I’m sorry, but…
3 February 2013
… I’m going to choke if I see another ‘gay marriage lifestyle’ photograph, euphemistically illustrating a newspaper ‘think piece’ about, um, gay marriage.
See what I’m talking about?
There’s a whole flipping industry out there taking soft focus photographs of a little man mannequin and another little man mannequin standing on top of a hideous wedding cake.
HELLO?!??! Give me a break!!!
They are almost as bad, of course, but not quite, as the equally ubiquitous and slightly less euphemistic photos of obviously not gay not getting married failed models in lifestyle shots. When they are not modelling knitted cardigans (I’ve got nothing against cardigans) and stretchy-waistband trousers.
You see? Crikey. HELLO: WE GET THE FLIPPING POINT….. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHH.
For those of my dear foreign readers who’ve hit the blog in search of some pictures of my nice English garden or of the snowy countryside, especially those readers from deeply conservative small towns in the southern states of America, and who are wondering what the hail is going on over here in Blighty: yes, you may have missed the news that on Tuesday there’s going to be a vote in the House of Commons to legalise gay marriage.
Forget the triple dip recession, the housing crisis, the-fact-that-no-young-people-seem-to-be-able-to-get-a-job-crisis (despite the huge-university-fees-crisis); forget the fact that we’ve got a rather weird austerity vibe that does not seem to have affected any restaurant where I try to make a booking yet the economy outside of london seems to have collapsed at the same time government spending continues to escalate, that crisis; forget the fact that pensioners’ savings are being eaten by inflation and no interest; no, let’s deal with the important things.
I can’t help feeling this is a distraction. And I’m not sure I like being the cause of a distraction from the omnishambles, Mr Cameron.
It’s causing a lot of rather tiresomely fake controversy that I for one could live without. Honestly. Grow up and shut up, everyone.
These rather charming old gents, for instance, who are ‘Senior Local Conservatives’ delivered a letter protesting the measure to Mr Cameron at Downing Street this afternoon. They look a nice bunch, people I’d happily sit next to at Sunday lunch (if they are not delivering letters), all except from the one second from the right, who I have to admit looks a little terrifying. But the one holding the letter looks particularly sweet. The one on our far left really needed to polish his shoes before visiting the PM. Actually, he’s probably at home looking at this photo in the paper right now thinking ‘I need to get a dark blue overcoat’.
The one to his left (that’s our right); well, he’s wearing a very vivid tie. Either he’s trying to prove quite-how-Gay-friendly-he-is-while-feeling-a-little-um-uncomfortable-um-about-um-gay-marriage; or his wife needs a bit of training when she selects his tie every morning in terms of the message it’s going to give.
It rather reminds me of my favourite t-shirt when I was a little boy. Here’s a photo of me, dressed as a pirate (I guess aged about 7) on a sailing holiday in France, wearing my favourite t-shirt. Dad had bought it for me when he’d been on a naval visit to San Francisco in the late 70s.
Ironic, really… I guess that NO-ONE told my Dad what a rainbow striped T-shirt meant in San Fran in the late 1970s. You see? Nurture not nature.
Talking of family albums, here’s a little snapshot of me and Dad (also sailing, there’s a surprise) I guess a few years before. I like this photograph very much indeed.
I guess that those of you who might have read my book already know that I prefer photos of myself aged 3 to those aged 41. Hence the fact that my introduction photograph is this one.
CUTE huh? My goodness, I’m digressing.
The point is, 1) I haven’t met a gay friend of mine yet who cares one way or the other about weddings. Secretly, I’ve got to admit I find weddings a little toxic; a little cloying, all a little overdone. The thing I love hearing about my Mum and Dad’s wedding was that it started at 2.30 and was over by about 6. Close friends. A quiet service. A glass of champagne, some cake, a cup of tea, 6 photos, and they were off (and have been pretty happily married, I would say, ever since. This year, we celebrate their 50th anniversary, which between you and me, I think is quite something).
The point is 2) that please please please will you stop using such grimly naff photographs in your newspaper articles, journalists of Britain. Yuk yuk yuk yuk. Do you know ANYONE who sticks a little boy mannequin and a little girl mannequin on top of their wedding cake. No, you don’t. So stop suggesting we would.
The next point is 3) Just at the moment, there sort of needs to be a place for everyone in the world. Goodness, I’d feel a little marginalised these days if I was one of those rabbit-caught-in-headlights Old Tory gents in the photo above, instead of being the owner of the coolest shop in London (I’m so modest as well). Fairly soon – you know, they’re going to have to organise a pride march themselves. I’m not sure I really know what it feels like to be a minority, but I rather think they will. And that makes me sad. Because, living as I do half the time in rural southern England, I know that these types are both kind and salt of the earth. (Apart from the guy second from the right, the scary one).
And the final point 4) is that after some initial teething troubles, for which many apologies to those affected, Robin over in the shop now has our wedding list service completely sorted out and running like a smoothly oiled machine. So, whichever way the vote goes on Tuesday, we look forward to offering prospective couples of any denomination a small moment of good taste (and presents you actually want) in a sea of blancmange mediocrity and political hysteria. Click here for more details. Amen.