Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kanye West
Congratulations on your one-week wedding anniversary!
Until the latest media barrage, I had not followed pop culture since working at a subsidiary of Time Inc. in the 1990s. An issue of People (shared weekly by the magazine staff) was one of our perquisites.
Nary a baby bump graced a cover. Somewhere in the haze, I recall the disgrace and the departure of Diana, Princess of Wales, from the Windsor “family firm” and the ensuing blather.
Oh, dear. Nick Nolte was the “sexiest man alive” in 1992. Ten years later, Nick’s DUI mug hit the hungry media.
Last week, I put up my feet and wildly punched my way through multiple remotes. Kim/Kanye marriage mania was the mantra of every network, and I could not catch a break.
Fawning correspondents—British, of course—gushed over the details of your country-hopping bliss. The only “news” outlet sans Kim/Kanye madness was C-SPAN. A lone legislator spouted off to an empty chamber.
Alas, Mr. and Mrs. West, dramatic cuts to the mass Isla Vista slayings interrupted your publicity triumph. The smiley anchorette went somber—on producer cue—when switching to the alleged killer’s chilling video. It looked as if the network sickos would play every creepy minute. I hit the “off” button. That oscillating coverage must have kicked in a viewership bonanza.
Okay, I am not of the crowd who solemnly declares, “I dare not sign up for cable. PBS is our channel of choice.” Nor do I echo the few, the proud, and the presumptuous who declare, “I do not own a TV, and I lock up my mobile devices. Even a glance will destroy my child’s brain.” I want my TV: “Andy Griffith,” “I Love Lucy,” “The Daily Show,” “The Big Bang Theory,” the “Star Trek” franchise, “Downton Abbey,” and “Game of Thrones.”
Well, Mr. and Mrs. West, you finally sucked me in with that pre-nup bash at Versailles. (My excuse? I am an ardent Francophile.) I hopped, skipped, and jumped through the remotes to catch “Entertainment Tonight.” Oh, my. Two decades had flown by. Mary Hart and her $1 million legs were no more. But another blonde talking head carried on. (Vanna White, your alphabet days are numbered.)
A portrait of Louis XIV may have caught your eye as 100 champagne bottles uncorked. His heels were the envy of the court, elevating his stature all the more. Copy-cat a pair for a red carpet change. Better yet, introduce them in next season’s Kardashian Kollection.
Hey, Kimye, how about that Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors)? Flashes of Marie Antoinette and pampered mistresses of Louis XIV! You could spot your glam selves at every angle. So could your cloying entourage.
It is no wonder that daughter North West’s pristine-white nursery has mirrored walls. The whole family can admire themselves, down to stepfather Bruce Jenner’s latest facelift.
The touches of a masquerade? Oh, how historically clever of your wedding planner! Those French royals—from Louis XIV to his beheaded descendants—flirted and teased behind their masks.
An orchestra in period garb? Eighteenth-century-style palace guards on horseback? Spiffy! (The heads of the last crew perched on spikes after they haplessly defended Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and Navarre, against a mob of starving women. Nevertheless, public taste does move on; today’s populace would rather feast on your photo-ops. How delicious they are!)
Could it be that its builders, the noble Medici family—patrons of artists (Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo da Vinci) and science (Galileo Galilei)—inspired your choice of setting? . . . Nah, your wedding planner told you it was “awesome” and would be the envy of other celeb couples staging a wedding coup.
The Italian unemployment rate stagnates at 12.7 percent, so the locals likely perked up at the prospect of your 48-hour playground.
That 20-foot wall of flowers, lavish banquet spread, and all-night fireworks brought in a pretty euro. The yardmen must have thrilled to clip shrubbery, prune trees, and mow lawns. (How the locals slept through your heavenly thunder-and-lightening show remains unknown.)
On to Ireland, Mr. and Mrs. West! One week except for a 24-hour whirlwind jaunt to Prague! Now that put a temporary dent in a 12 percent Irish unemployment rate.
However, Mrs. West, you flaunt it, so here is the approximate breakdown for the peons who worship you and your husband.
Engagement ring: $1.25 million (How prudent: your last cost $2 million.)
Bachelorette party: $4,100
Bachelorette party frock: $16,000
‘Dos and hair designers: $65,000
Versailles bash: $681,000
Versailles fireworks: $204,210
Jet-setting (Paris to Florence): $218,000
Forte di Belvedere venue: $410,000+ (Bummer! At the last wedding, Montecito’s Sottee Il Monte estate was rent free.)
Guest accommodations (Paris and Florence): $500,000+ (Advantage: you cut the budget when Beyoncé and Jay Z were no-shows. Were they again stuck in an elevator with Solange?)
Family accommodations: $1,800 per room (Advantage: you saved a tad when brother Robert Kardashian checked out.)
Givenchy wedding gown, matchy-matchy dress for North West, and tux: $500,000 (At the last wedding, three Vera Wang dresses totaled $60,000. Moving up!)
20-foot flower tower and other buds: $136,000
7-foot cake: $6,815
Security: $3 million
Andrea Bocelli performance: God knows
My fellow civilized Southerners would agree (as well as their counterparts in other regions): throwing cash at an event does not make you a tastemaker. For instance, Mrs. Bruce Jenner, it is most unseemly for an MOB to wear white, much less display plunging cleavage.
And, Mrs. West, what’s with those mother-daughter twin-like wedding dresses? I do not care whether Givenchy whipped them up. Many offspring find this embarrassingly tacky. Eventually, North West will hide the pics and then change her name because she is not a direction on Google Maps, nor can she upstage Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest. (Not to worry North: fruitcake Gwyneth Paltrow named her child Apple.)
Mr. and Mrs. West, I could not afford to buy one image scan of your wedding, though I can Google your record-breaking Instagram kiss. As Samantha Grossman quipped in Time: “Kim Kardashian is kind of famous for nothing, but no longer! Now she’s famous for uploading the most popular Instagram ever.” Obviously, Ms. Grossman has never ventured to Sears for an off-the-rack Kardashian style statement, which keeps you busy-busy.
Nonetheless, I prefer to share pics of fashionable southern brides who do not deplete their family coffers to indulge in over-the-top Hollywood antics.
Just to let you know, Mr. and Mrs. West, no one in the United States is royalty. And that includes the Kennedys. This is a republic. Nonetheless, thank you for welcoming us into your studio. Your intellect and interview skills are stellar.
Maybe I’ll flip through your People wedding feature while waiting in the Kroger express lane.
White flower painting courtesy of Lincolnian
The Palace of Versailles main golden gate courtesy of Sunil.phys
Fort di Belvedere, Florence’s celebrated fortification, courtesy of Sailko
Period luxury bedchamber courtesy of Tim Schapker
Sarah DeShaw Photography/Pinterest/St. Simons Island, Georgia