This post is a little later than I expected, so I’m hoping that the Royal Wedding is so over that it’s new again.
I took a vacation day last Friday. My parents were visiting and it had absolutely NOTHING to do with the Royal Wedding being on television. I’m not saying I didn’t watch it, I’m just saying it was all a happy coincidence that Wills and Kate chose to stage their wedding on the exact weekend that my parents were visiting and I had taken a vacation day to spend time with my family…
I know, I know, it’s very cool and hip right now to be anti-monarchy, to roll your eyes at the pageantry, to rage against the cost, to vilify the entire principle. But I’m going to be honest with you—I was ridiculously excited about the wedding. Why? Thirty years ago, when I was a kid, I woke up early to watch Diana marry Charles. I thought it was just the most magical thing in the world—all the fantasy and the pomp and the circumstance and the ceremony. I had never seen anything like it in real life in the Bronx—one lucky girl was about to become a real princess—with crowns and everything!
Okay, so now we know that Diana’s story didn’t have a fairy tale ending. The magical fantasy was just that—fantasy. And I’m old enough this time around to realize that most of us don’t become princesses out of the blue and live happily ever after.
But if you think the romantic storybook ending is what fascinates me about this royal couple, this wedding, this princess, you’re very, very wrong. In fact, in this day and age, I somehow doubt that the worldwide popularity of this event is rooted in love and romance and couplehood and future babies. All those talking heads on television who said it gave a new look to the monarchy, gave British citizens a positive outlook on their future, that Will and Kate would save the royal family—they’re all blowing smoke.
We just came out of a recession people…my view of a royal wedding is much more practical. It’s about the dress…and the shoes…and the jewels…and that Aston Martin…and not having to worry about how any of it was paid for.
The way things are in today’s world, it’s just really nice to see a commoner become a princess. It’s exciting to fantasize about giving up a work-a-day job that pays the bills to be able to do whatever you want, without having to worry about money, logistics, or retirement planning. Of course there are realities attached to it that are unpleasant—people hoping to snap a saucy picture of you in just a bikini bottom, remembering all the rules about how to address the Queen and when to curtsy, pressure to always do the right thing in public—but I still don’t think those things are as unpleasant as the harsh realities of credit card late fees, 5 a.m. alarm clocks, eight hours behind a desk, or trying to raise three kids as a single mom.
I mean, the girl is now a PRINCESS. And you know what? I think that’s cool. You know what else? I wouldn’t mind that happening to me. If I were Kate, I would have spent last Saturday (yes, the ENTIRE day) inventorying my new tiaras and trying them on with different outfits.
So here’s the problem—people (okay, men) think women were fascinated by last week’s events because we yearn to swept off our feet by a handsome (if balding) prince, fall in true love, and look deep into his eyes for the rest of our lives, feeling worshipped and adored.
We are so OVER that fairy tale. That’s no longer the dream. Women aren’t looking for a prince and we don’t expect to be saved from the dragon. We long ago gave up on sweet revenge on the evil stepmother.
Today, the fairy tale is much more proactive than reactive. We can’t wait in the tower until the fantasy falls into our laps. We want nice houses to live in, our school loans paid off, a bunch of pretty tiaras to wear, to be invited to special occasions, and to wear every piece of clothing just once before moving on to the next. More importantly, we’re completely prepared to work and save and plot and plan on our own, without partners, to make it happen. Then, if and when a guy comes along, that’s cool, too. It’s just not practical to wait for him to give us everything else. That’s why the idea of having the rest of your life laid out before you, and to have it be so comfortable and safe, is the real daydream evoked by Kate’s walk down the aisle.
Look, I hope they are truly in love and stay together forever. I would be thrilled to see them be King and Queen one day, although with the life expectancy of royal family members, that may not be in my lifetime. All I’m saying is, the coos heard round the world were not about romance…they were about comfort.
Oh, and also about those crazy hats!