Friday, April 29, 2011

Going to the Chapel

Twenty seven years ago Tom brought me to Canada to meet his family. It only took me 24 hours to offend his Irish Catholic mother, Carmen, unfortunately Tom didn’t give me the Future Mother In Law manual explaining that in her world the Pope, Kennedys and the Royal Family were all sacred. In a very short period of time I somehow managed to diss all of them, prompting Carmen to have the obligatory “Do you really want to do this?” discussion with her son.

In spite of our rocky start, Carmen and I eventually built a loving relationship based on mutual respect. Somewhere along the way I came to appreciate the things that were important to her, even the Royals.

Tom’s brother Danny was to be married around the same time as Charles and Diana, and at one point his mother asked her granddaughter Katie if she was excited about attending her uncle’s upcoming wedding. Katie’s reply was “Not really, I’ll just stay home and watch it on TV.” - This is a story that Carmen loved to tell, again and again.

For what it’s worth, here are a few random thoughts about today’s Royal Wedding:

  • Even though Diana and Charles didn’t exactly have a fairy tale ending, they did pave the way for their sons to have a better and more authentic life. Because his parents knocked the Royals off their pedestal, William was able to marry a commoner, and has a much better understanding of the challenges ahead. I would like to think that Diana is looking down from heaven, smiling upon her beautiful boy.
  • Even though people have grudgingly accepted Camilla Parker Bowles, recent polls show that more than half of Brits think that William should be the next King instead of his father. Like Wallace Simpson and Yoko Ono - Camilla will always be known as the ‘chick that broke up the band’.
  • Fashionistas are already giving Fergie’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie two thumbs down for their royal wedding attire. Come on, really people? Do I need to remind you that they’re at an age when they should be taking chances instead of playing it safe. Am I the only one who will admit to having Flock of Eagles hair in my youth? Wouldn’t life be boring if we all dressed and looked the same? Shouldn’t we be celebrating the fact that they seem to be normal teenagers, instead of Stepford princesses?
  • Someone recently asked me if I was offended that the Obamas weren’t invited to the wedding. Not at all. The wedding should be about William and Kate, and as much as I love Michelle and Barack their presence would have only distracted from that. Not to mention they needed to be home, attending to the southern states recently ravaged by tornadoes.
  • More than anything I hope William and Kate have a wonderful life. Let’s give them the space they need to do normal, couple things - like argue about who’s turn it is to walk the Corgis.
This is for you Katie, I hope you always remember how much Carmen loved you.