Thursday, January 09, 2020

If being royal is so extraordinary, why do the royals want to be ordinary?

Being royal is clearly not all it is cracked up to be. Gilt here and there. Liveried footmen abound. Church bells ring on your birthday. Red carpet magically appears, the car is always filled with gas, and almost everyone is happy to see you. But for some royals, it just isn't enough. The lure of something different is irresistible. A lure that cannot be filled by private planes and beautiful clothes. For some, the siren call of elevator music is just too much to resist. We have done such a good job downplaying regular existence, the royals can't help be intrigued. For Harry and Meghan, leaving it all behind and becoming one with the rest of us. Let us welcome them.

Dear Harry and Meghan,

Welcome to your new lives. You are now, one of us. You've bemoaned your regal existence long enough. Now you are free. There is so much to introduce you to. You have probably read about us (err...Commoners) in books, or seen us on TV, but to see us in person, is to truly be believed. We will introduce you slowly to the more wonderful parts of our lives.

Most people your age are financially independent already but we understand it has been different for you. Let me say, there is truly nothing like the feeling of paying bills. Embrace feeling of relief as you make payments on time. The exhilaration of worrying whether you have enough money to cover them. Will you have to choose between eating and paying rent? Every month is a new adventure.

Of course, being a 'working royal', in the literal sense, you will need to find a job. Prince or Duchess positions are limited, and well, you wanted something new didn't you? Why play it safe? Just imagine the wonderful feeling when you finally land a position. A cubicle to call your own. You may or may not have natural light. Or co-workers who clip their nails beside you. But you'll get a security card. Trust me, there's nothing more reassuring than hearing the door buzz open. When it does, you will enjoy the exclusive privileges that come with arrival. A computer, phone, desk, chair and you might even get free coffee. You'll have to bring your own stapler.

You will need to get to work. This means you either have a car or you take transit. You know, those overpacked buses and trains? No one and we mean no one, stands on ceremony. Every person for themselves, even the pregnant and elderly. Note, unlike in your previous life, you wait for transit, it doesn't wait for you.

You may find yourself waiting in line. When you buy food, go to the bank, or when you need to renew your passport. Standing in line can be challenging, especially if you have a small child with you who suddenly needs to go to the bathroom when you're at the front of the line. This always happens. Always. Remember to fill out all the paperwork. You will now have to look after all of this yourself. Don't be alarmed when you're asked to take a photo. It's just an ID. You might find it traumatizing but this is normal. No one looks good in those photos.

From time to time you will interact with others by phone. Like the rest of us, you may spend time 'on hold'. This is perfectly normal and to be expected. It is just like waiting in line but with better music. Sometimes you will wait for 10 minutes (rare), sometimes over an hour (common). You will get disconnected, or passed from person to person, or told to call another number. Finding a helpful person is challenging, but don't give up or you'll lose your magical place in line. Only to begin the adventure all over again. Exciting isn't it?

This is now your reality. For. The. Rest. Of. Your. Lives. Day in and day out. Until. You. Die.

Harry and Meghan, where are you going?? You wanted to be ordinary, right?? Right??

© Marilyn Braun 2020

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