A friend once treated me to a lengthy dissertation on why waxing, washing and constantly buying accessories and doo-dads for one's car is not only necessary, but the only acceptable way to own a car. She clinched her point by telling me that her car was such an important part of who she was, that she just had to pamper it and make it look as spectacular as possible at all times, because, after all, people judge you by what kind of car you drive and how that car looks.
Well, to that I say balderdash, fishsticks and fiddle-dee-dee. Also, flibbertigibbet, to quote from Aunt Bee.
But here's the thing. It's a free country, and if you wish to devote every spare minute to Simonizing the Biscayne, be my guest. It's what makes this country great and separates us from the Europeans, where the government controls everything. In France, say, Jean-Pierre is required to wax his baguette no fewer than deux times a week. And no Spaniard worth his El Salto would drive an unadorned chalupa down the street.
I bring all this up to make a point. If you know me, you know that I greatly love and admire the Clinton family, up to but not including Roger Clinton, the president's actor-musician-1/2 brother who seemed to be trying out for the lead role in "The Billy Carter Story." Hillary Clinton, as able a woman as we have ever known, is currently serving with great distinction as Secretary of State, and Bill, well, we all love Bill. Like most, I was able to look past his occasional peccadillo and see what a wonderful and brilliant man he is. And Chelsea, for the love of Pete. Remember when she was all gawky, with hair til Tuesday and an unsure gait? That's the first image we had of her; it was unfortunate that she found herself pushed onto the world stage at that gawky teenage age. Same as George Bush, but he never got past that gawky goofy 13-year-old. Chelsea, the lovely swan, was married this past weekend. You might have heard something about it; it was in all the papers and the tv crews were all in the town of Rhinebeck, NY, desperately seeking Madonna or trying to get on Spielberg's List or hoping that whoever is on the cover of next month's Oprah Magazine would be there. All they got was Ted Danson, who represented all of Hollywood.
And that was because the Clintons, in their infinite wisdom, realized that this event was Chelsea's day, and there is no worse way to ruin a private happy shining moment for a young bride than to have James Belushi show up at the wedding or something. I know the Clintons run with a fast crowd, but this was not their show. And so they gave the spotlight to their exquisite daughter, who married an investment banker.
I saw this on the BBC News: a newscaster said that "this was the closest thing the Americans have to a royal wedding." News for the newscaster: we don't WANT a royal wedding, for crying out loud. We had to have a revolution to get away from all that King
and Queen jazz.
It's a big deal to the British, and they are welcome to it, but we don't care to spend a jillion dollars outfitting a red-headed prince with diamonds for the tips of his shoelaces. We have a high curiosity factor here, though. I saw on Facebook the other day that someone built a fence to keep their next-door neighsayers from spying on them as they swam in their pool. If you have so much free time that you have quarter-hour segments of your life to devote to watching the natatorial pursuits of others near you, I can suggest purchasing a large volume of poetry, American history, or someone's travel journals and diving into a book instead.
Chelsea got married. Good for her and her family and friends. How many other young Americans were also married this past Saturday, without CNN cameras hovering around? Sometimes, you have to live life for yourself, just you and the people you love close to you, and you don't have to worry about whether it's shiny enough to impress anyone else.