The only royal man I'll ever need.
Barbasol. Shaving cream is the thing thoughts of royal weddings conjure for me. Every time I read a story or see a photo of this ‘wedding of the century,’ I cannot help but think of the last one.
I was twelve years old. It was the summer before my entry into junior high school. Growing up with an English next-door-neighbor, I was fascinated with everything about jolly old England. My head inflamed with the fumes of fairy-tale-fantasy, I followed the last lead-up to a royal wedding – that of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer – like a candidate for the insane asylum. I was convinced I would end up with my very own fairy tale, too.
Church camp shattered my visions of watching the royal wedding. I grew up in a church where every teen was required to go to some hellacious, filthy camp every July or August in an effort to get us all straightened out for a few nano-seconds each year. My parents never forced me to go, but, for some reason, my school made it a requirement for me that summer. I found myself marooned in an un-airconditioned building with about forty other girls, sleeping on wooden bunks three high.
Bugs were everywhere. The lake was orange. We were forced to play dumb games outside in the heat for hours in between sitting through two or three chapel sessions per day.
And, all I wanted to do was watch the blasted royal wedding. Somehow. But, the television was contraband at this place. My own dreams of royal bliss defeated, I gave myself up to the orgy that was the Annual Shaving Cream Blast.
Held in a dark field, the purpose of the Annual Shaving Cream Blast was to allow boys to fill their hands with cheap shaving cream and grab the bits of as many girls as possible in an hour, or until their shaving cream ran out. Okay, that was not the ‘official’ purpose of the event, but every horny teenage boy made it the reason they came. Squirting streams of white foam from my own can did nothing to ward them off. By the end of it, I looked like a human marshmallow, my hair matted with multiple cans of Foamy, my entire person obscured in an oozing white cloud.
I made the most of that night. I was one of the last people to leave the dark field.
Only to find myself in the communal shower with NO WATER. Everyone else wisely bathed and went to bed, leaving me to stand under a drip-drip-drip from the shower head, no prayer of getting that foul mess off before going to bed. With a mounting sense of futility, I did what I could (which wasn’t much) and trudged back to the hot, stale, giggly-girl-filled cabin and crawled into my bunk.
I awoke the next morning with the realization that Charles and Diana were husband and wife, and I had missed it. All of it. To this day, I have never viewed footage of that doomed event.
Somehow, getting felt-up I don’t know how many times the night before failed to stand in as a substitute for the pageantry that was the real thing.
Too Much is Just Enough: Making the Most of a Bad Situation