Leaving 90s England, a new life with new possibilities beckoned and for many years we lived in the thrall of the quest for conspicuous consumption.
I can’t say we didn’t enjoy it at first, let loose in our own particular candy store, we gorged and laughed, and gorged some more, thinking to ourselves, “…this is the life, this is our life.” Inevitably this sugar rush of excess was replaced by insidious cravings for the bigger and better, to experience life harder & faster, cravings which could never be truly satisfied because after all, when is enough actually enough? Yet in their wake followed the rather nauseous, over-indulged bloaty feeling which could only be purged by some kind of compensatory behaviour of denial.
Reality intervened, as is it’s habit, unwelcome at the time, and so began the slow and not a little painful road back to sanity
I was reminded of this period in our lives and many parallels to the current economic woes, when reading about the Chinese bride with the 2162m-long gown. A romantic gesture, said the groom. It took the guests 3 hours to unroll and attach 9999 silk roses and over 600 crystals, which adds, I thought, a whole new meaning to the concept of party favours. The sub-text, his challenge to posterity with a nod at the current word record.
Who knew, I wondered, such records exist to be broken? So this brought me to ponder on the nature of the restraint which called a halt at 9999 silk roses, why not ten thousand, twenty or even more ? Would there ever be a time perhaps, when, with echoes of Scherezade, the gown takes so long to unroll, the marriage never actually takes place but the party goes on in a glorious gratification of excess? When does the wedding-party start suffering from celebration-fatigue?
When indeed in our world of altered priorities and frivolity worship, does society draw a breath and wonder why the strange bloaty feeling? When comes the balance in our polarity between excess and moderation? When will we reach that somewhat Malthusian point when our ability to support our excesses can no longer be sustained and we have no choice willingly submit to the compensatory behaviour of denial?
A little churlish perhaps, after all, who am I to deny the happy couple their romance, so I’ll say just this – may your happy-ever-after be as long as the gown.