Friday, 15 April 2011

A MENOPAUSAL FAIRY TALE

At first glance you wouldn't think Kate Middleton and Nice Etoile had much in common, would you? One, a rather emaciated young woman, a safe dresser, about to walk regally down the aisle in some understated, costly creation towards her prince; the other, a curvy middle-aged Jewish fairy, tripping through passport control in a tutu, sparkly wand in hand, having failed utterly to find even a boyfriend in her erstwhile adopted home, let alone a balding royal fiance with a good job in helicopters.


Handsome prince? The deal is, as I understand it, that you have to kiss a lot of frogs before he appears, yet I haven't kissed one single Frenchman.  


Don't get me wrong, I've had offers (from an assortment of nationalities, as it goes), and did actually come pretty close to smooching with one tall, dark, handsome Frog in my early days here, but I chose not to go for it in the end.  Therefore, I suppose I can't really complain about a lack of action in the prince department, can I?


Hmm.


So, what's the link between the future Queen of England and myself?


Well, we both start our new lives on the very same day.  


I hope she's happy as Mrs Mountbatten-Windsor. But there's little she can do about it if she isn't.  Whereas I, Ms Etoile, am able to float out of marriages at will, flutter down to the Med and take up residence in a foreign apartment with a leaking dishwasher (there is a limit to a wand's powers, you know), with the potential to pucker up for a future Mr Etoile, should he happen onto the scene.


I can see friends on the spur of the moment, wear jeans day in, day out, and big, cheap jewellery, and not have to stay with the mother-in-law every single Christmas in some drafty old castle.  Nor will my future years be taken up with smiling, shaking interminable hands, listening to mind-bogglingly dull speeches, smiling, tripping over bad-tempered corgis, never revealing any real emotion, smiling, and being nice to the security detail who accompany one absolutely everywhere.  


Oh, and smiling.  


If I want to have sleepless nights worrying about paying the bills, and finally fall asleep just as the world is waking up, I'm perfectly free to do so.  I can spend whole days touting for freelance work, sending off 50 letters at a time, and know I won't have to concern myself about receiving even one acknowledgment in return. I'm also at liberty to pop out to the supermarket for some vital ingredient I forgot to obtain earlier, without which supper will be a complete disaster, only to forget what the vital ingredient is once I get there because I'm menopausal. (Goes without saying the royals can be as menopausal as they like...they have staff.  Including chefs).  


I can choose where I go on holiday myself, were I to have enough money to go on one.  I can drive myself around, getting lost for an hour, be unable to find a parking space once I've finally reached my destination, give up and drive myself home again.  When I can afford to own a car, that is.  And I can toil away for years at getting my name known for my creativity, rather than achieve instant fame for marrying someone famous for being famous.


I don't think much of this will bother Catherine (as we must now call her, according to royal commentators); she didn't have much of an interesting life before her engagement, passing almost a decade since university dabbling in a few days work here and there as an accessories buyer for the retail business of some family friends, and taking the odd photograph of cakes for her parents' party accessories business. (Notice a theme here?  Yes, she's on the verge of becoming an accessory herself to the outdated institution that rules Great Britain! Smile please!)


In exactly two weeks time, Ms Middleton's and my own life will change drastically.  Hers for decades of absolute certainty in every aspect, mine for yet more insecurity and adventure, only in a different place.  


But would I swap?  Not a chance.  I have the freedom to be both happy and unhappy.  Kate Middleton has to be happy come what may. Forever.


And yes, some day my prince will come.  Only, I hope he's not a prince, if you know what I mean.




***


The children of royalty:  Princes and Princesses

The child of a Jewish Menopausal Fairy:  My son, the prince!






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