"You must remember this,
A kiss is still a kiss,
A sigh is just a sigh,
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by."
"As Time Goes By"
The royal newlyweds are off on their honeymoon today, and, to be perfectly honest, I'll be just fine if I don't see or hear anything more about this royal wedding for awhile.
But I realize that some people are really into this.
It does appear to have drawn a higher audience (in England, at least) than Charles and Diana's wedding in 1981 — which makes sense, I suppose. The world's population is larger today than it was then. If the audience was higher in England, it would follow that it would be higher elsewhere.
I slept right through the whole thing, but I know some women who got up at 3 a.m. just to watch the royal wedding — and excitedly exchanged their thoughts via Facebook, where the first to post a picture of the couple kissing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace was hailed by her friends as some kind of conquering hero.
That was what they had been waiting for. Not the traditional bride and groom kiss in the church, but that kiss, the one at the palace.
"It's like a fairy tale," wrote one of my friends. I could imagine the others nodding in virtual agreement.
Anyone may kiss in a church, but only a few people get to kiss at Buckingham Palace on their wedding day.
I guess they were waiting for the same thing in 1981. There were very few personal computers in those days, no commercial internet, little in the way of cable news. It was, by comparison, a technologically primitive time.
But I'm sure that photos and video clips of Charles and Diana kissing at Buckingham Palace were what everyone was waiting for. And the couple obliged.
OK, I'm a guy, and most of the guys I know just aren't into that wedding thing. Guys know that weddings really aren't about them. They are expected to show up and say "I do" at the appropriate time, but no one really seems to care, for example, about what a groom is wearing.
And if a groom tosses his boutonnière, well, I don't think that would be received too kindly by the guests. My guess is it might be interpreted as a hostile gesture.
Unless, of course, the groom happens to be a member of the royal family.
Anyway, yesterday I sort of watched from the digital shadows as my female friends conversed excitedly, speculating about which of them would be the first to post a picture of William and Kate kissing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
And it occurred to me that sometimes a kiss ain't just a kiss.
I remembered an old episode from All in the Family, when Archie objected to neighbor Irene's gift of a reproduction of Rodin's statue "The Kiss" to Mike and Gloria.
Archie thought the statue was obscene because the two people in it were naked. As far as Archie was concerned, a kiss is not just a kiss.
Nor, I suppose, was a kiss just a kiss more than a century ago, in the early days of filmmaking, when a brief film called "The Kiss" scandalized folks in 1896.
The man and woman in that film were fully clothed, and the viewers saw them only from the neck up, anyway, but that 47–second film was considered indecent by many people in those days.
I doubt that anyone would feel that way now, and I can only imagine how the people of 1896 would react if they could see some of the things that are in movies today. Standards change, and, for that and many other reasons, I believe most of the people of the late 19th century would not be comfortable in the early 21st century.
But I suspect that one thing that has not changed much is the public's fascination with royal weddings. They were probably waiting eagerly for royal newlyweds to kiss on the balcony hundreds of years ago. We just don't have the photographs to prove it.
No doubt about it. Sometimes a kiss isn't just a kiss.