On Tuesday morning, I sat next to my husband at breakfast as he bemoaned the cover of Prince Harry’s new book, Spear.
He said, “I will never understand people’s fascination with celebrities.”
I said “really”. “Rocky Colavito.” Sam McDowell. Leon Wagner”.
I live for that smile of resignation on his face. You just named three of his childhood heroes in Cleveland baseball.
We all have our qualms with outstanding humans. They make us feel things.
I’ve always admired singer-songwriter Carly Simon, but as a teenager I respected her. We were both surrogates with the same initials, born in the same month. Also, she was gorgeous on the cover of her album, No Secrets, and that enabled me to face my mom. I was fifteen and waved this wrapper in front of my mom like an FBI file as proof that times had changed.
She said, “You’re not Carly Simon and I’m still your mom.” “You’re wearing a bra.”
Prince Harry makes us think
What does this have to do with Prince Harry? Nothing and everything. It’s only natural to be curious about people who live lives bigger than us. Of course we’re infatuated with this 38-year-old prince who insists he’s a husband and father first. He’s willing to challenge a predetermined life – and seemingly with little regard for who he wants to be. If he hadn’t grown up with great privilege, many of us would be cheering him on.
Could how we feel about Prince Harry now have a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves these days?
Thank you, Prince Harry:For having the courage to speak your truth
Do you know when we get angry for whatever reason? The world we see confirms our worst suspicions, starting with the image staring back at us in the mirror. My God, the courage it took in those days to walk out the door. And once we do, one person after another continues their list of ways to annoy us. Other people’s quirky habits create a bouquet of our last straws. The good news for a fellow is our gateway to the green mile of irrelevance.
On better days, the mirror tells us, “You have this.” We go, to look upon other people’s habits as those little tics that make them, if not remarkable, uniquely their own. Strangers often wave at us in traffic, we’re sure of that. Invading a colleague is our chance to show how generous we are.
Maybe these fluctuations in mood and perception are just happening to me. And I am Queen Constance, ruler of the planet Tupperware.
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Date:England often did better with queens on the throne. Will Elizabeth II be the last?
Some of you may tell me that you couldn’t care less about Harry or his new book. I say this with love: If you’ve claimed this more than three times in the past week, you care, even if you find it annoying, and you don’t have to feel any shame about it. It’s everywhere now, and it’s very American to feel like we have to have an opinion about it because we have opinions about everything.
Interest in the book
Oh, and I should mention this: Harry and I have the same publisher, which is Penguin Random House. As the disclosure goes, this is a bit like saying President Joe Biden and I share the same stature because I’m also American.
On the day of its publication, “Spire” had sold 1.4 million copies in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. I’ve sold far fewer. (be nice.)
Much was written and tweeted about Harry’s book before it was made available to the public. If you are interested in him, I encourage you to read this thoughtful and often quiet account of his life.
As not many will read him, I highlight only one misrepresentation of his book, as that made it potentially dangerous to him and his family. Because a clip was shared out of context, he was falsely accused of boasting about the number of people he had killed in the war in Afghanistan.
He spoke about this in a recent interview with Stephen Colbert:
“I think the most important thing here, is not just the context, but the reason why I decided to share this in my book. …to the vets here and the civilians here—which as if this might seem like a bit of an odd conversation, especially on this show of all shows—but I chose to share it. Because I’ve spent nearly two decades working with veterans all over the world, I think the most important thing is to be honest and to be able to give space to others so they can share their experiences without any shame.My whole goal and attempt in sharing those details is to reduce the number of suicides. “.
For this reason alone, I am willing to give his book as much attention as possible.
Connie Schultz is a columnist for USA TODAY, a Pulitzer Prize winner whose novel The Daughters of Iretown is a New York Times bestseller. You can reach her at CSchultz@usatoday.com or on Twitter: @employee
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