Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Wedding

My friend Tim called me up Thursday mid-morning with a brilliant idea: he was going to throw together a Royal Wedding Viewing Party.

Truth be told, I had no plans on trying to catch the event live and I figured there would be more than enough re-caps online after the fact if I wanted to find out how it went down. However, when he talked it up and mentioned that the idea started because his Mum (who is English) suggested that she and his dad might drive down from LA to watch it with them...well, why not? This sort of thing doesn't come around very often. It's a once-in-a-generation kind of occasion. I mean, I wasn't even alive for the Charles and Diana wedding!  Prince William and I were born the same year.

He invited another one of his friends to come along, and she brought her young daughters with her, one of whom is just old enough to appreciate the celebration of a new princess very much. It was adorable to watch her groggily try and wake up as her mom brought her back downstairs a few minutes before the ceremony, and she was pretty fixated on it from there on out. Tim and his wife have 2 boys. The 3 year old went down for the count a little after 10pm and stayed in bed--nothing in it for him! Haha. The other is still an infant and he actually ended up waking up and joining us while we were still watching Dr. Who and Top Gear in the hours leading up to the start of events.

This was at some point between the recessional and the balcony appearance. 
I showed up at about 10 after a power nap and we dined on traditional English foods, such as Cornish pasties, sausage rolls, and various meat pies, and everyone except for Tim and myself took a nap for a few hours in the time leading up to the procession that started around 2am Pacific Time.

It really did end up being a wonderful occasion. As an American, I cannot even begin to fathom this kind of event with all its pomp and circumstance. We have nothing of the sort here--no, not even our Inagural balls for our presidents can touch it.

It's so fascinating to me to take in this sort of thing, with its historical roots reaching back to before my home country even existed. I'm proud to be an American (and every time they played "God Save the Queen", in my head I sang "My Country Tis of Thee"), however, a part of me wished I was British today so that I could fully appreciate that which laid before me. It's so very easy to become jaded and cynical about this sort of thing in this day and age and in the wake of natural disasters, financial crises, etc., but when has that ever been a really good reason not to take the opportunity to feel good and celebrate something?  Some folks get almost defensively sarcastic about the whole event.  I totally get it if you don't feel the need to watch it live--or at all, but c'mon...just let yourself have a smile for a happy occasion and go about your business!  After all, the last widely televised event involving this family was mired in tragedy.  It felt so good to see them all beaming with joy.  And, of course, it was just plain fun to share such an experience with a group of people.  Think of it as a Super Bowl party that only comes once every 30 years or so.  Even if you don't care one way or another for the team, you go to enjoy good company and good food and in another generation you can tell the people who weren't born or too young to remember the last one what it was like.

At any rate, I stayed just long enough to see the iconic balcony appearance (with *both* kisses, if you please), and I headed home to contemplate my options. Give the cat her insulin, change, and go straight to work at an ungodly early hour (so that I could leave at a similarly early time), grab what little sleep I could then go in, or use some sick time and stay home? I opted for the second option and I got a solid 2 hours before heading to work and grabbing a double shot espresso from Starbucks on the way in. I think it was just enough to get me through.  I may be tired, but for me, the entire thing was totally worth it!



P.S. I am so deadly serious when I say that when I first caught glimpse of Princess Beatrice coming into the cathedral, I thought it was Lady GaGa.  If you wanted to get some attention, honey, you got it!

P.P.S. And same to you, Samantha Cameron, for doing the opposite!  For some reason I thought she was Spanish, and have been joking all night/day that that's why she said, "Feh!" to the hat, but she is English.