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Royal Wedding

I’d leave the office a little early to run down through the run down area that passed for downtown DC. The National Theatre was staging the biggest show of the century perhaps. It would be a worldwide spectacle and one of particular significance for me.

My big opportunity was going up in … well not quite in flames. Rather it was going up on the biggest screen I had ever seen with a lot of hoopla, fabulous costumes and barely understandable nasal voices intoning hymns and devotion I couldn’t possibly understand. Charles was marrying Diana. The local Gilbert and Sullivan company was assisting, in costume, as ushers and distributorsof lovely little bites of fancy cake. The secretaries of DC and I filled the theater in a distinctly American bond of excitement and mystification. For some a dream was being fulfilled. A royal wedding was playing out before us (with endless footage of an apparently disembodied dress train making it’s way down the aisle.) For me my dream was finally over. I would never be Queen of England.

I realized, even then, that I had been an unlikely choice for Queen. Although all my endless childhood dress-up games featured me as the Queen of England, Charles was unlikely to know, let alone, fancy a short Jewish girl from the Chicago suburbs who had never been on a horse. True, I had studied theatre in England. But I was no longer a virgin–not my biggest drawback, perhaps, but apparently it mattered back then.

And here we are again. This royal wedding seems far less personal to me. Although I am again single and as usual caught in my routine quandary of what-do-I-want-to-be, Queen of England has left the page of considerations, along with so many other fields of specialty. Today I’m quite sure they don’t need a Jewish head of the Anglican Church. Yes, today I understand the concept of Queen Consort. The monarchy seemed quite out of touch in 1981 and seems only many degrees more so today. The royals do seem a bit more interesting and less tacky than Branjo Octo AnisHilton, or whatever. And I might wish we could trade the King of the Comb-over for the Queen of the handbag. But I’m happily insulated by walls of rhododendron on the Pacific Rim, unlikely to look too far east. Oh right, that was me posting Jeff Foxworthy’s “you might live in Oregon” list half an hour ago on Facebook.

So is it “a raging global reality show,” as this morning’s news report proclaimed? Perhaps a member of your family is afflicted with “royal wedding fever.” “Americans seem obsessed with the wedding,” I heard yesterday from the BBC. Well if they say it on the BBC it must be true. I’ll say good luck, y’all. Marriage isn’t easy even if you’ve been living together for a bunch of years, you’re pushing thirty and you have a great party. Been there, done that. I’d do it all again, of course, if I got to be Queen of England.