EST. May 2000 (AD)


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An American Girl's Guide to Being Kate Middleton

By Sheila Moeschen

At last! Katherine Middleton of Somethingshire and Prince William of Hogwarts have tied the royal knot. In the more than 7 years of their courtship, (minus the brief “break” the two took when she had a brief and disastrous dalliance with Joey ) the charming Kate has certainly been put through her paces. The English customs of aristocracy can be confusing, perplexing, and downright silly when left in the right hands, let alone when passed into the wrong ones (the wrong hands being the left ones). How soon we forget that terrible day in 1803 when the Duchess of Tiddlywink nearly instigated a war with Prussia when she inadvertently spread jam on the east side of her scone (everyone knows you lick jam right out of the jar!) Kate, however, has passed through the field of aristocratic etiquette land mines as dainty and lithe as those silly little hats she wears coveted by drag queens everywhere. Now she has a far vaster, more important, viciously judgmental pool of people to impress: Americans. Kate may know how to curtsy, take high tea, and compliment the queen Mother on her newest line of support hose, but can she survive as a woman in the glare of the American spotlight? Here are a few essential tips for Kate on how to make it in America:

Brand! Brand! Brand! : These days, a girl’s best friend is her brand. It doesn’t even have to be a particularly good brand. Katy Perry borrowed Russell Brand! Oprah bought an entire network and named it after herself in case any of us forget for 1/10th of a second who she is. Lady Gaga cornered the whole market on aliens, Gothic symbols, plastic materials, and lipstick. Brilliant! The important thing about your personal brand is the way you shove it down our collective throats. A good rule of thumb is to have no fewer than six types of clothing, jewelry, food, and/or household/feminine product lines in the works and no more than two reality shows in simultaneous development. If you cannot get a reality show deal, running for public office is an acceptable substitute.

Do Nothing or Follow The Seinfeld Principle: Lucky for Kate, she is way ahead of the curve in the new American propensity to get rich, famous, notorious, or sainted by literally doing nothing. Her million dollar smile and glossy hair ripped right from Photoshop’s toolbox puts her in league with women like the Kardashian sisters, Paris Hilton, and Bristol Palin who have earned their fame and fortune by simply showing up a lot, everywhere making vague statements like “I believe that all people have rights and equality in this world of people” and “There are times when you have to keep working to achieve your dreams that can only be reached through dreaming and achieving.” No discernible skills? No problem! Your ability to get out of limos and smile while having your picture taken adds oodles of value to our crumbling society.

Exploit Your Royal Offspring: Record deals, modeling contracts, and political endorsements have replaced play dates (boring) and pre-school (yawn) for the child of the high-powered modern American woman. Everyone knows that the way to public acceptance and personal success is through shamelessly exploiting your child. After all, what is a baby but an extension of yourself, a more fabulous, hipper, popular extension of yourself with flawless skin born of genetics that you will discover how to extract and inject right into your face. Kate should take advantage of birthing heirs, placing them in the public eye as much as possible in order to further her own public career like any other self-respecting American mom.

Be a Betty : America is a country that moves faster than the speed of light; today’s headline diva is this evening’s guest following the animal guy from the San Diego Zoo on the Barry Nobody Show. Simply put: even a princess may fade from the public eye someday. While this is inevitable, it is no cause for alarm! Be proactive! Be a Betty! Actress, octogenarian, and rumored 2012 Trump running mate, Betty White has taught us all that it is never too late to stage a comeback. One day you’re living in your grandson’s basement playing World of Warcraft and the next you’re hosting “Saturday Night Live.” America is truly the country that accepts its tired, poor, huddled masses yearning for a second taste of fame.  True, it might find you revealing embarrassing and disgusting information about your 80-year-old sex life, but if that’s what it takes to come out on top, then so be it! Kate may want to begin planting the seeds of her comeback early on in her reign as royal breeder. She may, for example, purchase a trendy restaurant in L.A. so that fifteen years down the road she might show up one night, blitzed on Oxycontin with Lindsay Lohan to trash the joint. This would then allow her to show her public remorse by tearing down the place of ill repute to make way for a chic orphanage for babies that the Jolie-Pitts never got around to officially adopting. It’s a win-win. As long as Kate is thinking about how to engineer and mitigate her future public shame, there is no telling how long her legacy will last!

Welcome to America, Princess Kate! May you find our Starbucks welcoming and may your limited edition Barbie doll sell briskly on EBay for many years to come!

Originally published in Ms. She Says Writings on Femin-isms Sheila's hilarious blog.


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Sheila Moeschen is a Boston-based writer.  Her work has appeared in Girl W/ Pen, Associated Content, Open Salon, and on the Women in Comedy Blog.