Yes, we Cinderellas are going to party like it’s 1799!
Well, everyone’s off at the ball (the RWA National in Atlanta), and we stay-at-homes do feel left out, because we are left out, even though some of us chose to be left out due to a multiplicity of good reasons.
But instead of sulking or drinking myself under the Hepplewhite, I think I’ll just expand upon what my fellow Cinderella, the clever Loretta, said about Royalty. Specifically, the failure of some royals to get dates right, or do addition, etc.
Funny, because I was just thinking about it the other morning in the shower. (From whence come my best thoughts. If I could only write underwater!)
These days, we Americans mostly pay attention to foreign royalty if they make asses of themselves, which they are prone to do. Or if they wear really ugly hats, which they are also fond of doing. Or if they cheat on each other in spectacular fashion, or marry people who look like thoroughbreds – of the racing track. Otherwise, the general American attitude towards royalty seems to be “what’s it to me?”
But for centuries, the peasants of every land filled their hardworking, joyless days with gossip about their royalty. It enlivened their lives and enthralled them completely. Thinking about all that money and fame and all those lives of lechery and privilege made them envious, but also gave them something to dream about, and in a way, made them feel better about their own lot in life too.
As in: “Aye, she’s got jewels and money, but look ‘ow ‘er ‘usband treated ‘er. ‘e took ‘er ‘ead off, din’t ‘e?”
Seeing royalty suffering or acting like idiots in spite of their power and position somehow made pulling up beets and hauling dung easier. People needed royalty for a sense of direction as well as entertainment and lessons in morality.
(I’ve always thought the bright cry: “The King Is Dead, Long Live the King” that goes up when a king dies pretty much sums it up. Sorta like, “OK, enough of that, bring on the next act!”
And in those days royals were shrewder, more vicious and clever than their well born relatives. Breeding, or inbreeding, however, will tell. These days most of their royals can’t find their posteriors with both hands.
We don’t have royals here in America. So what did we do instead?
We make royalty of actors and singers, musicians, sports figures, chefs and dancers, starlets and hunks, and even some famous people who are famous because they say so.
They don’t even have to be talented. Only eye-catching and present.
We talk about them. We have newspaper articles and TV shows and magazines devoted to them. They have money! They have mansions and jewels and lovers and live as licentiously as any depraved duke of old ever did.
Most of these people come from humble origins, so that gives up hope for ourselves. And they’re better than European Royalty because any old body can become one of them. Not just marrying into an inbred family, or being born into one.
To be American royalty you can even just win a talent show on TV, or be a winsome runner-up. Or eat more slugs and bugs than your competitors. Then get a bucket for the money that will come rolling in, and prepare to bask in public adoration.
The best part about it? We dispose our Royalty when they bore us. And eventually, they always do.
We did it over two hundred years ago, after all. I guess we sort of got the hang of it.
So if a member of the English royal family can’t count without taking off her shoes, who cares?
We’ve got heaps of royals. And if any one of them stops amusing us – off with their heads! Or at least, their incomes.
That, I think, is as it should be.
And not just because I’m not going to the ball or meeting Prince Charming there or anything like that!