May 20, 2018

raining on a parade

I wanted to cry when my alarm went off Saturday morning. It was 4:15. I'd gone to bed little more than two hours earlier. With guests expect to arrive at 5, I had a number of last minute tasks to care for before they arrived. Egg bakes to make and place in the oven. Finger sandwiches to assemble and slice. Scones to place in a basket. Cocktails to pour. Plenty to do, so, sleep had to wait.

Seven years ago, a few of my good friends and I woke up similarly early to watch Prince William marry Kate Middleton. We made complimentary, but still unique, T-shirts. We sipped mimosas and commented on every hat and dress as they appeared on screen. We teared up at touching moments. Sighed during the fairy tale. And we went to work at 8, still buzzed on the spirit of the festivities (and, okay, the mimosas).

With nothing but happy memories from that day, I eagerly looked forward to holding another Royal Wedding watch party when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle. There are few things I love more than a themed party, so coming up with a menu, decor, and activities to commemorate such an occasion is one of my greatest joys. I started planning them all months ago, though I didn't get serious about it until about two weeks ago.

By the time my first guest arrived right on time, my vision had almost completely come to fruition. In the kitchen, I had a table set with Pimm's Cups and mimosas, English Breakfast Egg bakes, fresh scones with clotted cream and preserves, fruit, finger sandwiches, and even my take on the lemon and elderflower wedding cake. In the living room, I had a build-your-own fascinator station, Royal Wedding Bingo, and a ridiculous British photo booth.

Ain't no party like a Laura Chapman party,
'cuz a Laura Chapman party is themed.

My guests arrived. We chatted. We laughed. We teared up. We gossiped. When it was over, even though I was physically tired, my emotional and mental cup ran over. I was happy to have spent a fun morning making memories with my friends. My inner romantic was sighing at watching love declared. (I'm a sap at all weddings.) I was so pleased with how my plans for the party had come together. It's been a crazy few months at work. I've been on an emotional roller coaster of sorts for the better part of a few years. I'm a writer, but I can't find the precise words to explain how nice it was to have a few hours where I wasn't worrying about anything but what hat some stranger was wearing and whether or not anyone would flub their lines. It was fun. It was more than that.

Of course with anything that happens in this world, there were people who didn't care about the wedding. When I logged onto Facebook after my last guests left, a little of the feel-good wind behind my sails was knocked down when I saw a series of posts from people trashing everyone who watched. I hid the comments and kept scrolling, but the sentiments stayed with me.

It didn't bother me that someone else didn't want to watch or read anything about the wedding. That's fine. It's their right not to care. It's their right not to watch. But I wondered why we feel this need to say something rude or snarky about something harmless that brings another person joy. Whether it's about a game, a race, an awards show, or a royal wedding, why do we need to make public declarations to say we don't care? Is it to make ourselves feel better or seem better than other people? Or do we have to make every thought, every emotion known now for the world to hear it?

(I'm doing that now by writing this post.)

I don't really know the answers to those question. They're probably simpler than I'm making it, but maybe they're even more complicated than I can imagine. Thinking about this, though, has made me determined to do better at keeping my thoughts to myself (or to a private chat among friends). Whether or not something is my cup of tea, it might be someone else's. Maybe that person watching a game or show is feeling a little blue and this adds a little light and joy to their life. As much as it's my right not to care, it's their right to enjoy it without having someone diminish or dismiss it in any way.

Life can really suck sometimes. It's also too short. Maybe we should let each other enjoy our little pleasures when we can without raining on anyone's parade. At least that's going to be my goal.

Anyway, cheers to the couple. If you watched, I hope your experience was as enjoyable as mine. If you didn't, I hope you had a lovely Saturday all the same.

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1 comment:

  1. I don't know why some people feel the need to do that, but it certainly says more about them than it does whom/whatever they're complaining about. Glad you had a nice party. I love a good themed party, too. (So did LIW, you know. :-) )