M6 for Herb

Sure, there may be a royal wedding on Saturday but Bakersfield is marrying off a pair of its notable figures: Matt Munoz and Miranda Whitworth.

There are two big weddings this weekend:

Matt Munoz and Miranda Whitworth and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Matt and Miranda are getting married at the Kern County Museum Chapel. Prince Harry and Meghan at Windsor Castle. There is royalty and then there is Bakersfield royalty.

For those who don't know the Bakersfield couple, Matt is the marketing coordinator for the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Miranda is the manager of communications at Kern Medical Center. But you are more likely to have seen them at any large local festival or music event, Matt leading the popular party band Mento Buru and Miranda sought-after for her skills as an emcee.

Matt and Miranda were once our neighbors. Good ones. They moved onward and upward to La Cresta with a better view, less fog and an afternoon breeze.

Meghan and Prince Harry I know less well, although had I been paying attention, there is little I wouldn’t have learned about them down to the kind of underwear Prince Harry prefers — recycled boxer shorts. (Matt, I have not asked.)

My wife will be getting up at 4 a.m. Saturday to watch the royal wedding. For Prince William and Kate Middleton’s nuptials in April 2011, Katie drove up from San Diego and they had a mother and daughter night.

Women love weddings — the announcements, the photos and the dresses. If you are a woman and fall into this category, a royal wedding is like the Super Bowl of weddings.

Men, obstinate creatures that they are and not having a romantic bone in their bodies, are no fans of weddings, royal or not because they tend to gum up a perfectly good Saturday. I polled my friends and asked if they would be getting up at 4 in the morning to watch the wedding and several of them answered: “Who’s getting married?”

Those who knew, looked at me as if I had asked them if they had planned on swimming the English Channel clad in woolens.

I wasn’t surprised. If they had said, “Yes, I’ll be getting up with my wife and we’ll be wearing matching pajamas,” their response would have triggered the friend review process.

"I’m not sure we can be friends anymore. You’re a guy. Sleep until 8, stumble in and then ask her why she got up so early."

Why did she get up? This is why. Because our wives are married to us and it’s been a royal surprise.

On her wedding day, for one shining moment, she was a princess. Splendid, regal, with a slew of glassy-eyed attendants who turned out were well on their way to getting hammered but before doing so were positively angelic.

She wore a beautiful dress, her hair looked impossibly great and everybody was there to see her, mostly her, because who really cares about a guy in a suit?

For one day, she ruled. The kingdom was hers. Everybody did her bidding even if they were seething with resentment that would some day surface and ruin a family Thanksgiving. However, on her perfect day, clouds were a million miles away.

Then, she woke up the following morning and who should be sleeping next to her but Mr. Crusty. What happened to Prince Charming? Where did he go and why didn’t he leave a note?

Years later, even Mr. Crusty would be an upgrade over the taciturn man sitting across from her at the dinner table. A man who has said nothing in weeks and appears to have lost the ability to speak.

Contrast this with the royal wedding, which is a door to a pleasant and harmless fairy tale. The royal ball, the royal carriage, men in red playing trumpets. What’s not to like?

Certainly not Prince Harry who seems to be a decent chap, not the kind of chap that most Americans want to beat up, and Meghan Markle is American, biracial, an actress, divorced and seems to contend with a lot of family drama.

People love drama. Most of us have some kind of crazy in our family where somebody is not speaking to somebody else and doesn’t plan to for the rest of their lives and the next life too.

Big weekend for weddings. Bakersfield and Britain. Royal happiness to them all.

Herb Benham is a columnist for the Bakersfield Californian and can be reached at hbenham@bakersfield.com or 661-395-7279.

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