'Suzi's stuck between two men. Matt Murphy, her old boyfriend, who's now about to marry her housemate, Debbie, and Ed McEwan, First Officer and fitty,who was going out with Candy. Debbie is unexpectedly pregnant with Matt's baby and Matt turned up on Suzi's doorstep to proclaim that he only loves her and doesn't want to marry Debbie.
Suzi, meanwhile, has invited Ed to accompany her to the wedding but Candy arrived at Suzi's house to announce she is going to marry Ed.'
If that all sounds complicated - it is. Suzi is getting ready for the wedding and is going to make damn sure she looks perfect.
Diary of a Long haul Stewardess
The BIG day dawned. Anyone would think it was my wedding the amount of butterflies that were flitting about my stomach. The sun wasn’t shining but there seemed to be only a thin layer of clouds so looked like it would promise to brighten up later. Shame. My vindictive side wanted thunderstorms and lashings of rain to hurdle down on the not-so-happy-couple. The wedding ceremony was at three. That meant Sam, SJ and I could all get ready without too much fighting over whose turn it was in the bathroom. I, of course, kindly, let the other two go first. I was too busy checking emails and stuffing cereal to feed those butterflies – it was worth a try, bombarding them with granola sized boulders, to stop them fluttering.
Standing in the shower later, I absentmindedly reached for the exfoliating cream and started to scrub my legs with rubble-sized granules. Bloody hell, I’d forgotten about my fake tan. If I kept scrubbing at this rate I’d rub off forty quid’s worth in no time! I swapped the rubble for my favourite coconut shower gel and finally stepped out of the cascade of water to dry myself down. My only hope of saving my investment was to slather enough of the Orange and Almond, make-your-skin-as-soft-as-a-baby’s-bottom moisturiser on. I finished my basting and checked myself over in the mirror. I looked sleek but was in danger of smelling like a fruit salad with the combo I’d liberally applied to my body.
Apart from a small patch across my middle, my skin still glowed with a faint brown hue. Result! Didn’t want to overdo it like one of the stewards I’d met recently. His skin was a strange orange colour. When I questioned a colleague as to the brand he’d been using for his fake tan, she told me it wasn’t fake. Apparently, he was notorious for eating a diet high in carrots which had turned his skin orange. The stewardess spilling this exciting snippet of information said it with a straight face- there are so many stories circulating around the airline that I never knew which ones to believe, but whatever method the steward had used to get his unusual hue, it had earned him the nickname as ‘Orange John.’
Don’t know about orange, but by the time I’d finished in the bathroom my cheeks were as red as a beetroot and the moisture from the shower was beginning to turn my hair into a deranged afro. I picked up the hair straighteners. They were going to have to rise to the occasion to enable me to look the groomed, elegant creature I wanted to portray. God knows what I’d be like on the morning of my own wedding.
I could hear the other two getting ready in their bedrooms. Sam was going to squash us all into her little car for the hour long journey to the venue. Not only did Debbie have to get married on a Tuesday but she had to be awkward enough to get married near to her parents’ house which was down the motorway and through numerous country villages. We were bound to get stuck behind a tractor which would only add to the tension which had already cranked up a notch when Sam found a hole in her last pair of stockings. In true stewardess fashion I scurried for the spare pair I always carried in my handbag and saved the day - and her temper.
It was as I ironed my hair yet again in an attempt to get the fringe to lie flat that Sam appeared at my bedroom door.
‘You nearly ready, Suz.We have to leave in five minutes. ’ She sniffed the air. 'Over done it a bit on the perfume, haven't you?'
I ignored her remark. My appearance was perfect. I have to admit that most of the time was spent on perfecting the delicate line of black around my eyes. I wanted to go for the kohl –outline-your-eyes look, aka Kate Cambridge, (she doesn’t mind if I call her that) but the new liquid eyeliner that I’d bought especially to make sure I got it perfect was trickier than I thought. The other memorable Kate, (Moss) may be able to apply her eyeliner without a mirror but some of us mere mortals can’t even get it right, even with a magnifying glass. I’d had to wipe my impression of panda eyes several times until I got a line that was suitably close to my eyes and flicked at the corners with just the right amount of aplomb.
Dashing to my cupboard I whipped out my new dress and slipped the azure blue silk over my shoulders. I wriggled into it until it slid down, clinging to my body in all the right places. I studied myself in the mirror. Those panic attacks I’d had at handing over such a large amount of bahts in Bangkok were so worth it. The stakes had never been higher. Slipping my feet into my new shoes I grabbed my only suitable clutch bag and checked its contents. Lipstick. Check. Purse. Check. Door keys. Check. Phone check. I swept the screen again before placing it into the pocket in the lining of the bag. Nothing. I hadn’t heard from Ed since I sent my text last night asking him to ring me. Maybe Candy was right. Maybe he just couldn’t face me with the truth. I had no idea if he would even turn up today. He hadn’t text to say he was back in the country, let alone free and single. I looked in the mirror for the last time and adjusted the strap of my dress on my left shoulder. I would have to go it alone. I would be the sad ‘ex’ sitting at the back of the church. All alone. Well, I would be sitting with Sam and SJ but that didn’t count. Everyone who knew about Matt and I would bound to be thinking what effect this wedding was having on me. With Ed by my side it would have been an obvious message.
Not surprisingly I also expected to hear from Matt - that he had called the wedding off. His mood last night made me think he wouldn’t go through with it. But I suppose, he wasn’t the kind to leave Debbie to bring up the baby alone. But why resign him to a life with a woman he didn’t love? This wasn’t the eighteenth century where you had to get married and hope that love would grow. He could still support his child but just not marry.
I thought back to the last time I’d been at a wedding. It was Ash and Katie’s when Matt had been the best man and I’d done a reading. Matt had proposed on the lawn in front of all our friends and I’d had to swoon to get out of it. I smiled at the memory. Well, no swooning today. Only if Johnny Depp happened to turn out to be Debbie’s long lost relative.
The three of us climbed into Sam’s Clio and she drove us at break neck speed to the Manor hotel where the wedding was to take place. Not one tractor in sight but we arrived with only five minutes to spare. SJ turned to me.
‘I thought you invited that First Officer to come with you today?’ Sam looked at her with a look that said ‘shut up.’
‘He said he’d meet me here,’ I replied as casually as I could muster. ‘He’s flying in from the States this morning so he may be a bit late.’
Sam, to whom I’d confessed about Candy’s visit the previous evening, squeezed my arm. She got out of the car and whispered into my ear as we walked to the entrance of the hotel.
‘Don’t worry. I won’t abandon you. He’ll turn up. You’ll see.’
‘Wish I had your faith,’I answered as I tripped along the gravel path. I may be able to walk at forty-five degrees uphill on a Jumbo whilst pushing a trolley and preventing the orange juice from spilling off the top, but I sure as hell couldn't master my new, four inch stilettos with any kind of dignity. I would be memorable at this wedding not only for smelling like an over ripe fruit salad but for arriving like a squashed one too.
Love Suzi x