By Anne T. Donahue
We live in a very different time. To start, it’s April. For reasons I dare not mention here (climate change), it’s almost 30-degrees Celsius and my allergies have made me so sick I seriously considered laying down on the cement floor in the basement because it would be a) cooler, and b) far from the pollen trying to murder me. Second, the January fervor around Prince Harry and Spare has died down, and we are finally free.
Or at least I thought we were.
Pals, this might be my fault. My attention span is short and my patience is thin. I am tired, I am battling nature (allergies), and I wore the wrong shoes today and now my feet hurt. My cat hissed at me when I was trying to brush him, and I waited too long to eat dinner and now I’m in a terrible mood. But also: my feed is being inundated with news that Prince Harry will be attending the Coronation of King Charles and Meghan and their kids will not, and I just don’t have it in me to decipher what it all means. I can’t do it anymore. I wish them well, I hope it’s not super awkward when Harry shows up and everybody makes weird small talk, pretending they’re not thinking about his book, but that’s it. Meghan and Harry can do whatever they want going forward, but no: no more, I beg you.
Am I so out of touch? Or is it the children who are wrong? I can’t tell if I’m jaded or if I’m overtired or if our pop culture turnaround is so fast that after a month of lending my emotional and mental bandwidth, I require another form of sustenance. (Also: I don’t care about Scandoval as much anymore either. Stop interviewing Tom Sandoval! He’s a loser! Set us free!) Once upon a time, I had thoughts about Harry, Meghan, the Royal Family, and the Netflix documentary, but now resurrecting the trials and tribulations of the Windsor is boring and tired. They’re a mess! What more are we supposed to say? That the monarchy is out of touch and should be folded like a retired flag and put in a drawer? That my seventh birthday in which I went to Chuck E. Cheese alone (with my parents – I didn’t want them to give attention to anybody else) seems more exciting than the May 6 Coronation since not a soul wants to participate and for good reason? Are any of you even planning on watching the Coronation? I’m not, I won’t lie to you.
Okay, that was actually a lie. I may watch, but only to sit completely gobsmacked that Camilla is going to be a queen and to judge the ensembles worn by Prince William’s children. (Charlotte already dresses better than me, and I am absolutely holding a grudge about it.) But is any of this still relevant? Meh: Harry and Meghan could split up, move to separate continents, and each spawn their own lucrative careers in whatever industry they like best, and I think we’d all simply accept it and bring it back up in about ten years when Meghan finally writes her memoirs. Which is a position I’m willing to defend: maybe it’s okay for us to back away from hot topics once they cool down. Maybe this means that after being the be-all and end-all of popular discourse, it’s still possible to live a relatively normal life.
I would like to think that; to parlay our decreasing attention spans and interest in most things into an indicator that we’re more willing to let go of our obsessions because we’ve started to realize how unhealthy caring so much about strangers is. I’m here for moving on quickly and perhaps superficially because we’ve got better (or juicer?) things going on – at least in terms of gossip and the topical buffet from which we celebrity news-starved feed.
It’s weird to be so fixated on a couple of people who’ve made it very clear how unhappy they’ve been with their familial circumstances, and it’s weirder still to continue existing on a hill we thought we might die on, whether it’s to defend their right to tell-all interviews or to champion South Park’s right to roast them. It’s weird, now that we’ve had a few months to digest the pandemonium of Spare and Harry and Meghan to really care at all. I think it’s fine that Harry’s chosen to support his dad, and it’s fine for Meghan not to go. I have no thoughts or opinions anymore. I, like the general public in the weeks after Bart debuted “I didn’t do it” just don’t have it in me to care.
Which I consider a massive relief. Because I am not out of touch! (It’s the children who are wrong.)
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