Discuss and debate the issues that mean the most to you.
Oh God, it’s happened, I’ve become the worst kind of weekly-gossip-rag-reading, Daily Mail-worshipping lunatic.
There’s no good way to say this, so I’m just going to spit it out, and then hope I don’t choke to death on my own tongue: I’m really interested in the state of Kate Middleton’s baby bump.
There, I said it. Do you hate me? I hate me.
When K-Middy’s pregnancy was announced in December, ahead of schedule, my first instinct was to write a post about just how ridiculous the media circus surrounding the royal womb was. Which I did, here.
Oh, but the Daily Mail will make hypocrites out of all of us, and so will Twitter, damn you Twitter.
Kate Middleton was pictured just this weekend on a skiing holiday with her lovely heir to the throne husband and lovely not-third-in-line-to-the-throne-for-much-longer brother-in-law.
I know this because there was a picture of her on the front page of every Sunday paper, so that wasn’t technically my fault. What self-respecting journo doesn’t do a run of all the papers when purchasing their Sunday morning eggs and Alka Selzer?
This means I know how big the Royal Bump was at the end of last week. The answer: not very. I’m not even sure one could describe it as ‘burgeoning’ just yet (sorry Daily Mail Reporter, back to your Thesaurus you go). In fact, a little trip to Google tells me that right now, at 21 weeks, the royal fetus is the same size as a pomegranate, which is nice.
So, that in mind, why the hell did I feel the need to attentively follow the progress of Kate and The Womb (good name for a rock band?) when she visited Grimsby yesterday? She was hardly going to double in size overnight, and even if she did, why should I care? Why do I click on every single Tweet I see promising Latest Pictures of Kate’s Baby Bump?
I’m vaguely fascinated by the state of my friend’s (burgeoning) pregnancy bumps. But that’s because they’re my friends, and it's interesting to see someone I was doing tequila slammers with mere months ago suddenly looking all pregnant and maternal, with massive knockers.
However, I’ve never once done tequila slammers with Kate (she’s a sambuca girl), so why do I give a shit about the royal uterus? Why have I become someone I hate? Why, why WHY?
Maybe it’s because K-Mid and I are roughly the same age, and I’m endlessly fascinated by how much more grown up than me she is.
Obviously, I’m not suggesting I could have bagged a major royal, or even a Freddie Windsor character had I grasped the rudimentaries of the glossy blow dry when I was still in sixth form.
But, BUT, what if I’d met some slightly wealthy banker type when I was at university (I think I was a year behind K-Mid, FYI), let the relationship simmer on for a sensible eight years before getting married aged 29 and getting sprogged up at a socially acceptable and probably very average 30-and-a-half years old (ok, I’m only 30-and-a-bit now, so I’m basically looking into the future, but you get the idea)?
Do you think if all of that had happened, I’d look at Kate Middleton now and think ‘I know you, and despite the fact that you’re a member of the royal family and our lives will be completely different, I sort of get where you’re coming from’?
Because right now I look at her and think ‘ooooh, look at the pretty fairly princess lady, she’s sooooo beautiful, do you think she’ll let me ride her unicorn?’
Princess Catherine (as she is occasionally and inconsistently known) and I may be about the same age, yet she might as well be a decade older. She’s all glossy mane and diamonds and Hobbs, and motherhood, while I’m writing this with a mild hangover, bits of tissue fluff all over my jumper, and a vague feeling that I forgot to take my probiotics this morning. Kate/Catherine/HRH NEVER forgets to take her probiotics.
And that’s what fascinates me about her. How can someone who’s only had 13 more months on the planet than I have have managed to negotiate life so much more gracefully to become a proper grown up?
Yes she has all the money and privilege that comes with being a royal, but she also managed to keep it together while getting married in front of millions (billions? Zillions?) of people.
I once had to do a ten-minute talk in front of 30 people and sweated so much my hair stuck to my face (as in right across my face) for the entire time. Kate didn’t even get a shiny upper lip during her nuptials.
She’s dealt with endless press intrusion, including some unfortunate boob photos with grace and skill. I have a minor breakdown if someone puts a bad chin picture of me on Facebook.
As far as I can tell, she’s never: left her purse at the checkout at the supermarket, leaned in to kiss someone only for them to recoil in disgust and go ‘Woah! What are you doing?,’ or eaten a kebab. She just emerged, as she is now, a fully fledged woman, completely perfect.
Some people think all females can be put into one of two categories. We're all either a girl or a woman. It’s nothing to do with age, you’re just born that way. Which is why some 19-year-olds are going on 40, and which is why my 82-year-old grandmother is still a girl. Do you really need me to tell you which one K-Mid is?
Which brings us back to the bump. I think I’m fascinated with it, and with Kate Middleton’s pregnancy because it’s the very epitome of womanhood. As I watch her pregnancy progress, I’m watching the void between the women (them) and the girls (us) grow.
As we grow older, the gap between the people who are running towards adulthood, and the rest of us, who are running away from it, becomes bigger.
People always tell you you'll find 'your people' when you go to university, and meet friends you'll keep for the rest of your life. But the truth is, you really only really find your 'tribe' when you hit your thirties, and life starts to separate the women from the girls.
And this is what Kate Middleton represents to me - she's the perennial grown up, the ultimate 'woman'. As if she didn't have enough on her plate.