Was anyone else surprised to find themselves totally obsessed with the royal wedding? I mean, I know there’s a lot of people out there who were fully prepared to be obsessed with the royal wedding, and have the memorial china set, tea towels, and bedsheets to prove it. But as it approached, I assumed, with a sort of lukewarm enthusiasm, it would be for me a kind of British royals’ Oscars. I thought I would watch the proceedings for twenty minutes or so, and then wait for my extra-thick US Weekly to come in the mail a few days later.
(4 all my haterz who think that there is no possible way someone who had to give up celebrity gossip for Lent was not jumping up and down in impatient hysterics like a candy-and-Adderall-engorged Veruca Salt at 5 a.m. the day of the nuptials: to my surprise, my Lenten abstention has made celebrity gossip kind of…. boring. When you don’t read US Weekly for six weeks and then you read six weeks’ worth all at once, you realize celeb rags are the magazine equivalent of soap operas. You could give up these magazines for a year and then pick up right back where you started. Nothing really changes from issue to issue. A few novice reality stars– the Single-A-ball-players of Hollywood– crop up here and there. A new mom sells pictures of her wrinkly cashmere-swaddled baby, which, when you think about it, is really kind of horrifically evil. And once in a while something “huge” happens– Britney shaves her head! Tiger bangs hookers!– none of which is ever all that surprising when you take one second to consider the severe psychological erosion the pressure of fame must cause– being surprised by celebrity gossip is like visiting an insane asylum and being surprised that there’s poo on the walls– and then you read iterations of the same news for the next six months. This all should’ve been patently obvious to someone who has been devotedly consuming articles on the Jennifer-Angelina-Brad-long-since-imaginary love triangle for SIX YEARS.)
Not that I’ve been completely cured. I ended up catching the wedding on my parents’ DVR; after family dinner my pops and I sat down to fast-forward through highlights of the proceedings. Reader, we ended up watching the entire thing. (Not including the nightly ten minute nap my dad takes immediately upon finishing his after-dinner nip of Cutty Sark.) I was enthralled to the point of mouth-breathing. I do go to an Episcopal church and I do like formal church services and old-fashioned hymns so I guess that’s part of why I enjoyed watching, and I know that not everyone finds all those things as appealing as I do. (By “I” I mean my secret alter-ego Grandma Liz, who also likes foot rubs and and riesling and going to bed at 9 p.m. and wearing scarves because she is “always cold”.) But on the other hand– who doesn’t like old-fashioned hymns, when they’re sung by a boys’ choir? I mean, is your heart made of stone? I would listen to Milli Vanilli’s entire debut album on repeat if it was being sung by a British boys’ choir. And who doesn’t love a cathedral! Maybe not everyone took an entire class on Gothic Cathedrals like ole’ Grandma Liz way back when she was in college (by “college” I mean finishing school in Kentucky), but really now– IS your heart made of stone? I defy any human to walk into Westminster Abbey and not be a least a little bit awestruck. It’s against the laws of physics. Obviously the height and the quietude and the soaring-ness of a cathedral doesn’t really come across on television, but there were full-grown trees decorating the aisle. Full-grown trees! Recall the last wedding in a church you attended. Now imagine if the aisle of that church had been decorated with ten twenty-foot-tall maple trees. You would be all like, I can’t fucking see anything. In the immortal words of Randy Jackson: Cathedrals are huge, dog.
Plus! The hats! What is it about hats that make everything MORE FUN! My aunt and uncle have a weird hat collection and whenever we take family pictures at their house, we all have to wear one. I have shown friends some of these be-hatted group shots and the universal reaction is: I didn’t know you were raised by circus sideshow performers! I think I’m going to wear hats to all the weddings I have to go to this summer. This is fancy enough for black tie, right:
I realize I may be making some of you break out in hives with all this talk of hymns and church and hats and yes, it’s like a big tornado made of Jesus and estrogen in here. I get it, I do. There’s an enormous matrimonial military-industrial complex that absolutely gives me the heebie-jeebies. For example, I’m all for kissing the bride and balcony pecks (especially when accompanied by WWII-era airplane flyovers) but you know what I can’t deal with? Engagement pictures. I just can’t. Maybe Grandma Liz is simply more private that the average person, but that can’t be– I mean, I have a blog. I love Facebook. I’ve had sex in a public park. Or maybe Grandma Liz is bitter and cynical and doesn’t believe that anyone could find someone who loves you so much that he is willing to endure taking posed make-out photos with you– and friend, I am so happy that you evidently have– but how can you get all in flagrante delicto with your PDA in front of a photographer’s Vaseline-fogged Nikkon and then send said shots on bordered cardstock to your second cousin Janeane in Indianapolis who, under normal circumstances, would politely and slightly nauseously turn away if you began nuzzling your lover’s neck in front of her? I CAN FEEL THE CHUNKS RISING IN MY THROAT.
And if I have to wait on one more inane bachelorette party or bridal luncheon, I might just throw in the towel and go Chaz Bono. If these are my fellow women, I don’t want to be a girl. Feather boas? Tiaras? Giant blinking pins? Beer koozies monogrammed with your new initials? Oh yes! I’d love to be reminded of your matrimonial happiness while I’m DRINKING BEER ALONE. Beauty pageant sashes announcing the new missus? Don’t pretend like this is your typical big night out with the girls and you have to get one last crazy weekend in before you settle down with the hubs. Please bitch! You know all you did before you got engaged was sit around in your sweatpants with your friends drinking Mich Ultra and white zin while watching Kate Hudson rom-coms and analyzing when and if and why or why not he was going to propose.
And all the pink penis stuff– straws, pens, noisemakers! Penises are supposed to be pink, but not HOT pink! I mean come on! Have some respect for the male organ! Can you imagine if men walked around their bachelor parties wearing pink vagina hats and eating steaks with pink vagina-shaped knives? First of all, I’m not even sure how a pink vagina-shaped knife would work, and second of all, NO. Men go to strip clubs and actually look at REAL VAGINAS. Which I still think is gross, but at least it’s not FUCKING STUPID. Why not go to a Chippendales and look at some real dick, instead of painting it hot pink and turning it into a straw and pretending you know what you’re doing with it. (Full disclosure: I love drawing dicks. The entire upholstered roof of the station wagon I drove in high school was covered in dicks drawn by my friends. But they were not hot pink. They were big, veiny, triumphant bastards.)
It makes me want to play a new game my best friend Laura invented called: What Would Kate Middleton Do? Do you think Kate had a hen party and waddled around Picadilly Circus in a white bandage dress from Bebe going “Wooooooo! WOoOOooOOOO!” at every snaggle-toothed group of men that passed? Kate Middleton probably did not draw dicks all over the roof of her car, either, and yet– I feel she would find my ’94 Volvo station wagon rather sporting. Anyway, it’s a great life litmus test. Are you lazing in bed trying to motivate yourself to get up and go to the gym? Well: WWKMD? Are you about to dump that pile of freshly laundered clothes on the armchair in your room without folding them; you’ll deal with them later. But– WWKMD? Is 2:30 a.m. and are you drunkenly holding your phone an inch from your face whilst furiously typing a text to that guy you swore you were like, totally done with? Well, Audrina Partridge: WWKMD! Kate Middleton definitely did not bag His Royal Smokeshow Prince William by acting out the lyrics to that Lady Antebellum song.
Although they did date for what, ten years? There’s no way she didn’t send one drunk angry text in ten years. Unless her heart is made of stone or something.
Of course, it’s mostly as a waitress that such wedding accoutrements get under my skin. If any of my friends wanted me to suck down a pina colada with a pink dick straw, I’d be happy to do so. Most of my friends don’t strike me as the pink dick straw type, though. My dear friend Brette, for example. Recently she announced that she wanted to be proposed to not with an engagement ring but “with a three-legged dog.” She thinks, she said, “that would show real commitment.” Or my friend Katie, for example. She once proclaimed that “a diamond solitaire and a proposal in a restaurant” are her, and I quote, “worst nightmare”. Or my darling friend Caro, who is getting married in less than a month and who, over the phone the other night, begged to know, “Why can’t I just wear black? I just want to wear a black dress. Is that so wrong?”
Yes. Yes, every girl in the world has some expectations, some fantasy (whether it be a three-legged dog or a black dress or Prince William himself), of how they are going to get engaged or be married. You don’t watch Snow White over and over on VHS and know all the words to “My Prince Will Come” as a five-year-old for nothing. The only thing I’ve ever really imagined about getting married is doing so in a very particular dress that I once saw in an old Life magazine. I have a picture of it saved on my computer. No, I will not share it with you because THEN YOU WILL STEAL IT FROM ME AND I WILL CUT YOU. It has a hood! A wedding dress that’s also a hoodie! Perfection!
But, all that aside, who doesn’t love a wedding? Even if you’re sitting there thinking you’re not really sure it’s gonna work out in the long run and maybe they might already be out of love and they were just too afraid or lazy to go through the pain and hassle of breaking up so they got married instead and Jesus, that’s a lot of flowers, why spend all that money on something that’s going to be dead in three days? Why not just buy some Wal-Mart roses and then spend the difference on a little Mexican vacance for some of your more select guests, aka moi?– it’s still kind of lovely to see all your old friends, or watch a father waltz clumsily with his daughter, or get sweaty dancing in a nice dress to a rocking soul band, or look upon two people who you, ideally, love, and watch them hold hands and be able to admit to the world that they are in love with each other, for at least a time.
And hey– open bar! If your heart’s still made of stone.