Thanks to the influence of my lovely but overbearing older sisters, I have an encyclopedic knowledge of cultural events from the ’80s that I would’ve taken no interest in, had I been given the choice: I can sing every single song from the Olivia Newton John movie musical Xanadu, I can look at any photo of a young Shaun Cassidy and tell you what issue of Tiger Beat it appeared in, and I was forced awake in the middle of the night 30 years ago to watch the royal wedding of Charles and Di. At the time, it gave me no joy to be party to these things, but it would be a couple of years before I’d be big enough for my sisters not to beat up. That’s probably why I take a wicked pleasure today in ignoring the recent hype surrounding Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton.
Now, I will admit some of my indifference is borne out of sheer envy – just thinking of the approachably hot Kate reminds me of that Young MC lyric from Bust a Move: “The bride walks down to start the wedding, and there’s one more girl you won’t be getting.” More importantly, though, I think they would want me to ignore their nuptials. Word around campfire is it was not Wills and Kate’s idea to have an over-publicized, media-blitzed, Beckhams/Elton John/repressive-African-leader-attended wedding. Wills wanted a humble, modest affair, a desire borne out of his intense disdain for the media- he blames them in no small part for his mother’s death. That, and they usually report on him and Harry when they’re screwing up somehow (more Harry than Wills though – Nazi costume notwithstanding, that red-headed freak looks like he’d be fun to party with).
Rather, this big to-do was the wish of an aging monarchy desperate to retain some measure of relevance with its people. Elizabeth is much closer to the end of her life than the beginning, Charles as King is a singularly unpalatable idea for most Britons, and really – the Royal Family is a little crazy. Not so crazy, mind you, that they don’t realize people blame their profound dysfunctionality on the travails of Diana, who remains ten times more popular now than any Royal (other than her sons) could ever hope to be. Liz and her inbred kin may be dumb, but they’re not stupid. She knows that royalty doesn’t matter that much anymore, and she needs something to help whitewash the Charles/Di debacle and put the family back in people’s good graces. The marriage of her handsome grandson to an attractive, seemingly well-adjusted commoner is just the memory-erasing spectacle required. So really, this wedding is a Royal Do-Over, a chance for the House of Windsor to draft on the relative normalcy of the bride and groom.
Some may argue that going through an EVENT! WEDDING! against your wishes makes William a dutiful wimp. Personally, I think his choices suggest he may be a Better Man. Sure, all he wanted was for us to leave him the fuck alone so he can fly helicopters and patronize Welsh pubs in peace – it speaks to his low-key regularity (or at least, as regular as you can be when your mom was the most beloved royal martyr in the world, and your dad has the biggest ears). Choosing to go through with a big wedding anyway has less to do with duty than it does with common sense (he musta got that from Di) – because being left alone to fly helicopters and drink in Welsh pubs is hella more fun when you’re worth millions, courtesy of British taxpayers who are increasingly indifferent to your existence. William understands the Royal Family is a highly profitable institution whose principal commodity is that it still has weird meaning for people like my sisters. Were that to go, he’d be just another underpaid RAF pilot with a hot wife. For him to not do his part to prevent the family business from circling the bowl would not be his own interests.
Of course, that doesn’t give me license to pile on and peep his wedding without an invite. I think I did enough of that in university, when I was so broke I would crash weddings during the summer semester so I could eat at the reception. So Wills and Kate, if you’re reading this – I promise to ignore you, both tomorrow and into the future, for as long as the rabid media hounds who nip at your heels will let me. When you tie the knot tomorrow, I shall be asleep, dreaming of Olivia Newton John in leg warmers and roller skates.
But Kate, if it doesn’t work out – call me. Baby Mama and I have discussed it, and you’re my free pass.