Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kanye West

Mrs. West, will your marriage fade before this bloom droops? Go for it! At least 10 weeks rather than the mere 63 days of your last altar trip.

Mrs. West, will your marriage fade before this bloom droops and falls of the vine? Do not disappoint your fans. Go for it—at least 11 weeks rather than the mere 72 days after your last trip to the altar with Kris Humphries.

Congratulations on your one-week wedding anniversary!

Poor Diana. By the 1990s, she loathed that dress. She looked as if she had crawled up through a tiered wedding cake and popped out her head.

Poor Diana. By the 1990s, she loathed that dress. She looked as if she had crawled up through a tiered wedding cake and popped out her head.

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.

 Joan Rivers and the Fashion Police nailed Nolte for the Hawaiian shirt and unkempt locks. (Does this portend of Justin Bieber's future?)

Joan Rivers and the Fashion Police nailed Nolte for the Hawaiian shirt and unkempt locks. (Does this portend of Justin Bieber’s future?)

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.

“Women are from Mars and Women are from Venus” is bunk in my world—except for TV “on” buttons. Multiple remotes can drive any woman to a loony bin. Turning on the boob tube is definitely a “man thing.”

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.

Your $2.8 million catered affair cascaded through the airwaves.

Your multi-million-dollar catered affair cascaded through the airwaves.

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.”

Barbarians at the gate!

Barbarians at the gate!

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.)

pencil 002 Louis_XIV_of_France_peThe setting for the party was most fitting. Louis XIV lodged at Versailles for decades, surrounded by hangers-on. After all, he was the Sun King—the world revolved around him.

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.

Kardashian Girls: Take a shoe cue from Louis XIV. His taste was golden.

Kardashian Girls: Take a shoe cue from Louis XIV. His taste was golden, though he never evolved beyond stacked heels. Had he shod his feet with stilettos, rumors may have swirled about his manhood. Nonetheless, his modeling was exquisite. How’s your toe point?

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.

The Galerie des Glaces boasts 357 mirrors. Who could resist reflecting on your beauty?

The Galerie des Glaces boasts 357 mirrors. Who could resist reflecting on your beauty?

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.

Ah, the romance and mystery!

Ah, the romance and mystery of masked balls!

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!)

Framed Pencil 002 Sailko 278px-Forte_belvedere,_vista_su_villa_di_arcetri_e_san_leonardo_peMr. and Mrs. West, yours was a never-ending fairy tale wedding as the entourage winged their way to a surprise setting: Forte di Belvedere near Florence.

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.

pencil scribble 002 640px-American_gold_double-eagles_from_Hackney_peDare I be gauche enough to talk money? (My own parents forbade it.)

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

Mrs. West, could you outdo this queenly 'do?

Mrs. West, could you outdo this queenly ‘do?

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.)

Dig these diggs!

Uber Italian digs!

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

Yep. It was a Fort Knox dream come true.

Yep. It was a Fort Knox dream come true.

Noshes: $110,000

7-foot cake: $6,815

Security: $3 million

Andrea Bocelli performance: God knows

Tears: priceless

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.

Even in this candid pre-wedding shot, my dear friend---who married her true love in Alabama---was all grace sans fuss.

Even in this candid pre-wedding shot, my dear friend—who married her true love in Alabama—was all grace sans fuss.

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

14 Comments on “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kanye West

  1. Quite an unusual post, Catherine. I didn’t know that about Di and her dress, no surprise there something uncomfortable about that marriage right from the beginning.
    I also didn’t know you were a Francophile. I lived in Paris for a year during my college years. With a lady who didn’t speak any English. I learned a lot about myself that year, since I went over with nobody I knew.

  2. Karen–another surprise. I majored in French. I think it’s great you went solo. I traveled with my parents on the 50th anniversary of D-Day. (That is a story in itself, especially with my southern mother afoot on the streets of Paris.)

    • Dr. M, how much press did these crass people receive in Europe? At least the Windsors bring in tourism bucks, and their wedding venues (at least the structures) were paid for centuries ago.

  3. Pingback: Dear Mr. and Mrs. Kanye West | Dr Mustapha Tahir

  4. Intriguing post, Catherine, as always. I love the way you weave a narrative! Please don’t fret about Kimye’s expenditures, though. They made out fine. To wit:

    “And like a screeching harpy screaming up from the sulfurous depths of Hell, Kim Kardashian has sensed our happiness and seeks to destroy it, destroy it, DESTROY IT! According to the Daily Mail, Kardashian is ‘cutting deals left and right’ to ‘minimize expenditure and maximize profits for herself and the rest of the family’ when she gets married to Kanye West! By auctioning off everything from video rights to wedding photos, Kim stands to make $21 million from the wedding — in other words, $3 million more than she made from her 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries! And that is why Kardashians get married.”
    Ann Romano; One Day at a Time; The Portland Mercury (Oregon); May 21, 2014.

    I’m sure whether to laugh or cry….


  5. Why, oil of vitriol wouldn’t melt in your mouth, would it, Catherine? I LOVE that you went all celebutard-bashing on Kimye, Ms Hamrick! I giggled through this whole post (especially the bit about Queen Bey and J Z being no-shows, bet that blew whatever minds the “American Royalty” possesses). I got a bit involved in snarking about these grotesque nuptials on Jezebel ( where I occasionally bitch as “MizElaineous”.
    Your post was more fun than a basket of kittens, full of nuggets of hard information tossed with a perfectly-balanced dressing of sarcasm and truth. More, please! All the best from Paris.

  6. My introduction to the Kardashians happened when my little sister forced middle sister and me and to dress as the three Ks as a prank (don’t ask.) I had managed to not know about them until then. And I deeply regret my loss of innocence. Loved this post, Catherine. Off with their heads.

  7. Oh, wow. The cat is out of the bag. I have filed a patent for a machine that washes, dries, and folds one’s laundry. This saved time will enable me to develop the Catherine Collection for Wal-mart. I cannot wait to hit Michaels for a glue gun and a mother lode of glitter.

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