I can’t tell you how many people asked me recently if I’d spent time with the royals. Seriously!
Of course, they weren’t serious in their query, because it’s pretty much a certainty I don’t run in that crowd. However, I do have to tell you that living here in the midst of “LaLa Land” there are times when I just have to shake my head and wonder about our collective and seemingly endless and frantic voyeurism.
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived by helicopter in my backyard (okay, not REALLY my back yard, but here where I live in Carpinteria, CA) last week, they were joined by hundreds of well-heeled royal watchers, many of whom had not only traveled long distances to see them, but had paid big bucks in the process. The cheap seats cost $400, while anyone paying $4,000 for a VIP ticket got a chance to actually rub elbows with William and his bride. If I were paying $4,000 I would want to rub more than elbows, but that’s probably why I wasn’t invited.
I found myself thinking about all of the little people who make their celebrity possible. And I thought about what a waste of time and money our pursuit of celebrities truly is. For years, I’ve thought that even if they do throw vast sums of money at causes like breast cancer research and support, there would be more in the pot if they would forego their gala soirees and parties, sparkly gowns, designer tuxedos and silent auction items, and simply add the money spent on those frills to help someone in need.
Then I remembered how watching some of this silly stuff got me through both of my “dances” with chemo and radiation. When I was feeling really sick and tired, all I wanted to do was turn on the TV or flip through People Magazine and see what our icons were up to. It was mindless and somehow comforting. I felt so bad, it felt good to see that someone else didn’t. I wanted to believe that someday I would have hair again and be alive – and maybe I, too, would be able to wear a Badgley Mischka gown (or at the very least know how to pronounce the name).
I still feel conflicted about this. When we talk about the great mysteries of life, is this one of them? Do we need to elevate someone to a status higher than ourselves so we have something to aim for? I’m certain much greater minds than mine have struggled with this question (and if I’d paid more attention in school, I could probably tell you who they were)!
I’m thrilled that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appear to be happy young newlyweds. Perhaps some of my dilemma is just this simple – I’m tired of getting all dewy-eyed and hopeful that someone is going to have a magical life only to have them divorce or in some other way disappoint (often before my eyes have had time to dry)! I want fairytale endings. I want happily ever afters. In my life, that would mean hearing a cure for breast cancer has been found, at which point I will be at the front of the line, dressed to the nines. Until then, please excuse me if there are times when I simply want to say: “Let Them Eat Sour Grapes!”