From my wonderful friend Simone:


So you’re getting married? What can I say: it goes downhill from here. Really steep, which is why I never did it myself. But if you don’t fancy killing off your suitors with a well-aimed arrow or two, all I can do is give you this little piece of advice.

Remove your knickers (or your girdle, whichever applies. I, of course, never wear either). That’s right: take them off, fling them in a bush; if you feel up for it, burn them in a billy-can and try not to think about how strange this all might look. Remember, countless women before you found this a powerful remedy. So they tell me, in those sweet, high-pitched songs they sing to my honour. Though I avoid listening to them for too long at a time – they’re so awfully sarcastic, and I cannot abide sarcasm.

You see, taking your knickers off makes the Big Night that follows the Big Day feel less like an intrusion, and more like acquiescence. As if it was meant to be this way, as if he just happened to find the door flung wide open (again, this is just hearsay, but women ought to trust their kind).

When you’ve recuperated, that ‘wife’ of my dear Father will answer to any complaints you might have. I’d love to help but once you’ve crossed that line and burnt those lacy scraps of protection I can’t do much for you. Other than listen. I do love a song or two thrown my way.

You know, hunting stags can be such a lonely business.

Yours in maidenhood,