Most of us like Meghan Markle. She’s gorgeous, she’s adorable, and she’s smart. She’s accomplished, she’s an actor, and she has a career. She is Black and divorced and American. She lives life on her own terms.
But the real reason why many of us like Meghan Markle is because her family is as jacked up as our own and we can relate. In fact, we empathize.
The events leading up to the Royal Wedding and the wedding itself served as a reminder that if/when I marry, I will seriously consider eloping.
The paternal side of Meghan’s family sounds like a nightmare. First there was that one indiscreet half-sister who tried to get her day in the sun by writing a tell-all book. Then there was her trifling half-brother who penned a letter warning Prince Harry about his upcoming nuptials.
To top it all of, this week we read reports of Meghan’s father voluntarily backing out of the wedding so as not to embarrass her, only to find out that he now just so happens to be recovering from heart surgery. While I hope he gets well soon, it didn’t sound like he wanted to come in the first place.
I saw the following post on Facebook and as much as my heart swole with pride, my heart also broke for Meghan:
I can’t imagine the strange loneliness that Meghan had to wade through on her wedding day — how it must have felt to have been completely surrounded by your new husband’s family and friends (and even ex-girlfriend) only to have one lone ambassador from your own family.
Harry has said that this marriage would give Meghan the “family she never had.” His family would become her family. His friends (Elton John, Victoria Beckham, Idris Elba, Oprah, etc.) would become her friends. Where he goes, she will go, and where he stays, she will stay. His people will be her people and his God will be her God (to quote Ruth 1:16). It’s all so romantic and it sounds all well and good, but when I get married, I would ideally want someone from my camp to be there for me at my wedding. I want support from my family.
Because I’m not sure this could happen without some degree of drama, I have always said that I would elope.
My friends who have recently gotten married in the past few years have confirmed my suspicions: weddings tend to bring out the worst in families — on both sides. At the weddings that I have attended, I’ve even had the great (mis)fortune of seeing it with my own two eyes.
Unfortunately, I suspect that my wedding would be no different. Just in the past two years alone I’ve had aunts to whom I had only spoken once before contact me out of the blue, now when I am thriving in my thirtieth year of life, to tell me to “stop gaining weight” and to ask for favours. After declining to do a favour for one of these aunts on account of what she was asking for, her time constraints and me being busy and having my own life (to make a long story short), I got a text message from her asking, “Simone, why are you ignoring your aunt?” Ummm… my aunt? Like who is you? We have no relationship. I have had to erect some firm boundaries around myself this year. There are more like her in my family and in my church family — people who think they are entitled to my talent and my time and people who assume that they would receive a wedding invitation on account of “knowing me.”
I don’t need drama on my wedding day. I will elope.
I don’t want a Meghan Markle scenario when I get married, because that would just break my heart. I don’t want to be reminded of the messiness of my family on my wedding day. I just want to focus on the fact that I now have an opportunity to do better and start a better one. I don’t have the patience for family politics and I can do without that kind of stress. I don’t want comments or complaints about my hair, weight, food, music, dress or choice of mate. If you can’t be happy for me and step back and know your place, then I can’t be bothered with or by you.
I will get married quietly. We will steal away to some far off unknown Caribbean island. It’ll be me, my partner, some random guy who has the authority to officiate a wedding, maybe my brother and sister, and a select few people from my partner’s family. I’ll have a wedding by the beach, followed by a quaint and quiet supper of oxtail, rice and peas, coleslaw, Peardrax/Martinelli’s and black cake. Then I’ll post the photos to the gram and on Facebook so that you can be hipped to the fact that I finally got hitched.
I’m happy for Meghan but I hurt for her. She deserved better.