4.29.2011

The Royal Marriage: Weighing Pros and Cons

I was very happy for Prince William that he found a lovely woman to fall in love with, build a relationship with, and eventually marry.

This is just the beginning of their hopefully very happy and long lives together. It's especially auspicious they allowed him to marry freely, of his own accord, with a woman of the "common" class. However, please stop the frenzy. Really.

What did you think of her dress? Are you participating in one of the breakfast tea parties to watch at 4:00 am? What were the royals wearing?

That's all I could hear this morning on almost every channel on the radio on the way to work. Then online, on Facebook, Twitter, news websites...everywhere. I call it estrogen saturation. I can't take that. Really I can't.

The buildup for the past week or so about the event, the details, and the excitement was palpable. I see how this is a happy event a long time in coming for a family, and a guy especially, who experienced grave losses in the past. It's also something positive, joyful, and naive to look forward to in a time of social and economic turmoil across the globe.

But seriously, to be making such a huge deal out of a wedding? I'm always so troubled by how women, especially, get carried away by a wedding day's artificial and utterly unreachable, oxygen-restricted heights of expectation. Expensive dresses, limousines, exotic flowers, delectable delicacies. The virginal aura of the bride in an impeccable white  dress. The masculine, regaliaed prince. Talk about ancient stereotypes.

Did they get to let their hair loose and hang out later in jeans? Did they enjoy an aperitif in their private quarters with their closest BFFs and shoot the breeze about the crowds gawking and paparazzi flashing? I'd love to find that out. That would even out the event a little for me. Bring it a little back down to earth's stratosphere.

And besides doing much about one particular ceremony, that happens on one particular day, what about giving some thought to the long-term? We're not really celebrating a day, or a ceremony, we're celebrating a merging of two people's lives. Two people's intellects. Two people's dreams and goals.

We're overdoing it guys. There's royals in almost every country in Europe. They get married all the time. Do you get 24-hour coverage of their weddings? No. Why? I don't know. Maybe we're getting unusual coverage of Britain's royals because they speak English. Maybe the other royals aren't as photogenic. Who knows.

Maybe it's just a way to capitalize on a happy event after a streak of low consumerism and enthusiasm *cough* global recession *cough*. I kept seeing notices about special women breakfasts and themed events all over Facebook and enewsletters for weeks leading up to the wedding. Themed breakfasts and wedding-themed paraphernalia surely put some gold back in shops' coffers today?

What about the fanaticism over a traditional religious rite of passage of a particular culture? We put blinders on to build a crescendo of expectation and enthusiasm. It's a feeding frenzy. It's all we see. Does it matter we may not have the same religious beliefs? Does it matter we're not traditional/conservative? Does it matter we're on food stamps and it's the end of the month? Does it matter we may be of differing sexual orientation?

What's the appeal of seeing expensive things paraded in front of our eyes? By (idol) worshiping at the highest level of voyeurism, in essence, awe-struck and doe-eyed at such showmanship of tradition, aren't we escaping reality and ourselves? Do we need to that badly? Escaping our surroundings and purposefully diving into an artificial state of suspended animation?

As a person who supports progressiveness while maintaining respect and some preservation of the past, I really ache at seeing how much fanfare people give to these symbolic, religious, and traditionally sexually-oriented events. What about the rest of the people who don't fall into these categories? What about secularism? What about objective respectful appreciation rather than objectification?

Are we losing our marbles? I know I have lost mine, a long time ago, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms. What did you do today, besides gawk? I turned away.

/rantover