John McCullagh October 10, 2005
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Here was I, indulging in a daydream about my darling daughter’s forthcoming wedding, when – skimming through an old newspaper – I came upon this poem. Boy, were my eyes opened?

I trust that Rita Hatton will forgive me reproducing her work here. Should this not be so, I ask that she – or one who knows her – tells me so and it will quickly be removed. I just thought that others should also be forewarned!

 

The Wedding

 

Have you ever tried to tunnel through a wall of solid stone

Or wrestle with an octopus? Negotiate a loan?

You haven’t? Nor have I .. and yet .. I’d gladly face them all

Than plan a daughter’s wedding, like the one we had this fall.

 

It started in the usual way .. you know .. he bought the ring

And then they started talking .. about honeymoons and things..

And where to have the ceremony .. and who should be best man..

Of course I reassured them that ‘We’ll help in all we can..’

 

That was number one mistake, I should have phrased it better

I should have known that girl of mine would keep me to the letter!

I should have realized the fact that daughters when they marry

Become confused .. that ‘Help’ spells ‘Cash’ .. in their vocabulary.

 

Number two mistake occurred when I naively queried

How many guests will you invite – I thought ‘Fifty’s easy carried’

There’d be Herself.. and me.. and a few of both relations

Her guest list – not to mention his – was like the League of Nations!

 

There were friends from College, friends from work, friends she even hated!

..And then there’s Jimmy’s uncle’s wife, I’m sure that she’s related!

And her next door .. and him above .. and what about wee Sally?

No matter how she counted them, the numbers wouldn’t tally!

 

Her mother too was just as bad – in fact I’d say demented

I’ll swear the names she listed down, were – half of them – invented!

There was ‘Elsie this .. and Jonny that .. and Mary what’s her name?

I tell you true, between the two, I was driven half insane.

 

And then the spending started .. it was .. Da, I need some cash

Sure, amn’t I your daughter .. I deserve a decent BASH!’

If I reneged they’d blackmail me with threats of ‘We’ll leave home!’

I swear the deals they cooked up could rival Al Capone.

 

Now I’m a patient man – it’s TRUE! – I don’t get rizen aisy

I like to take life as she comes .. In fact I’m lacks a daisy!

But I’ll defy the man or child, who’d say they’d not be wary

Of two women .. one the mother of,  er..  the one about to marry!

 

It was ..’money for the bookings’ and ‘deposits for the flowers’

‘And then there’s the photographer – he charges by the hour’

And then the ‘Invitations’ – and the guy that runs the disco

The cake .. the cars .. I’ll tell you, it was just one big, huge fiasco!

 

They’d both set off each morning.. cheque books ready! Eyes aglint!

They’d totter back each evening .. beggared out and just as skint!

There’d be notes left in the kitchen, ‘Feed yourself! I won’t be long!’

Or, ‘Phone the florist, dear! The list he’s got is wrong!’

 

And then the ‘Fittings’ started.. not just them.. but me as well!

I was dragged around Department Stores – I tell you it was hell!

They settled on a long black coat, I told them, ‘that’s for mourning!’

I was told in no uncertain terms,..’now don’t you start your gerning!’

 

You’ll wear that coat.. the hat as well .. and while we are about it

Mention ‘Doc Halliday, one more time … and I’ll swing for you! Don’t doubt it!’

So that was that.. I just gave up! I thought, at least, ‘That ends it!’

‘Oh Yes?’ says she, .’that’s all for you! But what about MY OUTFIT?’

 

‘I’ll need more money, for I’ve heard, his mother’s very swanky!

A hundred pounds? For dear’s sake, man! It wouldn’t buy a hanky!

Now, I’d thought my wife was sensible, not like some that I could name

She was never one to dye her hair, or play the fashion game..

 

But that was how she used to be! And sad I am.. and sorry..

To say that overnight she changed .. from saint .. to Mata Hari!

She went from grey to dark brunette, her nails were painted talons

And as for anti-ageing cream, she used it by the gallon!

 

When I tentatively suggested that perhaps she might regret it,

She answered, ‘If that’s your only comment, boy! I warn ye! Just forget it!’

 

The night before the wedding day was one I’ll not forget

I was thrown an oul’ sleeping bag .. I have the bruises yet!

There were guests in every bedroom, they were camped out in the hall

The sound of female wrangling, resounded over all!

 


Well at last the big day dawned and as I waited for the bride..

I mused on how the years slip by.. like the ebbing of the tide

Then I heard her softly whisper, ‘Dad! I’m ready! Will I do?’

And I didn’t give a tinker’s – for the money that we blew.

 

And now she’s wed, and on her way, and things have settled down

And life goes on from day to day .. the customary round

‘Well done!’ they say. ‘You’ve done your bit! There’s nothing left to offer..’

But with two more daughters coming up.. My God! I’ll die a pauper!

 

 

 

 

 

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