Saturday, January 22

Boris Johnson may not be able to afford a fancy wedding, but you can bet he will have one | Zoe williams


I I used to think that I understood what an elegant sensibility looked like: which curtains favored the upper class; what they ate, drank, and wore. They have quirky zippered pockets (orange juice is a special occasion drink) and moments of great quirkiness. I once had an affair with an aristocrat who spent $ 35,000 on a sofa. This was in the 90s. You could have bought a one-bedroom flat and still have change for city taxes.

Since the invention of Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds, I haven’t understood any of that. I can’t understand how you spend £ 27,000 worth of takeout in eight months, as Johnson is alleged to have done. Wouldn’t you look at all the stacked boxes and think, “Jesus, could I have bought a jet ski? I could have awarded a scholarship in… I don’t know, something that interests me, and live forever in the memory of the people who also found that interesting. Instead, just digest that.”

As for the interiors, the velvet, the gold wallpaper, the stripes and the incredibly loud patterns, if you lived like this pair, you could never forget the extravagance of your revelry, which exists in this constant cacophony of your own extravagance. Every time you spilled your dinner, you watched your waste pile up – the incredible cost of what never made it to your mouth, plus the 50K carpet you just ruined. It would be nice if Johnson and Symonds weren’t the type to spill, but almost the first public information on this relationship revealed that at least one of them is.

And so even if your announcement wasn’t exactly greeted with a pure holiday, your upcoming wedding should at least be a psychosocial spectacle. The prime minister, we know, is a mess with money, which is the polite way of saying strict as a mosquito. Johnson is the kind of man who Ask an intern for a cappuccino and never pay you back.. On a fondly remembered occasion, the organizers of a dinner had to threaten to sell his legendary meanness as a daily story before paying your share.

You can imagine the wedding plans in that person’s hands: a meager glass of an indeterminate fizzy drink before the service, then acres and acres of hungry and thirsty time, stretching ahead of the guests like the Sahara, until finally, after hours of grinding and photos, land in sustenance, only to discover that it is a mirage. It is a pay bar.

Symonds, and I’m obviously guessing here, won’t want such an arrangement. She won’t want anything preceded by the word “quiet”. You won’t want advisers in your ear, delicately suggesting that, for Johnson’s third round, discretion is the best part of value. She will want none other than the Duchess of Cambridge in full, with an extra drama: Johnson carried in a chariot on his shoulder by his political enemies; Theresa May and Keir Starmer were commemoratively dressed in designer sackcloth; Dominic Cummings walking ahead, sweeping or licking the ground, maybe.

The problem with weddings, if you accept the idea that they have to cost a lot to convey devotion, is that they have to cost more than you can afford. If your wedding costs exactly what you can afford, that is not enough to express the generosity of your love. This problem is intensified when it comes to Johnson and Symonds, people for whom the concept of “what can we afford?” It seems to have no meaning, since the budget is a fluid and elastic principle based on who can loan them what before the Daily Mail finds out.

It is quite a challenge to even understand the excess necessary to satisfy the demands of the couple’s varied tastes and vanities, in addition to a quasi-dictatorial display and the urgent message that this time he is serious. I already worry about your goody bags. I’m thinking of a Brexit celebration coin, a Mr & Mrs snow globe, and a macaroon, but what the heck do I know?

I got married a second time on a very tight budget: the registry office did a special on Wednesday afternoon for £ 48. It was like a normal ceremony, except you were not allowed to choose your own music; you had to choose between R Kelly and Canon de Pachelbel. We then took a bus to the pub, except my new lord had brought a ceremonial sword for my son to cut the cake, I think to persuade him that the whole company might not be a completely terrible idea after all. Anyway, that got us kicked off the bus, so we had to get an Uber, poking a mile-wide hole in our transport budget of £ 1.50 each. We also managed to lose the sword.

There is nothing about that day that I would have done otherwise. Oh wait, maybe I would have double-checked the invitation email; I managed to lose all last names from W onwards, which was pretty much my entire family. But nothing else.

It’s crazy that weddings have to be expensive. Johnson and Symonds don’t have to go broke for this, but it will be awfully fun to watch them try.


www.theguardian.com

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