Tears, A Royal Wedding, And A Whole Lot Of Soul

Standard

I’m still slightly reeling from the spectacle, grandeur and emotion that was the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan. As I’ve made no secret, I was looking forward to this event the way most other people would await other key life milestones… like a job promotion, a college graduation, or the birth of a baby— if that baby were a six-foot beardy prince with ginger hair. I was stoked. I was ready.

I set up two DVR recordings in case of a disaster— you never know when one network could go kaput and you need a backup recording to watch, instead. While this may seem excessive and overly-cautious, I really don’t think so. You never know when a stiff breeze could cause a piece of the thousand-year-old Windsor Castle to fall down on top of the ABC News truck. Shit happens. Just ask all those people in Hawaii who have molten lava running through their neighborhoods.

I woke up early to watch the event and all the guests arriving to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor. It was a beautiful, clear day— I didn’t notice a big wind, which boded well for the ABC News truck. There were celebrities and royals, and a lot of people that I didn’t recognize. I assume these people were friends, or family— and not random strangers or seat fillers like they have at the Oscars.

The sea of arriving colored hats, pastel frocks and dreary grey suits did grow tiresome after a while, which made me briefly regret waking up so early for the wedding in the first place. But, then, when the bride arrived and stepped out of that super old and fancy Rolls Royce, I was transfixed. She looked like a princess from an old Hollywood movie, wearing a simple, classy dress that could just as easily have been fashionable in 1950, as it would be in 2050. Timeless. She floated up the stairs and the church aisle like a veiled pixie. And I mean VEILED! That beautiful lace veil had to be at least 15 feet long. It was big enough to double as a WWII parachute. After the wedding this morning, she could have been dropped by a plane over northern France and still have had time to save some poor villagers from Nazis before making it back to the castle for dinner. Yes, the veil was that epic.

So, by this point in the wedding, I was super committed. I was all-in. But, then, as Meghan swept to the front of the church, where Harry awaited, I saw a glisten in the groom’s eye. I felt a mountain of “awws” rush up from inside of me, in a place in my heart that I usually only access when I’m watching a romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts.

It got worse. As Meghan and Harry were beaming and holding hands during the beginning of the service, I saw beads of moisture escaping his eyes. He reached up several times to brush them away. He was crying. PRINCE HARRY WAS FUCKING CRYING. Holy shit. I felt tears prickle my own eyes.

This was an astonishing development, because I, like, NEVER cry. I’m not one of those girls that cries at the drop of a hat… or when there is an especially touching Hallmark commercial with an old man wearing suspenders and a bow tie. I cry only when I really, really mean it. Like when a loved one dies, a pet has to be put to sleep, or my internet goes down for more than twenty minutes.

So, the fact that I was crying watching a British prince tear up at his own wedding is quite a feat. I didn’t know Harry had it in him. I didn’t know I had it in me.

Luckily, as the boring parts of the service began, Harry and I worked through some of our emotions until we were on a steady keel, again.

Until… Bishop Michael Curry, a high-ranking preacher from Chicago (yes, Illinois, USA!!), took the pulpit for the main sermon. His rousing, passionate speech had the effect of a lightning bolt striking Windsor Castle. It was like a revival had taken root inside of St. George’s Chapel.

Half the gathered 600 guests were struck dumb— confused and bewildered by the crescendoed words flying from the first African-American leader of the Episcopal Church’s soul. A sermon, such as this, had never been delivered at a royal wedding before— events that are generally known for their stoicism, tradition, and… yes, I’m gonna say it… boringness.

The other wedding guests, not incapacitated by shock by Bishop Curry, were either smiling, smirking, or, if you were Prince William, slightly giggling (and hoping no one saw).

But… yes, William, I did see you.

I’m certain William was thinking of his own wedding service, and how staid and vanilla that it was. And that only his cheeky little brother, Harry, could get away with having a rousing wedding service such as this. Lucky bastard.

A gospel choir followed up this sermon with a gorgeous version of Stand By Me, which nearly had me yelling AMEN! at my television while I tried not to cry again. I think I did hear Elton John sniffing, at this point, also, but it could have just been all in my head. (So many things are, after all.)

It was beautiful. But, for fuck’s sake, the crying needed to stop.

I made it through the vows. And all the remaining loved-up cuteness of the bride and groom, to the point when they all exited the church— to the sound of the gospel choir, again— to wave to the crowds outside. Then, Harry piled Meghan, and her parachute veil, into a horse-drawn carriage that they stole from Disneyland to take a ride around town.

Okay, so maybe they didn’t steal the carriage… but, those horses looked so damn perfect that I’d swear that they were animated.

By this point, I was glad the wedding was nearly over. I didn’t think I could handle any more emotion, or pomp, or circumstance. I was emotionally and physically spent. My soul was full.

But, my stomach wasn’t.

So, I pulled out my tiny curried egg sandwiches, and some tea, and chowed down. I didn’t have any fancy china or teacups to use, so I searched for the most royal-looking cup I could find in my cupboard.

The winner? An Aladdin mug.

Before you protest my choice, please take note of the picture on the mug. The palace in Agrabah. That’s where Jasmine lives. And she’s a fucking princess. So, there.

It seems fitting on another level, too. For as Jasmine and Aladdin sang about “a whole new world” in the movie, Bishop Curry’s final remarks to Harry and Meghan were “…we will make of this old world a new world.

And, if this wedding is any indication, they are well on their way.

IMG_4971

Curried Egg Salad… And A Royal Wedding Countdown

Standard

I’m probably one of the last people you’d expect to be a obsessed with Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s royal wedding— or, really, any royal wedding. But, alas, I am. I’ve been counting down the days to this event the same way a nine-year-old does before summer vacation. I am EXCITED. Let me clarify that further— I am SUPER FUCKING EXCITED.

It is important to note that I’m generally not known to be a person that lacks enthusiasm in my everyday life. Quite to the contrary— my obsessive nature means that if you were to compare my enthusiasm level to Homeland Security’s color-coded terror alert level, I’ll always come in as at least ‘elevated’ — if not higher. I’m like an al-Qaeda terror attack just waiting to happen.

But, there are times when my excitement hits an abnormally high level. Moments when my palms get sweaty and my heart actually races. And, with this royal wedding, that’s definitely happening right now. This is an extraordinary achievement, because usually I only hit this level of anticipation under these kinds of circumstances:

• I’m drinking my first pumpkin spice latte of the year.

• I unexpectedly see a photo of Henry Cavill online.

• I’m watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games on TV.

• I get to write a joke about a dictator (preferably Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Un).

As these scenarios are quite specific, this finger-tingling level of joy is fleeting and rare. But, this time, Harry and Meghan have delivered big time. They’ve dished me up a giant helping of YAAAAAAAY!

I’m totally committed to this event. I’m reading all the news articles about the wedding, following all The Royal Family’s social media accounts, and watching all the TV specials. It’s been great. While I had a similar attachment to Prince William’s wedding to Kate, Meghan’s Americanness makes this especially exciting. Plus, it’s fun to watch the priggish British press freak out about a bi-racial American divorcée marrying their beloved Harry. It makes me want to stand up and cheer. (If I could actually stand up, that is.)

All that said… intellectually, I am not a fan of the concept of a monarchy. I don’t like the notion that a person can be born into a position that, supposedly, makes them better than an entire nation full of people. It’s dumb. And archaic. It’s why America fought a revolution and why France invented the guillotine.

The monarchy shouldn’t exist in a modern world. It really, really shouldn’t.

But…

The fact that it does exist means that I’m going to soak up the ridiculous, messy spectacle that it is. Like a labrador retriever licking a spoon of peanut butter until it’s completely gone.

So, in the hours leading up to the royal wedding, I’ve got everything planned. Here are the pertinent details:

•   My DVR is set for 2am California Time. While I’m super stoked about the whole thing, I’m not deranged enough to wake up that early on a Saturday morning to watch it live. I’m obsessive, but not fucking stupid. Also, I have my DVR set to two different channels in case one network has a technical disaster. Imagine if, as Meghan is about to step out of the car in her dress, a fucking NBC antenna tower falls on top of a royal horse? Signal lost. Feed lost. I would be majorly pissed.

• I’ve got English Breakfast Tea. The jury is still out on if I will actually drink this on Saturday morning, though. I’m generally a coffee girl (as I’ve mentioned previously), but I might give it a go for the tradition of it all… plus, the tea bag has a pretty label.

Curried Egg Salad is on the menu. I’m making mini tea sandwiches to eat on Saturday morning, too. I’m doing curried egg salad, which is the most ridiculously British type of sandwich I could dream up. (I forgot to buy a cucumber at the store. #fail) It’s important to note that I’ve never eaten curried egg salad before. So, it might be total shit. This is highly possible because British food generally blows.

I will be doing none of these things while wearing a hat. I don’t care if hats are required at British royal weddings. I’m not wearing one. Frankly, I don’t need to wear something that will make my head look any bigger than it already is.

I’d best go… it’s time to rest up for the big day. Look out, Harry & Meghan, here I come!

IMG_4963

Brexit Woes

Standard

I’ve always been fascinated by all things British. Shakespeare was an early literary favorite – and before he was usurped by George Clooney in my esteem, Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy held a special place in my teenage heart.

British history is full of drama and intrigue – rivaling, if not surpassing, the bloodiest and wildest episodes of Game of Thrones. I know that may not seem possible. But without the inspiration of British history, author George R.R. Martin would have probably been stuck writing episodes for Sesame Street. Imagine that. Poor Elmo.

Anyway, before this week, I had believed that Britain’s days of strife and drama were far behind them. I mean, they hadn’t cut off a royal’s head in … well… centuries. They had matured and developed into a nation where their most dangerous export was Simon Cowell. But now all that has changed.

Last week, in a shocking national referendum dubbed “Brexit,” a slim majority of the folks living in the United Kingdom voted to withdraw from the European Union. While this may not sound like a big deal, trust me, it is. If you are a fan of analogies, here’s one for you. Imagine that the European Union is the United States, and that the United Kingdom is California. The Brexit vote is pretty much equivalent to California deciding to declare independence and be its own country.

If you were paying slightest bit of attention in 11th grade U.S. History, you should know that the last time part of our country tried to withdraw from the United States, we fought a Civil War to force them back into the fold. So you can imagine the aftermath of this Brexit vote.

In the days following last week’s referendum, the British pound has tanked in value and stock markets around the world have – please excuse the technical term – freaked the $%&# out. France and Germany, the other two most influential members of the European Union, are now treating Britain like a cheating spouse – demanding that the U.K. hurry and pack up their crap to get the hell out of the house.

The British people themselves are heavily divided on this issue – causing tension across the British Isles. I don’t think there has been this much drama in the U.K. since King Henry VIII went on a rampage and got rid of five of his wives.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will see how the Brexit vote will play out for the U.K. and the world, at large. While I hope for the best, I can’t help but quote the incorrigible Mr. Shakespeare …

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!”