Tag Archives: celebrities

Fit for a King

From the age of 13 to 15 I wished beyond anything else that I could marry Prince William.  Yes, he was very cute in those days, but his being cute wasn’t nearly as attractive as his being royal.  I used to imagine the People magazine cover of our engagement and our soon-to-be wedding.  Laugh all you want, but Kate Middleton did nothing but prove that my fantasy wasn’t far from reality (just…not for me).

I had an entire wall of posters of him, postcards of his face from friends who visited the UK, and teen magazine tear-outs analyzing his moppy hair.  I even wrote a three-page letter to his fan club, which ranks among the most embarrassing acts of my entire life.

Needless to say, I developed an obsession with all things British-royalty.  The palaces, the houses in the country, the clothing, the peacock hats pinned to the sides of heads, the wealth, the formality, the etiquette, the travel.  But nothing held the same fantastical appeal as the creme de le creme: royal weddings.

Remember Diana’s?  I don’t.  I wasn’t alive.  But the pictures — my word, the pictures — showcase the over-the-top grandeur of it all.  It wasn’t their fault; as my friend Siri appropriately noted, “Diana’s wedding fell victim to the ’80s.” 

Look no further than her sleeves to understand why:

It’s madness.  She looks like she was swallowed whole by a pillow.

The entire wedding party is lost in a sea of fluff.  The wrings of flowers on the girls’ hair only causes further chaos.

All of this is freshly brought to mind because of the style triumph that was Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding last Saturday.  It was elegant, refined, opulent and undeniably royal (despite her marrying a commoner — gasp!).

My opinion of Swedes has skyrocketed due to the gorgeous representation of the people by their royals.

Look at the joyful bride and groom:

Not only are they both gorgeous, but their clothes are picture perfect.  She wore an off-the-shoulder, age-appropriate (she’s 32) cream-colored silk gown designed by Pär Engsheden.  He donned an undecorated white-tie tuxedo with tails.

What most impresses me, I believe, is that on the one day when she could have worn head-to-toe five-carat diamonds, sapphires and family jewels, she instead chose to wear the cameo tiara her mother wore on her wedding day in 1976.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s still stunning.  But it’s less obvious and ostentatious than the typical crown associated with royalty.  After all, what does she have to prove?  We know she’s going to be Queen; no need to flaunt it, I suppose.

What’s amazing about her groom, Daniel Westling, is that he was her personal trainer.  Not royal.  Not a billionaire.  Do you see why I employed fantasies of a girl from Seattle marrying the future King of England?

Question: can you imagine being the mother of a commoner marrying into royalty?  I honestly can’t conceive of a more daunting wardrobe situation.  The entire royal world will be attending your son’s wedding to an actual princess, 500 million people will be watching on TV, and you have to walk in there as the only woman without a crown.  Ouch.

I’m sad to report that Westling’s mother failed to rise to the occasion.  She’s wearing a dress any mother-of-the-groom could find at Moms, Maids and More.

After the ceremony, the bride lifted her 16-foot train and looped it around her arm so she could hit the dance floor.  It occurs to me that this seems like a hassle, and certainly a lot of fabric to keep track of, but then again royals don’t bustle their dresses.  They have giant trains for a reason — they’re royalty.

The handsome duo didn’t disappoint for their version of a rehearsal dinner, either.  A gala dinner and concert were given for the couple the evening prior to the wedding, and the results speak for themselves:

Impeccable.  I can’t help but note that the groom has to be the most modern-looking man to become a prince in recent memory.  Those glasses and that hair make him look as if he’s partner of a Manhattan design studio.

Clearly I’m already toe-tapping in anticipation of the next royal wedding, between my former flame and his commoner girlfriend.  It’s only a matter of time before he pops the question, and only a matter of taste whether their wedding will receive the Words Become One nod of approval.

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Filed under Good WORD (Etiquette)

C U Soon

I am not proud of this, but I have my DVR set to record only two shows.

Brace yourself.

One is The Real Housewives of New York (gasp!).

The other is Oprah (shudder).

For inexplicable reasons, I’m actually more embarrassed to be associated with Oprah.  The Real Housewives series is the most fantastic reality show on television, and allows me to indulge in my “mid-week uptown apartment/weekend Hampton’s beach house” fantasy.  Of course, the women are despicable and immature, but that only serves to stroke my moral superiority. 

See?  It’s the best show on television!

Oprah on the other hand, makes me feel like a stay-at-home mom who has never heard of real news and has no connection with the outside world other than through this billionaire talk show host.  If I’m ever watching Oprah and Mike comes home from work, I’m instantly inclined to change the channel out of sheer humiliation.  It’s as if he’s just caught me singing into my hairbrush in front of the bathroom mirror.

One could understand my dilemma recently when Oprah started a “No Phone Zone” campaign in an effort to get people to stop texting and driving.  Ask anyone (especially Mike) and they will say that texting and driving is one of my biggest issues.  It’s about the only thing that turns me into a total policing mother around my spouse, friends and family. 

Driving drunk and texting behind the wheel are the exact same thing to me.  Texting might even be worse because your eyes aren’t even on the road.

But now that Oprah has championed the agenda and called it her own, I don’t want to say two words about it.  It makes me feel like one of those sycophantic Oprah worshippers who blindly take on issues just because Ms. O said to.

I just realized that I am insulting Oprah-lovers.  I am sorry.  Just remember the line between love and hate is incredibly thin; look at me DVRing her every day.  Such a hypocrite.

One may wonder why I bother to record her when I have such loathful feelings toward her.  It’s simple: the celebrities.  No one gets the interviews Oprah gets.  Who did Reille Hunter sit down with in her home?  Who does Bono visit when he comes to the States?   Who does Julia Roberts tell the sex of her unborn babies to?

My point exactly.

Luckily, Oprah is not the only one taking up the texting battle.  A far more genius anti-texting advertising campaign in Seattle is run by none other than a funeral home.

This is on the back of metro buses all across the Seattle area and I have one thing to say:  YES.

I love the shamelessness, the offensive nature.

But I also love that it makes its point painfully clear — your life is at stake.  It is not worth it to text and drive.

Whew.  I feel a lot better having said that completely apart from any Oprah influence. 

But I’m still going to watch her show today.

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Filed under One WORD (Current Events)

Excuse Me, Mr. President: An Etiquette Special Edition

See if you can spot the numerous faux pas committed by both me and the patrons I encountered.  The following is a true story.

Last Friday evening Mike and I were having dinner at Sostanza Trattoria in Madison Park with our friend Meredith.  As we ordered wine, the restaurant was just filling up for the night.

I happened to glance over to the table next to us and see a nice-looking couple seated next to the fireplace.  I stared for a second at the gentleman before realizing he looked familiar.

“Doesn’t that look just like Phil Eaton?” I asked Meredith.  We both attended Seattle Pacific University (me for only a year) of which he was president.

“Eh, kind of, I suppose,” she replied, not finding this the least bit interesting.  I considered how to redeem the topic.

“Remember how he used to invite students to his home once a year, to make us feel connected to him or whatever, but we were all just annoyed because he lived in this fabulous house while we’re all killing ourselves to pay $25,000 a year in tuition?” I ventured.

Then we were off and running.

“Yes!” she said.  “It was criminal what they paid him, and remember how he would drive to the school in his A6 and it made all of us cringe?  University presidents are so overpaid.  They’re just glorified speech-makers,” she concluded.

“Oh Eaton can’t hold a candle to UW’s president,” I added.  “He’s ranked among the highest paid in the US.  It’s absurd.  I read he makes $900,000 a year.”

Having fully vented our grievances on university presidents, we moved on to happier topics.  Soon we were laughing, enjoying our meal and our bottle of local Washington red.

“Excuse me, you all really need to be quiet,” a stout woman in her fifties was suddenly standing over us, speaking to us like we were in second grade. “This is a public restaurant and people are trying to eat in peace and you’re laughing so the whole place can hear you.  You need to speak quietly to each other so only those at your own table can hear you.”

We were all so stunned by her pretentious speech that we simply stared at her, mouths agape.

She returned to her seat without another word, and none of us could recover the conversation for the next two minutes because of the offense.  Gradually, because we couldn’t help it, we giggled about the absurdity of someone speaking to us like children, especially in the context of any place outside of a library.

A few minutes later we heard a woman sitting across from the Phil-Eaton-look-alike laughing happily.  Mike couldn’t help himself so he leaned over and said, “Hey, keep it down; this is a public place.”  We just about died, this was so funny, but we weren’t sure if she would agree.

“Oh you’re such a party pooper!” she laughed back at him.  Fearing that she would think he was serious, I leaned over to her with one hand covering my mouth and explained, “We just got scolded in those exact words by that woman over there.”

Suddenly, she was totally intrigued.  “Really?” she said with enthusiasm.  “Oh you must be joking.  It’s Friday night!  This is a restaurant!  We can be as loud as we want!” she said, swinging her glass of red wine around to face us.  “Who is that woman?  I mean, honestly!”

The relief!  The balm to our souls!  Despite being the same age as the crotchety “party pooper” who rained on our parade, this woman was fabulous.  I especially liked her purple-framed glasses.

After another hearty exchange, she returned her focus to her table.  Meredith and I immediately agreed to name her Viv.  There was no other name for a Madison Park socialite who loved red wine and young people with equal fervor.  However, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that her husband was familiar, so I turned to Mike and Meredith and resumed my earlier verse of, “He looks so familiar!  I can’t shake that he’s someone I know or someone famous or something.”  They both rolled their eyes.

“If you really want me to, I can just try to find him on my iPhone,” Meredith offered in a last-ditch effort to shut me up.  “We’ll just start Googling Seattle celebrities.”

“OH MY GOSH!!  OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH!!”  Suddenly I knew exactly who it was.

“IT’S MARK EMMERT.  It’s the freaking UW PRESIDENT,” I explained.  “I am a COMPLETE IDIOT.”

“WHAT?!” Mike exclaimed.  “How could you not recognize him when you went to that school?  Do you realize we were just talking so loudly about his salary that we got ‘shushed!?'”  We all looked at each other in the face-draining panic that accompanies such realizations.  We had just criticized the husband of our darling Viv, the one we wanted to be our friend and take us around to cocktail parties.  Had they heard?  Could they have?

I reasoned with them.  “Why would she have spoken to us if she heard us chastising her for being wealthy?” I asked.  “Come on, Viv loves us!”

By this time Meredith had pulled up an image of them on her iPhone.  Granted, the image was at least five years old, but we held up the phone, looked over at them:  confirmed.

“She’s not Viv,” Meredith read from Wikipedia.  “She’s DeLaine.”  Of course — even more of a president’s wife’s name than the one we gave her.

“Oh and you were almost right,” she continued reading from her phone.  “He’s not just one of the top-paid presidents.  It’s even better: he’s ranked second.  SECOND.  Bested only by Ohio State’s president.  Emmert makes $906,500 per year.”

Of course he does; our Viv/DeLaine deserves it.

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Filed under Good WORD (Etiquette)