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Princess Diana, ten years after

August 28th, 2007

“To the fury of hard-core Diana fans, London-based Australian feminist and academic Germaine Greer has been leading the charge against the glorification of Diana. On Sunday, the acid-tongued Greer described Diana as “the slowest of the four Spencer children”, a child given to “preposterous fibs”, “sly malevolence”, “devious” and intent on building a false image of herself for an adoring world. To the dismay of Diana-lovers, Greer backed up most of her accusations with facts culled from the Princess’s life, illustrating the cunning stupidity she claimed to be Diana’s defining characteristic.”

– The Times of India, 8/29/07

Well. I think that’s what serves all women best, don’t you? When we gang up on each other, back-bite, and call names. Whether it’s selling out, getting married, not being political enough, not volunteering in the community enough, staying at home or working, cloth or disposable, organic or non-, daycare, grandma or a nanny? How can you? How could you? Why don’t you? (Preventing us from working on what I think are the real goddamn issues — equal rights for women, equal pay, subsidized childcare, healthcare for everyone, paid family leave. A government that puts money toward its citizens, schools, nursing homes and levees, instead of bombing the shit out of foreign lands.)

When we act like cats, and try to shut each other up, that works well, doesn’t it? Fight and claw and scratch your way to the top. If you’re pretty, you can’t be smart. If you’re smart, and you have good looks, don’t let them show. If you’re ugly, you’d better hope you’re smart.

Et cetera, ad nauseum, and the men stand by and laugh. No wonder we can’t get anything done — we’re so busy bullying each other.

Even in death.

One of my friends, and her friend, circa 1990, getting drunk in front of the telly and cat-calling at the Miss America contestants:

both of them: “Nice dress, bitch!” “Yeah, nice hairdo!”
me, walking through: “Why do you want to be all bitchy, talking about how they look? What about sister power, huh?”
my friend: “Why do you have a big stick up your ass?”
her friend: (cackling)
me: (leaving room)

The morning I found out she was gone, I was staying at my then-fiance’s house. He heard the news on the radio, and came and told me.

“No, she’s not dead,” I told him, heading straight into my favorite state: denial.

“She really is.”

“No, she’s really not. You’re just making it up.” (He’d teased me before, for having a girl crush on Diana. “It was an arranged marriage — she knew that!” me: “No, I don’t think she did.”)

“I’m not making it up.”

“Fine, then. Go get me a newspaper.”

I didn’t believe it until I saw the headlines, and her pictures. She was a cool chick, Diana. The humanitarian work she did, the charity work, the way she loved her sons. The way she adored her sons. The fairytale wedding that my sister and I woke up early to watch on TV. Her dress! The tiny bridesmaids! The way she ducked her head, so shy! She was only three years older than me — we could have been friends! Seriously? Seriously! She was the kind of girl that you knew you could just sit with and have a glass of wine and gossip with for hours.

She was that kind of woman.

That isn’t why I loved her, though. I loved her because she was a great, big, larger-than-life version of so many of us, who want to find the right guy, be loved, have babies, do valuable work. Her bulimia. Her affairs. Her sharp tongue. Her never-ending beauty. The way she shoved her hand into the camera, because she wanted to be alone with her kids, and just have some fun.

What I loved about her is that she was a celebrity, but she wanted the same as the rest of us. To find inner peace and love. When she finally divorced Charles, I was giddy for her, really. I thought, maybe now? Yes, now! And for her to never know that, to know what it’s like to have someone be willing to work with you, stand by you, adore you… that’s the tragedy. And for her sons to lose their mom, who really, I have to repeat this, was just the coolest chick — you boys, she was the coolest chick — that’s an even huger tragedy.

So, rest in peace, girl.

(PS — sorry, I’m just all emotional about Lemon, still. And because practically everyone I loved, including Princess Diana, died in 1997. You already know all about this, if you’d read this blog for long.)

6 Comments

  1. Vixen says

    So very well said on every aspect. I think she was the coolest also.

    August 29th, 2007 | #

  2. Terry says

    Germaine Greer once called George McGovern a “second rate academic” and then we got more Nixon and the bombing of Cambodia and Watergate. So who gives a rats ass what Germaine Greer says about the “people’s Princess”?

    I loved her too, but not as much as my wife loved her.

    August 29th, 2007 | #

  3. BlackFriend says

    Um, I’ll cut a bitch behind Diana, Princess of Wales. I was mid-rendevous when we heard she was injured, then they said she was dead. Didn’t believe it either. I stood in line at the British Consulate for over an hour to sign her condolence book.

    I’m an Anglophile and was moreso as a teen. I had many books about Diana.

    August 29th, 2007 | #

  4. WackyMommy says

    I wondered where you two were! Terry, I’ll have a recipe for you tomorrow, cuz I know you love them so. BlackFriend, did you see the film “The Queen” yet? So good.

    August 30th, 2007 | #

  5. BlackFriend says

    I skipped it on my netflix to get When the Levees Broke, instead.

    August 30th, 2007 | #

  6. Cialis sale. says

    Cialis sale.

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    September 25th, 2007 | #

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