Home & Deranged
Why "Waity Katie" Middleton is an affront to all women: Stop assuming we're allmarriage crazy
As the royal wedding looms ever closer, I find myself filled with greater and greater anticipation — not because one of the world's great love stories will be coming to its ideal conclusion, but because it means I can finally stop reading/watching/hearing all the asinine press coverage of how Kate Middleton managed to land her balding prince.
It's nothing to do with the couple — who I, along with the near-entirety of England, it seems, think are lovely — it's to do with the insistence of the media on dubbing Kate "Waity Katie" and taking just one, excruciatingly narrow angle on the whole thing: How Middleton "landed" her prince. How she "played it" right. How the "poor girl," who must have been chomping at the bit to go charging down the aisle, has finally gotten her way.
I don't claim to know Kate, but then, neither do the media. And it occurs to me that, perhaps, just maybe, this very pretty, well-educated girl from an upper middle class family, a girl with all the options in the world and her whole life ahead of her, wasn't certain she wanted to give it all up for an utterly defining, confining, all-encompassing role — not only as a wife but as a figurehead.
Does it really seem crazy that it all might seem like a lot to take on? That she had to reflect a bit on whether marrying the Prince of England was what she really wanted? That a tiara and a shopping budget might not totally make up for giving up her privacy, her career and arguably her freedom?
It doesn't seem crazy to me. It doesn't even seem unlikely. In fact, it seems perfectly reasonable that William has known all along that he wanted to marry this girl, and that she took a while to come around to the idea. Where is that story written?
That it's the female in the relationship who's perpetually salivating over marriage is a weighted assumption that I regularly encounter myself. At 24 years old and living with a boy I've dated — like Wills and Kate, off and on — for several years, I'm constantly being backed up: If he doesn't marry you, he's crazy! Back-handedly complimented: Don't wait for him too long. You're a catch and these are your good years. And reassured: He'll come around, don't you worry.
Most of these transgressors are men, and nearly all of them are considerably older. (Think co-workers and old family friends — the types of people you have to bite your tongue with until you taste blood.) But it's not the rather archaic preoccupation with marrying young that irks me, it's the across-the-board, totally one-sided assumption that it's the boy who's dragging his feet, while I must be up at night wondering what I can do to pin him down.
The idea that we're content, responsible even, for not rushing into it doesn't seem to enter anyone's mind. Or the concept that, feeling that I'm not yet fully formed, I want to wait.
Well hear this: Some stereotypes are true. I have my dress picked out and tucked away in a misleadingly named file, and I daydream about what song to pick for the first dance at my wedding. But those thoughts take up about an eighth of the space as my weekend plans (Jazz Fest), my parents' health, or where in God's graces my career is headed.
And just once, I'd love to see someone pull my boyfriend aside, give him a knowing look and a hand on the shoulder, and tell him he's a good looking man — I'll come around.