Red & Black & … King Charles III?!
Queen Elizabeth II had just died and hadn’t even made it to London for the official laying in state (the funeral was 10 days away, although everything had been planned years, no make that decades, ago). That didn’t stop Red, a Tudor history fan (Black would say “fanatic”) and long-time follower of the Royal Family (dating back to before she married a Brit and lived in England), from sharing with Black how she thought King Charles III could be the right man at the right time to be king.
RED’S THOUGHTS ABOUT KING CHARLES:
- King Charles could be the perfect bridge between Queen Elizabeth II and the next in line, Prince William
- Trained since birth, he knows the importance of the role and its history
- He may have “rocked the boat” in his younger days, but now he’s older and wiser
- His generation may not have acknowledged the changing of England’s population and the need to accept racial diversity or the existence of mental health issues, but he understands the importance of embracing today’s issues vs. living in the past
- His long-time positions on climate change, the environment, and conservationism used to be considered crazy and are now not only mainstream, but recognized as critical issues
- People’s opinions of him have changed and may have been due to a concerted effort on his part, but maybe he’s not quite as daft as people once thought
- Prince Charles’s personal life was once viewed through the lens of his “fairy tale gone bad” relationship with Princess Diana, but Queen Consort Camilla, who was his “first love”, seems to be a true partner and may be a better fairy tale
- Regardless of why, he’s more “human” and approachable than prior British sovereigns, as displayed by “the kiss” he received on his first day as king from one of his subjects
Of course, Red fully expected Black to reply with a business analysis of “The Firm” (which is how the Royal Family refers to itself and the institution) which is estimated to contribute over $2 billion a year to the U. K. economy or the business impact of a change in the ruling monarch (for example, changing the image on currency). Or, at least, some sarcastic comment about how King Charles certainly had long enough to prepare for the role. But the last thing she expected was bullet points of the important lessons to be learned from the new monarch.
BLACK’S LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM KING CHARLES III:
- Be patient
- Prepare for the job you want – not the one you have
- If others undervalued you, realize that may be their shortcoming
- You can pick your friends, but not your family
- You will be judged by the company you keep (and the people you marry)
- If you do not like how people see you, show another side of yourself
- Manners and decorum never go out of style
- You may be in the public eye, but some things are best kept private
- It is always essential to have a succession plan
- Find humor in the everyday things
Regardless of your opinion of the monarch and the Royal Family, the crown rests on the head of a soft-spoken, wise man who has spent his entire life preparing for this role. And although Queen Elizabeth II was more than a queen, she was a symbol of royal perfection, we live in a very different world … yet that doesn’t change the fact the King is still his mother’s son.
Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
Absolutely! Even though I’m not Irish, although growing
up, many people thought I was because of my
red hair. Regardless, I’ve always looked forward to St. Patrick’s Day
and celebrate it the same way I did growing up in New York – with corned
beef, cabbage, and potatoes
. It was one of my favorite dinners then, and it still is, and my
daughters feel the same way. Neither one
of them will be home this year, but I’ll still be cooking a big pot of it and savoring
the leftovers for days.
Plus, and I’m sure Black will roll her eyes, I “dress up” our 5-foot standing stuffed bear that “lives” in the front hallway in his St. Patrick’s Day outfit. (Throughout the year, the bear’s outfit changes with each “significant” holiday – a family tradition that started when my girls were very young.)
Considering Red loves history, I am surprised
that she did not mention
history behind St. Patrick’s
or that St.
Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was neither Irish nor a Saint.
And, given Red's love of bagels, I
am shocked she did not mention that our local bagel shop would always make green
ones to celebrate the holiday.
How do I celebrate? I have always been a clotheshorse, so it is easy just to wear something green. Growing up, it was not that I was conforming to the tradition of wearing green so leprechauns could not see me; it was because many boys in school looked for any “legitimate” excuse to pinch girls, and I refused to give them that opportunity. Over the years, as I collected Hermes shawls (you can see them in the background in Selfish,Shallow … And Svelte?), I would grab one that had green and call it a day. St. Patrick’s Day.
You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – whether with food and drink (does green beer taste different?), wearing green, thoughts of leprechauns and good luck, or just taking a few minutes to enjoy these Irish quotes.
Any Idea What The Ides Of March Is? Or Why You Should "Beware"?
Beware the Ides of March! That sounds scary. But what is it? And is it a myth or the truth? Red knew it had to with (Julius) Caesar, and the mere mention of “Caesar” made Black question if we were talking about a General, a politician, or a salad. But it does reveal the power of storytelling, and how a good story can last not only decades, but centuries!
Is "The Ides of March" the day Julius Caesar was assassinated, a famous Shakespearean quote, or a George Clooney movie?
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: The answer is "all three" but we'll completely understand if "The Ides of March" means nothing to you, or if you think it sounds familiar but you're not quite sure why.
Well, Black knew nothing about the Ides of March, but when she found it had to do with history and movies, deferred to Red. Interestingly, even Red, the straight-A student who loved history, wasn't completely sure of the origin of the Ides of March. However, being a theater major, she knew "Beware the Ides of March" was one of William Shakespeare's most famous phrases. And even then, although she could tell you that those immortal words were spoken to Julius Caesar by a fortune-teller, she couldn't tell you exactly what they meant other than it was a warning that something dire was going to happen. (For those not familiar with the play or ancient history, dire's an understatement as on March 15, 44 B.C. the Roman general and statesman, Julius Caesar, was brutally stabbed to death in the Roman Senate house by a large group of his opposition.)
Those facts alone make for fascinating theater, and Shakespeare was an unparalleled playwright and could tell a story better than most, which explains why his work has stood the test of time. (Not to mention, many of his stories have been "borrowed" as the basis of new stories.) But it took Red doing a little more digging to learn that the term dates back to the ancient Roman calendar, where they used certain phrases to reference dates in relation to lunar phases. Ides, quite simply, just referred to the first full moon of a given month, which usually fell between the 13th and 15th.
But when it comes to the 2011 movie " The Ides of March" with George Clooney (who also directed, produced, and was one of the screenwriters), Red didn't have to do any homework. And although it's about a rising presidential candidate (played by Clooney) and an idealistic campaign staffer (played by Ryan Gosling), it's about dirty politics and figurative backstabbing. So, if you know your history, you can easily draw parallels to the death of Caesar.
After a busy weekend doing all those personal things that pile up during the week, I feel like I need a nap. But ironically, I never think about weekend naps, even though I could “rationalize” them as doing something positive for myself vs. feeling like it’s a “guilty pleasure” (which is how I feel about workday naps).
When I mentioned that to Black, she suggested I reread my post below (I still laugh at one of the places Black has taken power naps). She then added that it was a selfish request as she knows that my work, not to mention my mood, improves from recharging my batteries.
I'm sitting at my computer but I see our big black labradoodle, Moo (imagine calling for her on the street), curled up for a nap in an armchair. I look at her with love but also with more than a touch of envy. Because as much as the stacks of papers on my desk beckon (or is it taunts) me, a nap's what I really want, and probably need.
The reasons why are unimportant but probably familiar to most people. I stayed up later than I planned, then my sleep was interrupted during the night by Moo, a crazy morning filled with unplanned things that delayed what I'd hoped to have accomplished, which meant I was now working at full speed to "catch up" and I felt exhausted. Not to mention, this morning's caffeine had worn off hours ago.
You may be thinking, "You work from home, just stop what you're doing and take a nap." Well, it sounds like good advice except I'd feel guilty doing that, especially during a workday. A nap just seems selfish. Plus, I'm not sure how I'd explain it to Black, although she doesn't sleep normal hours, and does take power naps.
Anyway, a few days later, my eldest daughter sends both my sister and me a photo of her cat, Porsche (yes, like the car), fast asleep in her bed. And while I was busy typing something warm and fuzzy in reply, I saw that Black had already responded,
Some things never change … like a love of naps.
That made me smile, as it was so true of both Natasha (and all college students?) and her cat, and when I mentioned that to Black later that night, she explained that cats are notorious for sleeping up 16 hours a day because they're saving up their energy (remember they're hunters in the wild). Then she reminded me of how our Grandma Betty used to climb onto our kitchen table (no, I'm not kidding) and would take a catnap for 15 minutes. Then she'd jump up from the table, well-rested and ready to take on the world.
Black laughed that she must have inherited that trait (minus the kitchen table part) because she's taken power naps for as long as she can remember. In fact, she'd often take one in her racecar when waiting to go out on track, but even in her corporate days would close her door and take a 10-15 minute afternoon power nap. (She also couldn't resist sending me a Wall Street Journal, You're Going Back to the Office. What Happens to Your Nap Habit?, wishing that management realized the "benefits" of employee naps.) Anyway, the more we talked, the more I realized that naps can be incredibly beneficial, giving your mind and body time to recharge and recover.
All I know is that thanks to a dog, a cat, an unforgettable memory of my grandma, and basically "permission" from my sister, I think that the next time I need a nap, I might actually try to take one. And whether you call it a catnap or a power nap, I figure If it's good enough for Black, it's good enough for me. Maybe you too? (Although someplace you can close a door might be in order …)