My paternal grandfather was born and raised in Cornwall, England, and came to the United States by way of Canada. At this moment, I can't recall exactly how old he was when he arrived stateside, but I know he spent most of his younger years in England. I'd call my parents to ask, but I am just too lazy to do so right now because I woke up at 3:50 am this morning (but it's a good reminder to get that shit in writing, because I'm notorious for forgetting those kinds of details.)
He died when I was 8 years old (mere months after the death of BOTH of my maternal grandparents) but he was, according to family tales and foggy memories, one of my most favorite people in the whole world. It may have been because I was the only granddaughter on that side of the family, the first precious baby girl after five male grandchildren (and my dad has two brothers), but people tell me that I lit up his life, and he mine. My mom recently finished a "mom book" for me after procrastinating on filling it out for FOUR YEARS (see where I get it from?) I haven't read the whole book yet, but I saw a portion where she states that when I was born, my grandpa looked into the nursery window and said he wanted to live long enough to dance at my wedding. Clearly, that didn't happen (even if he would have hung on past my 9th birthday, he would be 98 now, and there's no wedding on the horizon) but isn't that sweet? I am sure everyone thinks "Oh, of course he said that...he's a grandpa!" but the English are not an emotional bunch. In the book my mom states how that comment touched her heart, because she had never seen him show emotion before that moment.
When I traveled to London in 2005, I immediately fell in love with the city. The history, the people, the fashion, the building, the cute British sayings; I ate it all up. I was SAD to have to go home, not just in a "Oh no, my vacation's over!" kind of way, but in a "This place is so comforting to me." I have been a fan of the Royal family for ages: I will never forget where I was or how I felt when Princess Diana died. I have been an amateur Kate Middleton fan pretty much ever since she started dating Prince William. I know I am not British, but that doesn't mean my love for them is dumb or misguided. I had a similar feeling of comfort when I traveled to Ireland in 2006, I think in large part because I pretty much look like everyone else in that country and felt very primal and "with my people" there.
I'm not a big television watcher, so perhaps I haven't seen nearly as much pre-wedding coverage as everyone else. Perhaps I'm not sick of the media circus because I am not a frequent consumer of television (and if you are, maybe you should rethink that?) Perhaps it's because I truly love all the pomp over this wedding. It IS a big deal. I mean, a lot of American media outlets went crazy over Chelsea Clinton's wedding, didn't they? This is more exciting, in my opinion, because of the rich history, interesting traditions, and social significance this has in their country. I mean, the PRINCE is marrying a COMMONER, and NO ONE CARES. Remember all the hoopla when Matt Damon started dating a woman who was his waitress at a restaurant? That was like an American royal dating a commoner...it was kind of a big deal. I feel like the media kept bringing up the fact that Kate is not from an aristocratic background just as a fact, not because they think it's ridiculous. I truly believe the country is happy that a member of the Royal family is saying "to hell with rules" and is following his heart. How very romantic.
This morning was amazing - I had the TV on from 4 am until I left (begrudgingly - how can someone expect me to WORK when I haven't seen all of Kate's dresses yet?!) for work at 8:50 am. I had meetings all morning and afternoon but have been checking into new developments since I returned to my office at 2:30 pm. I rarely consider myself a romantic and quite frankly am not a huge fan of weddings, but I felt so elated this morning at the romance and pageantry of the service.
I have seen so many people hating on those of us who were into the wedding. I UNDERSTAND there were tragic, horrible, horrific tornadoes that hit the southern states this week. I KNOW there was horrible devastation and many, many people died and the count will unfortunately probably get higher as they continue search & rescue/recover missions. As someone who routinely follows currents events, I know that things are BAD in a lot of places of the world. I understand, I really do. Sometimes I understand so much that I start to believe the Mayans and get really philosophical and contemplative and ask myself "What does it all mean?", "Why are we here?!" which aren't awesome internal conversations to have when you live alone and are chronically single in your early 30s.
The nice thing about the wedding, aside from the beautiful outfits, horses, carriages, cars (how DID they get them so shiny?!), people, etc. is that it was a chance to believe in a real-life fairytale. Sorry I'm not sorry for eating up every moment of it.