Monday, August 27, 2007

Ten Years Ago

I've been watching Lifetime TV and the TV Guide channel because they are all running Princess Diana specials all month. It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since she died in a car crash in Paris. (You notice that I didn't say "car accident" - consipracy theories abound.) I've seen the movie about her last days, I've seen the fictional it-could-be-real-but-probably-isn't movie about how she was murdered, and I've seen one of the shows about her legacy. I have two more lined up on the TiVo. Why is she still so interesting to all of us? What was it about her that drew people in and made us want to know her? I think, for me, it is the contradictions that surround her that interest me so much. She was beautiful, wealthy, incredibly popular, and still had such low self-confidence, was unhappy, and depressed. All the clothes, the jewels, and the comforts of her life didn't satisfy her - in the end, she is most remembered for her mothering and her humanitarian work. People were always most important to her. It seems to me that she always tried to use her position for good.

I stayed up to watch her wedding, way back in 1981. I stayed up to watch her funeral sixteen years after that. Now, I'm older than she was when she died. It makes me sad to know that she was the most photographed, the most hunted, person in history. But still, every time her photo is on the cover of a magazine, I am compelled to pick it up and read about her. Perhaps in the next ten years, instead of trying to blame her death on yet another secret conspiracy or find the box that contained her secrets, perhaps we will focus on her work with people and actually do some good in the world. Like she did.

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