Archive for September, 2013

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.