Bollocks, Kate Middleton. It was a “total shock” when Prince William proposed to you three weeks ago while you were “on holiday” at a quiet safari lodge in Africa? But you’ve been together (on and off) for almost nine years! Are you telling me that in all that time the subject of marriage never came up? (We know it must have, because in your recent ITV News interview with Tom Bradby, Prince William mentioned that lately you and he had been discussing your future and the possibility of marriage.) So why did Prince William alone get to decide when to take one of the biggest steps of your lives? Because he’s royalty and you’re a commoner – albeit a rich one?
Last time I checked, the Queen’s name was Elizabeth, not Victoria. So what’s with the outdated 19th-century traditions? You and Prince William are in your 20s. You already live together. (Sinners!) You say you’re down-to-earth and have good senses of humor, respectively. And yet Prince William orchestrates your marriage proposal as though it’s a scene out of a Jane Austen novel? At least Jane Austen was a mistress of satire. And she never married. So there.
Now, I’m picking on poor Kate Middleton because she happens to be the only future Queen of England who has announced her engagement to a member of the British royal family lately. I have nothing against her or Prince William, and I wish them the best. But, even with all their wealth, fame, breeding (well, not you, Kate), titles, palaces, private staffs, butlers, maids, formal balls, international travel, and African holidays, you couldn’t pay me to have their relationship. Wait – because I don’t know the ins-and-outs of Kate’s and William’s particular courtship, let me rephrase that: You couldn’t pay me to have the kind of relationship where the dude calls the shots and the woman sits around and waits for the dude to call the shots. You don’t have to be a staunch, bra-burning feminist to think that’s an unhealthy relationship dynamic. Plus, William isn’t my type. I’m more of a Harry girl.
I know, I know: I’m a sour, jaded spinster who hates romance and wants to ruin everyone’s happiness because I experience none of my own. (Not true. I’m happily married. Ha!) But regardless of my marital status, I’m also a person. A thinking person who believes that relationships mean: “equal partners who share in the decision-making processes,” not: “it’s up to the man to take action, while the woman’s job is simply to react to her husband.”
I’ve never understood engaged couples who tell stories of the man getting down on one knee, presenting a rock, and proposing to the woman, much to her delighted and tearful surprise. (Sniff, sniff…I thought he’d never ask!) But then again, I don’t believe in soulmates, either. Why should I get bogged down in certain traditions and arcane concepts that may actually prevent me from having the kind of 50/50 relationship I want? I know what you’re thinking: What the hell is her problem? What does she have against lovely wedding-related traditions that people have been practicing and upholding for a really long time? Well, here’s how I’m answering: Guess what other lovely wedding-related traditions people having been practicing and upholding for a really long time? Bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, registering for a bunch of crap even though you and your fiance could just go out and buy that bunch of crap yourselves, garters, nine bridesmaids and nine groomsmen, tiaras, giant 24-karat diamond rings dripping with the blood of underpaid African child miners, throwing the bouquet, dry weddings. All accepted. All acceptable. All wrong.
Kate: I hope you and Prince William have a long, happy, peaceful, and content life together. But, on the off-chance that you don’t, I hope that you’ll at least have the guts, balls, spine, and male-decision-making powers to ask Prince William for a divorce yourself. Surprise! See how he reacts to you calling the shots.