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What to Wear?

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

leeann-calendar-project.jpgWhat to wear?  What to wear? oct-2013.jpgWhat to wear?  What to wear?  Last night I had one of those moments.  Attending a lecture at SCAD given by  Andrew Prince, the designer for Downton Abby’s tiaras, jewels, and crowns, I was fretting about what attire was proper.  I almost put on my tiara but at the last minute decided that would be rude and might draw focus from the stage, what with all the glitter and sparkle that would be perched on top of my pumpkin head. I finally settled on linen pants and a silk top.  Simple.

The Mint Julep Queens do not have tons of rules about what to wear to any of our functions.  Generally you should wear what every you feel comfortable wearing.  Through the tens years of Reigning in Savannah, we have picked up some minor pointers.  Here they are:

1.  Full Regalia means the MJQs will wear gowns and crowns and sashes.

2. Ladies in Waiting can wear gowns and glitter also, but tiara and crowns are discouraged.  YOU are Royal in your private life but when you are with the MJQs, it is  confusing to try and figure out who is a member and who is a visitor.  We are all Queens in our heart, but just for ease, No tiaras or Crowns for Ladies in Waiting.  Dears, We only recently figured this out, so when you look back over photographs, you needn’t wonder,  ”Is that Queen Katina Bomb-ba-cakesky?”  Why no, dear.  That is LABY Bomb.  She attended one party and was not an Official MJQ yet.   “Then why is that darling crown on her head?”  Oh.  I have no idea.  See?  It just stream lines the process of remembering names and membership status.

3.  Match your level of attire to the event, if you can.  AND remember we LOVE the camera and so for photographs try for one hue—green in any shade that you like is suggested, but not required.

4. Wear comfortable shoes.  This is a strong female’s life rule and proclamation, not just a Queen’s.  How can you go and do anything in shoes that are just pretty, but kill your darn feet?  The MJQs are not trees.  We move about. We are not rooted in one place. We flounce down streets and waltz into rooms.  We climb stairs.  Comfort and cuteness for shoe selection is highly recommended.

The May 15th Coronation and Flounce will be raw fun on a cracker if you feel good in whatever you decide to wear.  We will likely flounce from the Jepson to Vinnie’s and then have a little chocolate at LuLu’s, however our plans are fluid and influenced by weather and crowds, so be ready to celebrate just being a female in charge of your realm.

Also,  BRING a small tiara for a girl or for a fellow queenly type who may stop you and ask, “What is going on?”  ”What are y’all doing?” to which you reply, “Oh– we like to celebrate being women and we still like playing dress-up, so since I have always felt royal in my heart, every now and then we all get together in a group and go out to met the public and remind folks like you and your darling daughter to never stop being Royal.  It is good to be Queen.”

Royal Fun is Key

Thursday, April 24th, 2014


On May 15, 204 we will celebrate a decade long reign in Savannah, Georgia.  A decade sounds longer than ten years to me.  Doesn’t it to you?  In a way, the sound of time measurements and words are really worse that the actually time. For example, I am over fifty. That is more than half a century.  You have got to be kidding me.  Stop it with that language.  Half a darn century?  Nawww. That’s can’t be right.  My skin is crawling.  And my hip hurting is so it must be right.

Highnesses, let us agree that we have been reigning as a group of fun-loving women for either one–ten years or a decade, ok?

All Queens and their sponsored Ladies in Waiting  are invited to our Fun is Key- Coronation & Flounce at “Art on Tap” at the Jepson Center on May 15th.

We will have a nibble and a drink.

MJQs, this a full regalia event.  Glitter and sparkle and sash and crown.  Those of you who are not MJQs, I can’t tell you what to wear, so please do not ask unless you want my opinion.  If you do want my Royal advice– I will be more than glad to give it, however it is only worth what you are paying me, so it is not worth a thing.

Back to the MJQs– Three Ladies in Waiting have attended several parties (three or more) and their sponsors have recommended them highly.   Janet, Cara, and Suzanne will be Sashed and One Queen (Erica R.) will be more formally introduced.

On May 15th, we will grab a pedicab or flounce off to dinner.  The location of that dinner has yet to be determined, however I would like Vinnie Van Go-Go’s, but there are many options.

(By the way, all MJQs, consorts, and Ladies, please save the date for August 2.  The MJQs will support Queen Erica R in raising funds for The 200 Hundred Club. Check links under “Blogroll” and “Queens in the Press” to the side of this post for more information.  Find the MJQs on Facebook and Instagram. )

Make it up as you Flounce along

Friday, February 21st, 2014


Celebrating 10 years of Royal Reign with the Mint Julep Queens in Savannah makes me wonder–  ”Where did I go wrong?”  The voiceinmyhead is typically pretty negative and blames me for perceived failures or stumbles.  Shud’dup, voiceinmyhead!  Instead I am gonna ask, “Where did I go right?” Hindsight is 20/20 vision they say, I however have 20/40 at hindsight, so the bifocals are still employed when looking over my shoulder. Glancing at the long blog posts that documented the hand wringing , knickers knotted, hands-up,  roll-coaster fun and frustration of leading a group of independent Regal Women has taught me one thing.  To tell you truth, it has taught me tons more than lame little thing.  Bucket loads of good stuff and great times have filled the last decade. That’s why I am writing a book, but the big thing today is this–Making it up as you go along is OK.

The road of life is there– be it  paved, unpaved, flooded, blocked, pitted, rolling smooth.  I am not in charge of building the path and neither are you.  Each queen has a path.  It is seldom red carpet lined.  Our rules, values, and moires  are there as guide posts.  Markers.  Sometimes they mislead but more often they give big hints.  Trust your gut.  Make up it up as you go along, but check the signs, too.

Next week I am heading to New Orleans to ride with over 200 women in the Krewe of Iris Parade.  On Tybee Island, Saturday March 1st, enthusiastic leaders Queen Kim and Queen Sylvia, 3 Junior Mint Princesses, and 3 Ladies in Waiting  will bravely and joyously flounce from one end of Butler Avenue to the other during the Annual Mardi Gras Parade.  Our Duke of Transport, Sir Richard will drive his 1962 Cadillac once again leading the small procession of Regal females.  I wish I could be both places at once.  Next year I hope to quadruple our queenly representation on Tybee, but if too many pot-holes mar the path it will likely remain a small number. Maybe we are meant to remain an extra small select group so that we can really connect with our well-wishers and not intimidate sweet young princesses we  may meet along the road.  Maybe having a handful of Royals is better than a truckload of…well… whatever.  (BTW- the float I will be on has 21 women.  And there are +20 floats).  Iris has been in existence since 1917.  The MJQs is only ten years old.  New Orleans is New Orleans.  Savannah is Savannah.

I trust that no matter the future of the group, the fun is on the journey.  The TRUE-TRUE is found in the Flounce itself .  So Flounce and Reign on, Mint Julep Queens and Princesses.  It is ok to make up your own set of rules with a tad bit of help from road maps and signs along the way.

‘Tis the Season

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013


‘Tis the season for me to start thinking about giving– Giving gifts and donating to causes should be a year around focus and it partially is.  I write checks and give time in difference do-gooder committees, but I don’t do much, honestly.   Our new Queen Sylvia regularly and faithfully gives time to the Emmaus House.  One morning each week she and her consort Jake get up at O’ Dark-thirty to head downtown to work in a kitchen that provides a sit-down breakfast for hundreds of the city’s homeless.

A few years ago the MJQs batted about the idea of adopting a cause to help our community.  At the time, it was a reaction to wanting a justifaciton for the group’s existence and if you have read anything at all on this site, you know we do not explain or justify our flounces. However we still were faced with pressure. What kind of females would be part of a social group that has no fundraising arm?

Look at us.  We are the kind.

In a knee jerk reaction, we discussed the concept and after seeing that there was no way on God’s green earth we would ever come to an argreeemnt on what non-profit to support, we bagged the idea.  Not to mention we volunteer too much and over commit ourselves, left and right.  Adding a charitable component to the group seemed ill-advised. Just for starters– Sue supports the Ronald Macdoanld house, Patty the Philharmonic and Friends of Music, Lois gives to Friends of Music and the Bamboo Gardens and Junior Acheivement. The list goes on and on!   Bottom line is this.  Good Queens have pet projects.

I am re-thinking whether the group should adopt a cause…one that we all can rally around.

Are you crazy?  Select your own. These ladies have their own ideas and imposing on them  will not work.

It might work. We all have challenges in our lives.  Hardships of every variety we battle.  Ups and downs.  Hills and valleys.  But we all have a roof over our heads.  We all have food, clean water, and good educations.  We all have a safe homes and family.  Maybe we can look outside ourselves and consider a cause for the coming season or the coming year.  What say ye, oh fellow Mint julep Queens?  We can look to members like Sylvia for inspiration.  A child centered charity or woman center charity?  Maybe one you personally have never really done anything for?

The season makes me hopeful.  Maybe it is not crazy.  I feel like I can make a difference.  We can make a difference.  We, as Royals might have an impact.  And if we do nothing as a group, that is ok, too.  I can still do the private individual stuff I was planning…however a group donation of some sort  would be cool.   

Wow.  It could be nice.  Santa’s elves dress in green and so do we, right?  The voiceinmyhead is becoming more accepting and magnanimous,  finally.  

Know thyself- Know thy style

Monday, October 14th, 2013


Ten years ago when the Mint Julep Queens were created by five fun loving women, we thought each lady would have such a strong sense of self,  that each queen would create their own unquie version of sovereign.  If you have never contemplated ruling a realm, you clearly are not a Royal yourself and must be studying the phenomenon.  Let me explain the facts and images a monarch may channel when she is invited to attend a Flounce with us.

American Queen  Jackie Kennedy is the epitome of American Queen in Camelot, complete with clean and crisp lines cut from the pages of the early 1960’s.  This Queen is Elegant, Understated,  but Powerful in her confidence and ease. She may be soft spoken, but she is brilliant, charismatic, and iconic.  Something about those long white gloves makes the crowd wave at her.  She waves back and nobs with a demure smile. This queen is diplomatic.  International.  Globally astute.

Prom Queen.  The lady would have been the perfect homecoming chick–  if only she had been popular .  She was not selected by her classmates because she was not a follower and sashayed to the beat of her own our beach music.  (Honestly, she was not very pretty either.  She may have suffered from UDS–  Ugly Duckling Syndrome.)  But she always wanted a big dress the size of a homecoming float.  Toile and ruffles, chiffon and sequins decorate bright green. Her laughter is infectious.  She is Very Smart and tries every day to be Kind.  Just because she was not voted the most popular cheerleader– (she was not ever a cheerleader, by the way)…just because she was a total nerd in school, does not mean she disdains rhinestone crowns.  On the contrary.

Pageant Queen.  We have some members  who really were so pretty in their youth that they were crowned Queens in beauty contests. They have maintained a beauty that is amazing.  These ladies are humble and know genetics gave them the physical beauty they possess, but their character is their real gift.  Good humored, cheerful and out- going, Pageant Queens are informed, sentimental, and polite.  (The Pageant Queens the MJQs hang out with are these things.) They still own their crown and love the chance to wear it again. Pageant Queens are informed from the era that they reigned.

Fashion Queen.  A 1950’s silhouette. A Chanel look.  Dior.  A Marc Jacobs gown. An Oscar dress.  This queen loves  the spotlight, (who of us doesn’t?)  But is happier to share the attention with fellow Royals.  Metropolitan and Urban, she is intelligent and witty.  Attention to details describe her.  Every photo of her is perfect.

Character Queen   Inspired by history or literature, this Queen has a deep sense of Myth.  Represented archtypes and all, she is acutely aware of her impact on the commoners.  Energetic and strong she is enchanting.    Elizabeth I.  Victoria.  Gwinevere.  Catherine the Great, Cleopatra.  Mid-Summer Night’s Dreame Fairy Queen. Cinderella. Sleeping Beauty.  Scarlett O’Hara.  Need I say more?

Thrift Shoppe Queen   The lady’s look will change based on her mood and her pocket book.  Her thrift shop finds will inspire attire.  She would rather invest her treasure in family and causes than the fleeting fabrics of a grown.  Hyper-creative, she laughs easily and with deep gusto.  She attracts attention and admiration wherever she flounces.  She owns more than one MJQ gown.

Campy Queen   She is glittery and bright. Flashing lights may suddenly appear around her.  She will stick battery powered lights to her dress or shoes. Comfort is more important than anything., so she will wear cowboy boots under her crinoline.  Good natured and cheerful, she is the life of the party.   She knows no fear.

The list above is just the short list.  Some  of the MJQs change their style from year to year.  Some MJQs have specific emergency needs that arise on the day of an event that impact dress choice.  ( Like your darn zipper broke; you are in mourning and totally must wear somber colors; or your dress shrank in the closet.)  It is your realm so you decide what works for you.  And it always a Queen’s prerogative to change style.  We do not all dress alike– except for general hue…green, greenish blue, blueish green, grey green, greenish grey and silver.  Got it?  Emergency attire of unlimited hue is of course encouraged.   Group photos look so much better when done in same the tonal range.  N’est pas? But really, as long as you are happy, it will be the perfect dress for you. If you are not satisfied with your Royal Style, change it.  Remember honeys,  you are not a tree, rooted to one spot.  You can move.  You can Flounce.  With the Queens, and in life, it is wise to adopt a look that helps you enjoy your journey.  As you sashay your chosen  path, folks around you may break into applause.  If they do not, they may not recognize you.   Never the less, it is still good to be Queen.

Three things I miss- Larry, Moe, and Curly

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013


I miss the youthful, ignorant Inner Stooges who helped me be rather risky, crazy, and fun-loving.    They gave me a mythical belief that I am invincible.  I can do it all and have a riotous time in the process.

I miss Moe.  Moe would say, “Nothing bad ever happens to me.  I know I should not be having this second shot of tequila, but it will all be ok in the morning because I am so massively smart.  I will just skip American Lit.  So what if I make a B?  I know I should be taking advanced biology, but the easy ‘A’ in psychology will help my GPA. And a ‘B’ average is plenty good enough in liberal arts.  Especially if you do not have to really work for it. ”

Larry was always yammering “Go ahead.  Stay up all night writing that paper.  Or now that I think about it, don’t!  It won’t matter that much later, but instead go ahead and decorate for Christmas.  Climb up on the roof edge and string the Christmas lights now.  Plug ‘em in first.  Or start a new project. Pull out all your art supplies right this second, wash your brushes, then put the brushes in a nice tin can and start the painting.  Leave the decorations in the corner until you need them. And tomorrow, go adopt a rescue kitty.”

Curly would tell me, “Ritz crackers dipped in blue cheese dressing counts as the main course for supper.  Four Little Debbies is fine if you drink milk with it.  Chase that with some black olives and celery with pimento cheese as a palate cleanser.”  Curly really did not know the concept of palate cleanser.  That is totally a manufactured memory. The voiceinmyhead likes pointing out Curly was none too bright.

I think the Three Stooges helped me seize fun and ignore responsibility years ago.  My Three Stooges are in hiding.  Or at least locked  in the closet for the last few months since they can be such an embarrassment.  

This weekend I am going out with the Mint Julep Queens even though I have tons of to do and am exhausted from being an adult all the darn time time.   I mean it.  All the darn time.  Working, parenting, wife-ing.  Is Wife-ing a word?  It should be.  Anyone who is or has been a wife knows what I mean. Although part of me is wishing I could put on warm jammies, watch Cary Grant movies, and not talk to anybody for a  couple of hours on Saturday night.  A larger part of me knows that if I put on a rhinestone tiara. I will have fun.   That Larger part is my inner Curly.  If I put on green chiffon and huge-ass petti-coat I will flounce about like a young girl again, right Larry?  If I wear my glitter eye liner and Dior Rouge lipstick I will take a good photo and look more like a Royal Character.  Ok with you, Moe?  If I just show up, ready to play, I will have an adventure.

Somebody will smile and laugh and feel joy that they too are a Queen in their heart of hearts.  Somebody will do a Queen’s wave and clap.  A little girl will approach  and have her mom take a picture with the Queens after she is given a tiara of her very own.  Which reminds me, I need to go shopping for that.  Maybe somebody recovering from chemo will be out on their birthday and the MJQs will serenade them with a special Happy Birthday song. It has happened.

I have so much pushing on me to do, I do not have time or energy to go out-n-about acting all outlandish.  Every lady I know is in the same boat.  But making a memory and being kid again is my priority for exactly five hours this weekend.  I will listen to the clamoring of the Stooges.  I will let them out of the closet.  If we all set aside a few hours every few months or so to just be a kids again, celebrate being alive, and be a tad bit silly– the world would be better place.  Or at least it would be more slap-stick and not so downright mean, which does not sound too bad right about now.

What about Shemp?  He got left out.  Don’t worry. Shemp is doing my shopping for childrens’  Royal Trinkets. 

A Queen in a Candy Store

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Queen Kim and I have seen the glittery excitement a lady flashes when  she is first invited to join the Mint Julep Queens for a flounce. It is so much fun to watch.  The Raw Joy passes its power on.  I bask in it.

Everyone in the world I hope has seen a moment like this in the eyes of child.  Remember how it feels to stand in line at a candy store waiting to buy a pound of fudge or pralines, or caramel turtles.  If you have never done this, I strongly encourage you to put this on your bucket list. To pass the time, watch the tourists come and go.  Watch the door.  Every second human walking throught the doors is wild-eyed with excitement. Usually they tug their partner’s hand, straining to run full throttle into the store.  (Usually this person is about 3 feet tall and only recently out of diapers, but not always.)  Really watch this internal sparkle of joy. It makes the person glow.  It only explodes more when they sees trays of chocolate, buckets, and cansiters of every type of candy all packed into an old time confectionary.  A kid in a candy shop!  Where in the world did some word-smith come up with that? It smacks you in the face.

When a lady is invited to join the MJQs, that kid appears in her voice, in her eyes.  Her body will relax and her hands fly to her hair.  ”Oh, do I get tiara?” She might even squeal “GOODY!”

To a queen at heart, rhinestones are sprinkles on the cupcake of life.  Once over the sugar high induced by imagining the Rhinestones perched on top of her head, she heads out into the world to share the happy news with friends, co-workers, partners.

Depending on their response (and sometimes depending on her level of self-confidence) the fire risks being put out. Will her boss see her on the street in a tiara and think she is silly?  Will the ladies from church question her behavior?  Will the rabbi wonder if she is the right woman to lead the trip to Isreal? Will her students’ respect be undermined?  Will her clients trust her decisions? Will her employees laugh at her and not with her? Bottom line. Will people stop taking her seriously?  Seriously?

So if you are worried, questions pop into your head before your friend even finishes asking, “Hey. Would you like to join the Mint Julep Queens for our next flounce? ” You need to really think. You might not have tons of fun.

I have mentioned this before, but it is worth mentioning again.  Queens fear not. Queens have not even thought of these questions and are nonplussed when a helpful co-worker or concerned friend points out how judgment might happen if she acts against the standard social norms and wears a honking big dress and honking big tiara in public.  Some Queens, frozen in bafflement will stop and reconsider the invitation.  And then they sieze the real meaning of these cautionary queries.

“Judge me?  How dare they?  I am only having fun and not hurting a soul.  In fact, I will be spreading Joy.  I am celebrating being Royal Me!  I know it is a tad rebellious, but so what?  I get to wear a CROWN.”

Labels, #Tags, and other Annoyances

Friday, September 6th, 2013


My mother gave me a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens a couple of years ago.  She told me, “I’m not sure you will like it. Most of the time, I don’t.  I worry the paper it’s  printed on is a complete waste of trees.” She went on getting more and more worked up. “Whenever I open it up, I see these women—-” and she spit out the word “women” like she was talking about terrorists who kill puppies.  ”These women are just stand around grinning and happy.  All that just makes me want to vomit! ”

Right about here is where I started laughing at her.  ”Mother! Why would happy women make you want to vomit?”

“Well,  it is just so fake. They stand around just grinning at each other.  Or worse…they grin at a plate of food or a bag of chips or something they see on the table!  That is not how anybody lives.”

“Maybe it is just advertising companies trying to get people to buy their chips. They use happy people for that.”

“No. I mean the people in the articles and things.  Not the ads. Of course, the ads are fake.”  I could tell she was disappointed that I was not jumping on the loathing bandwagon.

“But you’re giving me a subscription?”

“It’s only fifteen dollars. Now and then I find a nice gardening idea— so I broke down and bought you a subscription.”

“Thanks, Mother.”

This month’s edition of BHG came and right on the cover was picture of fall flowers arranged in what looked like an aluminum composting bucket. Salads were displayed in old-fashioned cocktail glasses. Mason jars held silverwear.  A stylist, lifestyle expert and cookbook author stood grinning by a patina covered tin box that was used as a platform for the salads/cocktails.  Suddenly I started to feel it.  Nausea.  The jars had tin colored paper tags tied around the jars’ lips with twine.  One announced “spoons”. The other “forks.”  Thanks, I needed to be reminded what those silver things were…

The obvious take-away is this– folks like obvious.  It helps compartmentalize and make sense of the world.  Shoot, without our ability to use our brains to create labels and categories with a bunch of  what is really just meaningless sounds, humans would not have language.  And stylists seem to like labels and they attach them willy-nilly.  I guess it is just me, (and my mother) who find fake stuff annoying. I can look at a fork and know it is a fork.  No need to grin.  Tell me something I do not know!

Yes, it is true that Alice in Wonderland needed the tag to tell her to “Drink Me” when presented with the little bottles on the table, full of unknown liquids that she rashly guzzled. But nothing she ate or drank in the story has a tag stating the obvious.  No  ”bottle.”   Or  ”cake.” Or  ”mushroom.”

#hashtags of obvious stuff annoy me.  Superfluous tags, no matter how cute are not helpful.  Except maybe to the person who made the tag.  Was it fun gathering the supplies and practicng just the right amount of careless handwritng?  If so…GOOD JOB.

Our culture has grown so used to meaningless labels and #hashtags that when anyone puts on a tiara and flounces about, we feel pressured to label the experience.  We feel pressured to explain.  Well, sometimes it annoys me.

If I have a crown on my head, I do not need a label, do I?  I am a queen– in my heart and in part of my life.  The obvious rhinestone “tag” is right there glittering on my head.  I think that is really enough.


A Queen’s Speech from the Dais: My Platform

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

erica-and-erica-and-shh-3.jpeg “Stop acting like such a princess!!!  “My God.  She is such a Queen Diva. ” “She thinks everything is all about her.  What a —-” Judgements and criticisms of fellow females is harsh.  Out inner voices do the same thing. If you think it is only harsh in middle school, you have not hung out with many all-grown-up women.  Ladies who relentlessy criticize others are often their own worst critic. Women can cut you to shreds.   And when I say “they,” I include ME in that list.  Do something to hurt my family or insult me and —– KA-BAMMM!. My anger has been known to activate to nuclear levels  is zero to three seconds  and the radioactive fall-out has been know to be horrific.  Lately I am much more pragmatic after an explosion, though. I attribute all the peace and acceptance settling into my bones just as the dust of my anger settles to serveral things.  Faith-based practice and accepting that, indeed,  I can not change people!  Having a great therapist to remind me, “We don’t do Perfect!”  Lastly,  achieving  more empathy is likely part of being older…shoot …Well darn-shoot!  Do you have to bring that crap up?  Is that really part of it?  Turning fifty-something is it?  I am older and wiser, B.S.   You ain’t some old matron of homespun wisdom.  I can hear it now, “Honey! Through the years I has learned not to give people the power to ruin a perfectly good day.”  Then she shuffles off to shell  butter-beans and gossip about the church secretary who is having an affair with her urologist.  See, old ladies get a pass about anything.  Trying to work that angle, are we…?  *mutter* The voiceinmyhead hates for me to bring up age, but My Dear, Southern Belle mother who is +80 taught me to judge others.  Yes. TO JUDGE.  Attire was labeled:  sweet, nice, proper, polished, tacky, trashy, outlandish.  A person’s manner were assessed: bossy, horsey, trashy, snobbish, down-to-earth, nouveau riche, ostentatious, well-bred, well-reared, home spun, eccentric, Yankee.  Style was described:  ostentatious, tasteful, old money, elegant, green-stamp store, horsey,  Yankee, Country, uneducated, poor, showy, tacky.  At eighty something, she still is one tough critic.  One day she hugged my 11 year old daughter good-bye and said, ” I love you so much. Even with you wearing that tacky nail polish.”  Just so you know, it was marigold yellow.  No chips. Now you may think that since I am over 50 that this infulence and rearing would have fallen by the wayside.  It has to an extent, but I still fight the impulse.  Sitting in judgement of everyone, but yourself is so darn easy.  And frankly so very entertaining.  Truth be known, The Queens fear being talked about, too. As the MJQs reconstitute and add new members, I am considering re-writing a mission statement for the Queens.  Almost ten years ago, I thought the simple statement “Royal Fun” was enough of a tag-line to give full understanding and purpose to the group.  Playing dress-up, creating a Regal character and spreading good-will while dressed in day-glo chiffon and rhinestone tiara was Royal Fun.  For me it was.  Others saw it just as  a group to hang out out with and go drinking with.  Good.  But it is about Ruling my realm with joy and fearless abandon.   When I am Queen,  Rhinestones happen.   Glitter spreads.  Toile wraps me in Joy. I am slaying criticism and learning to walk my path in my way.  MY path includes being a Queen. Your path may or may not.  So—I want to reclaim the title.  Queen is not a dirty word. Princess is not an insult. Reign on! QUEEN ERICA

Be your own Hero

Monday, August 19th, 2013

kim-calendar-project.jpgHave you ever started a project and sat staring at the plans, Oppenheimer -like?  You imagine the bomb that could explode if you do not neatly and cohesively tie up every loose thread?  Well, as Queen, I have been doing just that.  I am staring at the page today.  Ripping the Royal plans up.

Creating projects that were unrelated to the MJQs  has kept me busy for the last year. My fretfulness over  failures and successes of the group have been limited.  I have been too busy creating stuff to worry, but The Membership Directory proves to be just a exercise in flexibility–  just as the formation of the group has been since its inception in 2004.

In August 2011, Kim and Lee Ann had photos done at Cha Bella.  The Membership Directory and my grandiose plans of writing an accompanying book was off the ground.  Not with much fanfare or with Orville and Wilber Wright success, but dragging up off the floor .  You know how mylar helium balloons hover low after a day of leaking gas? Well,  like that.  I was going to use another metaphor to link with “leaking gas” but it did not sound very Regal.

In 2004 I  saw a different reality for the Queens.  I saw adventure, celebrations, silliness, dancing and joy.  I saw our ranks growing and our mission focussing on fun.  I saw the work on the Directory and my memoir the same way.

A couple of years ago, I felt a call to adventure and began the journey with those 2 photos and one chapter of the book under my belt, it seemed epic, until I had stumbling blocks, fear, criticism, tests and stresses disrupting the path.  The path was riddled with pit-falls.  It was also pot-marked with new opportunity.

Today, after finishing a self-study in creative writing,  as I read an archetype outline for the plan, I see a new path and a new journey opening up for me and for the Mint Julep Queens.  When one door closes, another opens.  Or is this case, when one drawbridge is shut, another lowers over a serpent filled moat and Reigning Queens have clear passage into the strong hold.   I am arming myself!

So when faced with an ordeal, be your own hero.  Put on your crown or tiara.  Grab a scepter or sword.   Storm the castle.  Even if the castle is made of stones of doubt and mortar of fear, attack.