Monday, April 25, 2011
I have checked my mailbox every day since November, but so far the invitation has not arrived. Perhaps the royal messenger assigned to hand-deliver ran into trouble on Interstate 70; perhaps my invitation was accidentally mailed to the Beckhams, sending Victoria into a tizzy over how many chip-and-dips she is actually expected to bring. In any case, I am not taking it personally.
Thanks to the miracle of television, I won’t have to miss a single minute of William and Kate’s wedding this Friday.
“Why do you care?” people, specifically my husband, might (have) ask(ed).
The truth is, because I am a girl. I might look like a grown-up complete with gray hairs, wrinkles and a minivan, but inside I am still the girl who swoons at the very mention of the words “royal” and “wedding.” And, of course, “half of Wham!”
I get all jolly-giddy at the prospect of British pageantry, surrounded by guards with bright red jackets and tall fuzzy hats that await the arrival of 3-year-old bridesmaids in real, honest-to-goodness horse-drawn carriages that have never seen tourist money exchanged in Central Park but, rather, live to cart around a family whose governing role simultaneously eludes and fascinates me.
“Fine,” the same people might say, “but why are you getting up so early? Why don’t you just record it?”
This is because I am a woman. A woman who cannot remember when soccer practice ends but remembers vividly being a 9-year-old girl watching Charles and Diana marry in the wee hours of the morning. No matter how ill-suited for each other we would later find out they were, that moment held excitement, celebration and a blushing bride with a 25-foot train behind her.
For the rest of the summer, whenever my sister and I played house, I would marry my own Royal (George Brett), wearing an old bridesmaid’s dress of my mom’s with enough blankets tied to the back of it to create a 25-foot train that I carefully laid out behind me as I descended the basement stairs to the make-believe altar. Walking down the stairs with a trail of tied-up blankets behind me was hard enough, but couple that with the white dish towel I used for the blusher veil over my face and the whole thing became quite hazardous, not to mention very pathetic-looking.
But in my mind, I was a beautiful (child) bride with nothing but joy ahead.
William and Kate seem to have a much better shot at a happily married life together than Charles and Diana or George and I did, and the radiant smiles on their royal faces are magnets to women like me who delight in the opportunity to relive their childhood dreams and grown-up awe that Diana brought to us, one designer outfit at a time.
So I will be up before the sun, eager to attend the wedding from the sofa in our basement with any friends who wish to join. Tea and crumpets on me, jammies optional, tiara required.
— Julie Dunlap can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.