(To Kater-Haters ... skip down a few paragraphs!! Not everyone loves the Princess ...)
I guess fact checkers must've been on vacation at Perez Hilton and People magazine when they reported Kate Middleton was 'absolutely gutted' over her topless shots in September - because she was so demure she never even got drunk after she started seeing Prince William in university.
Actually, Kate did get 'legless' (posh for 'drunk') at least a few times at St. Andrews where she met the Prince when they both studied Art History there ten years ago. Willy almost dropped out of Scotland's oldest university during 'fresher' year because he wasn't enjoying the course. It was Kate who convinced him to switch to Geography - after which their friendship developed into a top secret and lasting romance.
I know all this because one of my b-day books (and consequently cleanse books - it's always a great idea to get in some new books when you cleanse) is 'Kate' by royal watcher Sean Smith. So I'm learning all about the princess - and the fact that she wasn't such a prude about drinking in school after all. According to Smith, se actually did get 'legless' sometimes.
She even had to be carried up the stairs to her dorm room by 'Hairy Oli' - a mutal friend - after a 2002 pre-exam bender at Ma Bell's, a popular student hangout in the village of St. Andrews (better known by most people for golf). William was also spotted stumbling around the grounds that night, even falling into bushes outside Salvatore Hall, the co-ed dorm they both lived in. His bodyguards had to fish him out and, apparently, rush around to confiscate all the pics his fellow students had taken of him.
Kate was so relaxed about drinking, she even helped start a girls-only drinking club to rival the longstanding boys' group. It was called the Lumsden Club and for it, Kate helped plan drinking parties like the Red Hot Martini Party and the Summer Pimms Party, where presumably many an upscale young student got legless themselves. (FYI the get-togethers were usually fundraisers. That's what rich people always do to excuse their partying right? Raise money for poor folks? Awesome idea.)
Smith goes on to say that despite the fact Kate knew how to have a good time, she was by no means a 'ladette.' I had never heard this word before and had to Google it. According to the Urban Dictionary, ladettes are young ladies who like to drink, party and play sports as much as guys (Kate is a real sportswoman, btw). They don't mind stumbling around and/or puking and urinating in public either. In fact, such behavior is a badge of honor. (Nice to know the future queen isn't actually proud of letting loose with bodily functions in public.)
I started to wonder if I was a ladette when I was younger. I was terrible at sports, so that's a no-go. I did stumble and puke quite a few times, though, no question about that. Peeing in public? Ummm ... musta happened, but it would've been in the bushes. Falling down was par for the course. Down stairs, into walls, over furniture. But I still don't think that made me a ladette ... just another typical student nursing the early stages of a drinking problem.
For some reason though, the term 'ladette' brought to mind a 'lad' I knew who didn't mind puking in public. I was in my teens when I met him and after much flirting at bars and parties, we finally decided to have an official date.
He came to pick me up in whatever pathetic car he had at the time. He was super-cute, a star hockey player in my hometown and all the girls wanted to date him. Let's call him Pete. He wasn't the fastest puck on the ice if you get my meaning, but he had a great sense of humor and looked like a cross between Leif Garret and Owen Wilson (both scores in my books), so I was pretty excited about seeing him - and the potential 'snog' session in his parents' basement afterwards. 'Snog' being posh for kissing. ;)
When I climbed into the car, I noticed he looked sort of ... well, gray. His jaw was slack, his eyes were bloodshot and his tousled blonde hair was even messier than usual. There was also a light film of sweat on his face and he smelled awful. He told me he had partied a bit too hard the night before and I thought, 'a bit?' but didn't say anything. I wasn't impressed though because Pete was an experienced drinker. How drunk does a hockey player in his teens have to get to actually sweat and turn gray 24 hours later? I felt a bit disrespected. If he had been so excited to see me, he should've planned it a bit better.
Anyway, we went to a popular roadhouse back home (still love roadhouses, btw - all those kitschy mass-produced vintage signs, the Made in China milk jugs, the greasy food, the servers who can write their names upside-down in Crayon nubs on the kraft paper tablecloths - and, of course, the usually enormous glasses of wine - superclassy!).
When the waitress came, I probably ordered a white wine spritzer or a vodka and grapefruit juice (my early 80s preferences). Pete didn't even order a beer. He said he was too hungover. He got a Coke instead. Maybe a water. Whatever the case, I clearly remember it was alcohol-free.
I was already dealing with my early drinking problem, so I was slightly offended to be indulging alone. I was also very young, so the idea of going to a restaurant and having a couple of drinks with a handsome date was something I was looking forward to. It made me feel grownup. The fact that he wasn't drinking bothered me even more than the non-stop belching. Yes, the belching. He burped, blawpped and buggghhhhed every few minutes. He covered his mouth (occasionally) and mumbled 'Sorry' every now and again, but still.
As for food, I don't remember what I ordered, but it was a real meal (or as real as they get in roadhouses). But I'll never forget what Pete ordered.
A salad. And no drink?
Metrosexuality and low-carb diets were still far into the future so a hockey player who ordered a salad on a first date seemed weird to me. But he said he didn't have much of an appetite ... because of this hangover. And I'm thinking to myself, 'If you're soooo damn hungover (and what teenager in my hometown wasn't hungover on occasion) then why the hell did you even come out tonight?!!!'
But I didn't say anything. I just fumed quietly and looked at my watch (a big men's Timex, if I remember correctly. Ahhh, the 80s.).
Anyway, it was a summer evening so it was still light outside our window table. Bright-green probably fake plants hung from shiny brass hooks in the ceiling. Conversation had always been on the thin side with Pete, but he could barely even talk that night. He nursed his water and picked at his salad and continued to sweat and belch across the table from me. My miffedness continued.
The dinner didn't last long. The sun was just staring to go down when we left the restaurant. He had parked close to the door, right in front of a long line of windows across the front of the restaurant. I could see all the people at their tables laughing and enjoying themselves beneath the hanging fake plants.
I went around to the passenger side and opened the door. Pete, closest to the resto, opened the driver's side door. Then all of a sudden, he said "oh-oh." Then, using the car door for support, he bent over and speeeeewwwwwwwed all over the parking lot. Right in front of this window of people who started looking over and gawping in horror. I think a few of them even covered their mouths.
I climbed into the car, crossed my arms and continued to fume as I listened to the gross splashing on the asphalt and the gagging from my date. It went on for quite some time - considering he'd just had a salad. I would've got out and walked home, but it was miles away and you can't just hail a cab in my hometown. ;) So I just sat there and let the poor people in the restaurant witness my glamorous night out.
I finally heard the last of it and he let out a big post-puke sigh of relief. He wiped his mouth and climbed into the driver's seat. 'That feels better,' he said. He put the key in the ignition and looked over at me. His tone was completely natural when he said, 'Let's go to my place.'
I felt the last of my ladylike reserve snap. 'Are you fucking kidding me?!' I said in disgust. 'Take me home.' (It was one of the few times I did have ladylike reserve in the 80s, actually.)
He gave a sheepish look and obeyed orders. We didn't even talk during the drive. I got out of the car with a roll of my eyes, a slam of the door and no kiss. Natch. (He hadn't even chewed a stick of gum.) We never went on a date again. I'm not even sure I ever laid eyes on him after that.
Just now I got a bit curious about what he got himself up to in life (besides a probable brush with A.A.) so I just Googled his name. Looks like a couple years after that parking lot episode, he ended up in the UK playing professional hockey.
The UK? That's a coincidence. I began this post writing about some of the most famous Brits in the world, Kate Middleton and Prince William.
I imagine you don't have to be a great hockey player to get drafted in the U.K. No offense intended.
But I bet you do have lots of opportunities to get 'legless.' Pete would've loved that part. He probably even married a ladette.
One day left to go!
Ladette - Urban Dictionary
PerezHilton.com on Kate
'Kate' by Sean Smith at Amazon.com
'Kate' at Chapters.Indigo.ca
And for the intellectuals St. Andrews University in Scotland founded in 1413