What is on her mind?
Tonight, the Matron had the choice of returning to grading papers, cleaning bathrooms, or watching a Dateline special on Kate Middleton and Prince William. Guess which won?
Oh. She could have spent quality time with the children but that's sort of not on her radar.
Now, the Matron has not written about this, but as a teenager she spent a solid year in the hospital for anorexia. Actually, she bounced back a couple of times but that's a memoir and not a blog post. Many long stories--and many, many years and recovery under her wider belt.
During one of these hospitalizations, Princess Diana and Prince What's-His-Name (okay, Charles, she knows), were married.
The wedding took place early in the morning, U.S. time. The hospital staff -- caring for all the wee anorexics -- woke everyone up at some ungodly hour (what? 4? 5 am? ) to watch the festivities. The Matron, then a Very Young Miss, will never forget the profound sense of irony as the emaciated teens watched the fairly tale wedding from their hospital perch, all wondering what their next meal would entail. At like 5 in the morning (trust her, many had been up all night doing push-ups in the closet).
If it wasn't so late, she would paint a stronger prosaic picture of a group of anorexic and bulimic teenagers watching this drama in the day room of a hospital, in pajamas and various stages of waste, watching Diana, the doe-eyed icon of femininity and grace who was also bulimic herself.
Digression: if she's ever in charge of an eating disorder program? No teenager will be woken up at 4 am to watch a wedding that focuses largely on the appearance and demeanor of the bride. You can quote her on this.
So yesterday's news that Prince William and Kate Middleton are to marry? Well, everyone -- including yours truly -- loves a spot-on narrative. Superior narratives include love stories and fairy tales, and even stories of the ordinary that supersedes (Kate). So she stood glued to the television watching preliminary celebrations of the nuptials.
But one part of her remains 16 and scared. Watches Kate and William do the required television round and notices the emphasis on fashion and body (uh . . .why isn't anyone talking about Prince William's fine choice of and fit into clothing?), and returns to an earlier, complicated time figuring out what being female meant. Remembering the first wedding, the life of the irrepressible Princess, her death (when the Matron had already recovered and become a mother), and all the young women watching in between.