Monday, 12 July 2010

Time for a Laugh: Marrying an Oldie

I have always been someone who has not normally understood jokes. They're often too complicated, or require knowledge of something that I'm not familiar with, or I simply find I cannot connect the dots of a joke quickly enough. I have got used to simply being a bit out of it in more jokey conversation settings, not quite fitting in, though I often try. It's All Too Fast and It's Too Complicated!

However, I do have a sense of humour, but it is probably not apparent to most people I know because it is not the type of humour that I can slip into a conversation easily. Rather it has to be explained properly, and requires a platform for me to explain it, and it's a platform that is rarely given to me. Hence, I have to create a platform for myself to share my funnier side - here on this blog! So here goes with my first piece of humour, please have some patience as you read through this scenario.

Dating an Oldie

When my grandmother was alive she would often ask me, when I was in my 20s, if I had a girlfriend. My answer was always no. I've never been in a relationship to this day. Now my grandmother was in her 80s by this time and was becoming increasingly out of touch mentally. Now suppose she had become just a little bit more out of touch than she was, she might have suggested I'd date her 70 something year old friend Anthea, who had been a spinster all her life, thinking that, being younger than herself, Anthea was still a young lady.

Anthea was a good friend of my grandmother's. She probably did something to help my grandmother feel younger, as Anthea's mother Winifred was still alive. I only met Winifred once in around September 2001 when I accompanied my grandmother, Anthea and Winifred to visit a care home for Winifred, as being 96 and on two walking sticks she was now needing more care than Anthea could provide for her. Winifred stayed in a care home until she eventually died in January 2006 aged 101, who my this time had been bedridden for months, unable to speak, hear or eat.

Now lets just imagine I was so desperate that I ended up going out with Anthea, say in 2003 when I was 21 and she would have been at least 71. I would be accompanying Anthea and my grandmother to visits to Winifred's rest home. Now lets suppose that Winifred, as Anthea's mother, started giving Anthea a few relatiosnhips tips, sometimes from her rest bed (she would still have been speaking OK in 2003/4), I might if I was mad enough decide that I might as well dump Anthea for her 99 year old mother Winifred. After all, if Winifred is unattached (she'd been widdowed since 1971 I think) and knows better than Anthea how to handle a relationship, why not then just start dating the expert!

The Wedding

Imagine the reaction from my family, me being in my early 20s dating a woman in her late 90s! In such circumstances they might think I should get back with Anthea again. Very soon I decided it's time to propose to Winifred and get a wedding date arranged fast! So lets suppose we arrange a wedding in August 2004. Very few of my friends know who the bride is and everybody arrives a bit confused about the whole affair.

At the wedding the minister requests at the start that people standing beside the isle be prepared to give the bride a hand as "she has a few mobility problems." Now all the congregation are even more confused. The music starts playing and it takes longer than usual for the bride to make her entrance. Eventually though, the bride begins to walk through, extremely slowly with two walking sticks, wobbling considerably, looking like she's about to fall any minute and holding onto any pews or any person beside the isle who she can lean on on the way.

At this point there is great confusion among the congregation. Some people are wondering if this is the bride's grandmother or great-grandmother suffering from dementia, thinking she was the bride getting married. The minister, in trying to calm everyone down and keep a straight face annouces that "I understand that this might not have been the kind of lady you were expecting Christopher Woodward to marry but this lady is the bride."

During vowels, the bride, Winifred aged 99 struggles to hear what is being said and makes a few blunders. Before the start of the photographs, the minister announces that "once we've got into position we must get the photo done as quickly as possible before Winifred has a fall." Winifred sits in a wheelchair during the photo session and gets up only for the individual photos.

I will leave it to your imagination what might be the plans for the first dance, plus the reaction of the local, national and possibly international press towards this wedding, as well as the aftershock effects of all the friends and relatives who only learnt that day that I was marrying a 99 year old. Needless to say this would make a brilliant comedy sketch.

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