainder of the reception, dancing with the garter around his head, his arm, his leg, his neck, his ankle, his elbow, his knees and his head again. Truly memorable!
For as long as I live, the “spade” story shall remain with me. In fact, it will go down in the annals (sorry, I simply couldn’t resist) of history!