Sort of Like a Car Wreck, Funky Hats, and Strange Clothes

I didn’t intend to watch the Royal Wedding, but since it was on every single channel that Jerry relies upon for news, I got treated to a few bits and pieces.   I found another big difference between the UK and the US also, and I found it a bit disquieting.  I’ve never seen white American women wear the funky hats like I saw on today’s wedding guests.  The last time I saw hats like that, they were on black women dressed up for church.  The only white woman I’ve ever seen wearing big funky hats is the Queen.  She was wearing a nice big yellow one today, which I thought looked nice on her. 

I would love to wear that hat out in public- even though I am as white as what comes out of a Wonder bread factory- but if I showed up for church with that on I would likely get some giggles, and not a few stares. 

I hate to admit it, but I’m afraid to wear the (much tamer) vintage pink satin hat (or any of the other various vintage dress hats) I do have out in public, and it’s a shame.  Hats are fun.  Why should white American women be denied them?  British women wear them.  Black American women wear them.  Why not us?

Since when did I give a rat’s ass about others’ opinions on my personal choices in millinery?  Or anything else for that matter?

I should wear the pink satin hat to church and see if anyone says anything about it.

The whole royal wedding business is sort of like a car wreck, as Jerry found out this morning.  He kept watching it in spite of himself, and he’s a dude. (at least the last time I checked…) You really don’t want to watch it, because you don’t know anyone involved in it, and the whole pomp and circumstance thing seems kind of silly to most Americans, but there’s something painfully compelling about it,  just like when there’s a car wreck and everyone has to stop and gawk at it.  You know you shouldn’t, but you do anyway.

The arrival of the minivans/microbuses sort of surprised me.  Perhaps they were shuttles from far-flung parking areas, because there weren’t enough valets to drive everyone’s car back and forth, but there’s something anticlimatic about arriving to such a Big Event in a glorified Mom van.  It put me slightly in mind of the Town and Country Hearse conversion.  If I have to go to a high faluting event and wear scratchy clothes, be friendly with people I don’t know from Adam’s housecat, and be on my best behavior, I want to make an Entrance rather than ride in a microbus with fifteen other people.  But then again, how people arrive at such events is determined by how far up the chain you are.   At an event like this I would be the Turd Entering the Punch Bowl,  like I had to be at my sister’s wedding, which is another reason I wouldn’t want to have to go.   I know my station in life: just slightly removed from the trailer park.  My hair designer is whoever is currently working at whichever Great Clips I have the coupon for, my colorist is Nice and Easy #124, and my clothing is provided by a combination of discount sources- including the discount rack at Target, Goodwill, garage sales, and the clearance items I find at various discount clothing sites online.

I can’t say that I am necessarily jealous of the high-faluting set, other than they generally don’t have to worry about whether they can afford both food and scripts.  I’m not a terribly social person anyway.

Even so, (back to the stop and gawk mentality…) It was interesting to see some of the guests.  I think the most outrageous hat of the day prize has to go to Princess Beatrice.

I don’t think I’ve seen anything that outrageous even on the black church ladies.  For good or ill, it got her noticed, which I think is the whole point of the hat thing. Women with funky hats do get noticed.

I thought it a bit strange that Elton John and his significant other were invited, but Elton is a good friend of the Queen, so I guess that was sort of a logical invite.  I am glad to see Elton was dressed as a man and not in a dress or a Donald Duck costume or something.  It would have been a lot more fun to watch, though.

People are always watching to see if people will fall, or knock things over, or puke or do something else embarrassing at high-faluting, high profile occasions like this.  I’m sure people were watching to see if the wind would blow up ladies’ skirts, or if the little kids would fight, or someone would fall, etc. and so on.   I’m sure photographers would kill for a shot of some high profile socialite or even one of the royals picking their nose, picking their crotch, falling, making nasty faces, breaking a heel, the list goes on.  There are entire TV shows based up on unknown people doing stupid things (Most Daring, Smoking Gun Presents, etc.) so it’s even more priceless to the viewers when someone important screws up.  I have to admit I enjoy the crap out of that kind of stuff even though I probably shouldn’t.  But who’s not going to laugh about some skater nutting himself while trying to jump rails, or some idiot falling through a drop ceiling in the midst of committing a robbery?

Maybe part of the reason why we watch things like royal weddings or Presidential funerals or other high pomp and circumstance events is not because we necessarily enjoy them, but because our own lives are rather colorless and boring by comparison.  Nobody cares about some obscure, aging, cougar who sells automotive parts in the heart of fly-over country. When Ronald Reagan died, he had a 21 gun salute and a pretty impressive send off.  When I die, Steve-o will get my ashes from the crematory, and like as not he will store them in an old Folger’s can that he will later mistake for an ashtray. Granted, Reagan had a lot more useful life than I could ever have, so he deserved a good send off.

Maybe we watch such things to simply gawk at the strange clothes.

However, we can see a lot stranger clothing without ever having to leave the States.

And even better:

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