It may surprise some of my readers to learn that, although I'm all sorts of rah-rah feminism, I was really looking forward to the Royal Wedding today.
It's not because I'm a girl, really, though it is worth noting that most girls are raised to look forward to the day they marry, rather than the day they get their first job or first paycheck or produce that first scholarly work. I have learned in recent years to readjust my thinking and way of speaking to say "If I get married..." not when, because no one can predict the future.
And, on many levels, I abhor the huge consumerism that surrounds modern weddings. When I watch 'Say Yes to the Dress' on TLC, I can't help but be disgusted by brides who spend triple the budget limit on a dress they are going to wear for maybe six hours - dresses that cost nearly as much as the house my brother and his wife just bought.
But regardless of any personal feelings toward my own potential wedding, I cried today when I watched, via BBC America, Catherine Middleton stepping out of her car in her gorgeous dress designed by Sarah Burton. I cried again as they reached the altar, and Prince William leaned over whispered, "You look stunning, babe."
There is something wonderful about a wedding, something that speaks to the redemption and grace and mercy that we don't see anywhere else. A wedding is two people acknowledging, fundamentally, that they need each other, and behind them is a community of people supporting them. It is, in the end, a fantastic picture of the community we are all called to.
My friend Hannah commented on Facebook today, quoting her friend, "In times of disasters, asinine politics, and evil, we need occasional days of love and hope."
I think that's why I was so excited about this wedding - for once, the world, in all its brokenness, it all its terror, in all the awful things that have been happening this last week, this last month, this last year, stopped for a brief day and celebrated the love and wonder of two people pledging themselves to community, to love, and to hope.
So to all you cynics out there, especially those whining "We're American, why should we care about these uppity Brits?" : Hush now, I can't hear the choir.