Monday, 27 October 2008
Romeo and Juliet? - Linda Strachan
With a big family wedding almost upon us all thoughts of writing have been pushed into a far corner of my head and the space has been filled instead with lists and more lists.
But lurking at the back of my brain the writer in me can’t help but notice the possibilities in the situation.
Emotions are the food of thought for any writer and families can be the greatest source of deeply felt emotion, especially when they are brought together for a wedding.
What could be more contentious? You don’t need the extremes of Capulet and Montague feuding to prescribe caution. If you think about it; why should two completely different families agree on everything when they might be of different culture, religion, class or colour, and the only thing that brings them together is the happy couple?
Happy? Well, they probably were before the wedding planning started!
It is a time when emotions run high, small family disagreements can potentially turn into fierce battles; decisions such as where the guests are seated can be more difficult than organising a state banquet for opposing nations.
Weird and wonderful relatives are wheeled out from the back of the family cupboard, where they have been happily nursing the family skeletons– “For heaven’s sake don’t seat great aunt Maud beside cousin Belinda, they fell out 30 years ago when she ran off with an insurance salesman. You must keep Uncle Jack away from Granddad, he’s never forgiven him for selling the family antiques, and we just don’t EVER mention Cousin Gemma’s first husband!”
The potential for comedy and misery, the complicated family relationships and the stress levels accelerate as the great day approaches. There are endless comic plot possibilities in almost everything from the fussy or stroppy flowergirls to the petulant bride, the harridan of a mother-in-law to be to the eccentric aunts, and more heartrending possibilities with broken dreams and family feuding.
But I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed that these problems will remain in the realm of fiction, at least until after the big day - when I can mercilessly milk the experience for all sorts of plot ideas….