the suzi parker files

Politics, Pop Culture and Ponderings

Bill, Hillary and Chelsea: An Only Child’s Wedding Day

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I’ve seen Chelsea Clinton twice outside of the political arena.

One afternoon, when she was no older than 10, my mom and I spotted her and Hillary at a downtown mall in Little Rock. Chelsea wanted to buy something, but Hillary said no, repeatedly and sternly. It was a telling moment between a mother and a little girl. Perhaps, Hillary was trying to teach Chelsea a lesson on saving money. Or that even kids who happen to be only children don’t always get everything they want.

A few weeks later, I happened upon Chelsea and Bill shopping in a department store. Bill was trying on suits, and Chelsea was supervising. She was picking out ties and running the show.

This summer, Bill and Hillary’s only child plans to marry investment banker Marc Mezvinsky. He is the son of former Iowa congressman Edward Mezvinsky, who was sentenced to prison for a numerous counts of fraud in 2001, and former NBC reporter and congresswoman Marjorie Margolies.

Hillary told journalists in China Tuesday that the wedding is “the most important activity going on in my life right now.”

Hillary even spent time on a Chinese talk show explaining wedding showers. “It is not where you go in and have a shower, it is where friends of the bride and family come together and you give gifts to the bride and you tell stories and you show pictures of when she was a little girl.”

It’s funny that the most powerful woman in the world is sitting around chatting about bridal showers. Could the wedding really be the center of Hillary’s universe? After all, as secretary of state, she juggles a hectic schedule of world leaders, treaties and travel.

The answer: Yes. I’m an only child and the special dynamics between an only kid and parents are unique. No doubt, Bill, as father of the bride, is equally as excited, nervous and focused as Hillary. To this troika, the wedding is pressing a family matter as Afghanistan or Iraq is to foreign affairs.

Friends of Bill in Little Rock agree. When Chelsea is mentioned, they never fail to tell various stories about how Bill and Hillary always attended her church programs and dance recitals when she was little.

Now, they whisper that Bill is just as giddy about the wedding as Hillary.

In April on NBC’s “Today” show he said, “Chelsea has been good enough to include me in the decisions…so I love that.”

And they say he’s likely to be an emotional wreck that day. In interviews, he has said he will feel, “Proud, grateful, wistful. I’ll be thinking about the day she was born. I’ll be thinking about the first day of school.”

He’s also trying to do what his daughter wanted: Lose 15 pounds before the big day. Then again he’s always trying to lose weight.

There’s not a lot known about the wedding even among FOBs. They won’t say whether they’ve received an invitation. They just smile. It’s rare for FOBs not to spill some scoop but they are highly sensitive to Bill and Hillary’s lifelong desire for their child’s privacy.

Some wedding rumors have leaked over the last few months. Chelsea’s dress could be designed by Hillary fave Oscar De La Renta. Or maybe Chelsea has her own designer toiling away on a custom design, which Hillary did not have when she married Bill in 1975. She bought off-the-rack Jessica McClintock at Dillard’s.

The location is in the New York countryside likely not far from Chappaqua. The ceremony is complicated. Hillary is Methodist. Bill is Southern Baptist. The groom is Jewish. Like many interfaith couples, it will likely be a modern meshing of nuptials and religion.

For Bill and Hillary, it’s a nerve-wracking and emotional time. Weddings can be as complicated as Middle East peace talks whether or not they include powerful families. There are menus to debate, dresses to fit, champagne to ponder, and flowers to study.

It’s far more complex for the Clintons. They not only have to deal with a nervous bride but complex security plans and a global guest list that includes friends of the parents but not necessarily Chelsea’s.

Knowing how only children maneuver — i.e. get their own way — it’ll be no surprise that Chelsea’s wedding day goes off exactly as she dreams. And if Bill can’t lose those 15 pounds before the big day? He’ll have his suit fitted to look as if he did to keep his little girl happy.

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Written by suziparker1313

March 2, 2011 at 7:06 pm

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