The royal wedding hasn't even taken place yet and already I feel as though I've been browbeaten by it, like if I don't pay attention I'll be a cultural moron.
The media's ads for 4 a.m. coverage of the May 19 wedding have been on repeat for weeks. The pre-coverage is so pervasive that without spending one second looking into the situation I can tell you quite a lot about the princess to be, her family, her career and the fact that the world wrongly assumes she's England's first biracial monarch.
That distinction is Queen Charlotte's. The city of Charlotte was named after her by British Loyalists in 1768. The same city that, according to local lore, produced the first copy of the Declaration of Independence in 1775. The one dubbed a "a hornet's nest of rebellion" during the Revolutionary War because we were so over Queen Charlotte's husband, George III, a man who purportedly said things like, "A traitor is anyone who doesn't agree with me."
It's not that our history is confused, it's that instead of submitting to English royalty — to the status quo of the time — as, apparently, the founders of Charlotte hoped, Charlotteans revolted against the king and flushed his people out of this land, the place that's cut through by Independence fucking Boulevard.
Still, vapid periodicals like Town and Country magazine are offering advice on how to throw "Royal Wedding Watch Parties" complete with formal invitations and recipes for lemon-elderflower cupcakes so you can have the same taste in your mouth as the world's elite who will actually get to eat a piece of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding cake. This is absurd, people. Pathetic, even.
It's not that I don't wish the couple all the best, I do — as I would for any couple getting married this weekend, or at any time. It's that here in Charlotte we are the people of the Hornet's Nest. If anyone should be throwing up two middle fingers to the media circus-slash-gigantic waste of money that is their nuptials — it's been reported that the wedding will cost $45 million — it should be the people of Charlotte.
Who's with me? Don't answer. I know that a large percentage of you will tune in, secretly hoping that the young Prince George will find your old ass when he comes of age and pop the question so that you, too, can become an American princess miracle.
It seems the lot of us are agog for the fairy tale and don't mind shrugging off a little revisionist history even though we, of all populations, know better than most that African blood runs right through the current Queen Elizabeth.
The superficiality of the moment is stunning from my perch on the edge of the Hornet's Nest. So, I'd like to suggest some things to do instead of watching an over-the-top wedding in the wee hours on Saturday morning:
Go home. The bars closed hours ago, lush.
Sleep in. When you wake the media will gladly repeat the highlights of the wedding. Even if you hid in a media-proof, WiFi-free shelter by yourself for the next week you'll still eventually hear about this damn wedding from someone.
Read the Declaration of Independence. It includes this important point: "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States." (That means he was an asshole and we were like, "I know he di'in't.")
Plan a trip to the Mint Museum. See larger than life portraits of Queen Charlotte and George III, then plan to stick around for a good cultural soak.
Or hit the Charlotte Museum of History. Whether you're a local or a transplant, it's about time you learned the history of your city. Hell, just a day after the wedding, they're throwing down to celebrate the anniversary of the Meck Dec signing.
Read a book. I just asked Amazon.com and can tell you that if you search that site for "Charlotte History" you'll have more than 4,000 options. "Revolutionary War History" pulls up more than 9,000 options.
Stuff your face. Emotionally eat away the stress of realizing that you will never, ever be an actual princess, no matter what your parents told you. If you really need to escape the moment you can go to Amelie's and pretend you're French, something wealthy Southerners are wont to do anyway — or at least they were back when they were the oppressors in the 1800s right before Charlotte's other war.
Watch something else. Find PBS' "The American Revolution" series online and see for yourself a hint of the price paid by early Patriots so that we can experience freedom from kings.