— Two billion people are going to watch the royal wedding Friday, but let's face it, I'm not — and you're not, either fellow dudes.
But don't play dumb. You know exactly what wedding we're talking about here because other people in your household happen to be very excited about said nuptials. In fact, these certain people (and I'm talking about your wife here) haven't been so excited about a wedding since your own. Which is good news and bad news.
It's good because obviously, you nailed your wedding. It doesn't matter if your priest got drunk and got your names wrong, or your photographer got arrested the day after the wedding, and with him vanished the negatives, or even if the bride came this close to getting carted off in a police van herself (all true wedding occurrences from my immediate circle of family and friends).
No, whatever happened, you nailed it because it's a done thing. She had her dress, she was princess for a day, and you're (hopefully) both still happily wearing those rings. In other words, she may compare this royal wedding to her own, but she's not taking notes for another run at the altar.
(To the dudes who are getting married this summer — or are even popping the question in and around a friggin' ROYAL wedding — you're so on your own. I'm sorry, no advice can help you. Except that you may want to hold off a couple of years.)
The bad news for the married gents is that your wife is going to be watching this wedding come hell or high water, and you must be prepared.
OK, I know what you're thinking — you sit through every awards show, no problem. But this isn't the Oscars. For starters, NBC's broadcast starts at 3 in the AM, Eastern Time. Second, its schedule runs nearly 6 hours, with the wedding ceremony itself smack in the middle.
Sure, there's a lot of milling around, but that milling is going to be stored up minute by minute, in glorious high definition, on your DVR. Which brings me to my first tip:
Make sure you set up your DVR to record this puppy! There are few acts of self preservation as altruistic as providing up-front tech support. You do it because you don't want to be bothered at 3:15, but you look awesome. So grab your remote, pull up your TV's guide, select TODAY's royal programming on NBC, preferably, then record whatever show comes right after the wedding, so you don't somehow get blamed for stopping it too soon.
Now, in my house, we don't have a TV in our bedroom, and it's weeks like this that I'm glad. If there's going to be any pre-dawn TV consumed in my house, it must be done in the TV room, far from my bed. But if you have a TV in your bedroom, she'll be there, next to you, watching. You can sleep through it, but in order to achieve maximum snooze, you're going to have to practice a couple of phrases.
First one: "Yes dear, the bride's dress does look gorgeous." Pay close attention. The phrase is NOT: "Yes dear, the bride does look gorgeous." Saying the first phrase will buy you a chance to go back to sleep. Saying the second will get you shaken awake for elaboration. "What exactly do you mean, she looks gorgeous?"
Mind you, YOUR WIFE is allowed to say the bride looks gorgeous, but the correct response to that is — say it with me now — "Not as gorgeous as you."
Well done. You can go back to sleep now, you magnificent bastard.
The truth is, getting through the wedding itself will be easy. Things get trickier after the ceremony. My wife reminds me that female viewers will be comparing themselves to the bride, obsessing over aspects great and small: "If only Elton John came to my wedding!" "If only I had some of her waterproof mascara!" And the all important, "Could I pull off that dress?"
Look, this isn't meant to be shallow. Your wife, like mine, is totally cool and totally smart. But that's what this royal wedding stuff does to their thought processes. It's just temporary, thank God. At some point, they remember the "not so happily ever after" part of the fairy tale, the life in a fishbowl, the misery and tragedy, and realize how much better they may well have it with you, believe it or not. But for the time being, this is their mindset.
So you, my friend, will need to tread carefully. For starters, no matter what the AM schedule typically is, you need to take full charge — of the kids, the pets, the breakfast ... it's all you. After all, she's been up half the night. If she's calling in sick — and it's something many viewers are considering — just go with it. Royal fever could be construed as a form of temporary insanity anyway.
As you probably noticed, the royal wedding doesn't overlap with any of the week's dude-preferred TV, be it Steve Carell's final "Office" episode, the NBA playoffs or the third installment of the "Game of Thrones" miniseries on HBO. Even the space shuttle launch will take place after the last of the official royal wedding celebration is ended. BUT getting your special someone to delete six or more hours of HD wedding video will take careful negotiation. We're not talking homemade massage coupons — we're talking marching to her favorite spa and plunking down cash for an actual coupon for an actual massage. If she still won't budge, there's always the nuclear option: "Want to renew our vows?"
Of course, there is a simpler way through all of this: Bite the bullet, fire up the coffee maker, and watch the thing with her. You will score HUGE points. If this is what you choose, brush up on the basics real quick, by taking a look at Willie Geist's segment on TODAY: