Monday, February 19, 2007

The Cousins

Since I have been thinking alot about this today:

I guess I grew up in such a different way of life than most people. My dad's family was a central part of my growing up and a huge part of my life still today. My grandparents have 5 children who 3 out of five have 3 children, one has two and the other 4. I am the oldest of 14 grandchildren that 11 of that girls! 3 boys one of which is younger than my own son. That being explained if you can imagine we spent every weekend together for the better part of our formative years. This would mean friday night pizza,pizza and TGIF. Then saturday consisted of swimming in the pool or playing some made up something( lots of Kids Inc.) and then spending sat night at someone's house and then back to grandma and grandpa's on Sunday for more of the same playing and swimming and of course eating food all buffet style and sitting at the pinic table out back. Granted most people see there cousins on holidays and family occasions and maybe the summer reunion( we never have had those because we never had a need too)

Now there are a bunch of us girls that are very close in age and are more like sisters than cousins. We fought, got mad, made up and played like crazy. Then there is the KING the long awaited boy who mostly was made to play like a girl and fought hard to retain his manhood in the girl enviroment. Then his two buddies came along and they all played dress up together:) He won't admit that if you ask him but there is proof. Some of our cousins lived far away but we would go to visit and they would come to stay.

I was the first to marry and the first to have kids and the first to leave and move to far away. We have stayed close even despite of that and when I go to visit who are the first people to come calling my girls! I love them more than words can explain they mean so much to me when my relationship with my own sisters is so bad. So this morning when I got a call that one of them is hurt my heart hurts. We never have accidents happen in this family and people don't get hurt. I am having a hard time that my little sidekick growing up is laying in a hospital bed hurt. I am so thankful that we will have many more days together and that she will recover but it has been a reality check for sure.

To my cousins: I am so thankful for our crazy group it is something special only we share or understand and I love you more than you will ever know.

Friday, February 9, 2007

The Queen

So Marty and I went out on a date to see The Queen a movie about the Queen of England and her response to the death of Princess Diana.

I have been dying to see this movie since first hearing of it several months ago. But, I would have to wait since it was only showing in limited release and since I live in a small town you know we didn't get it. So finally after months of waiting and awards season came along it showed up in our theatre.

Why am I so obsessed you ask?

It all started when I was five and my older sister got me up at 3 am to watch the wedding of Charles and Di. All little girls dream of being a princess and watching that wedding with all of the flowers,silk,tulle and diamonds I was enthralled. A real life fairytale and I never read another fairytale again. I would beg my parents to buy me Princess Di books and magazines. For a period of two years, I would cut out the picture of the Princess Di bride doll every time my Gramie got a new Good Housekeeping or Enquirer. I knew every memeber of the Royal family before I knew all the presidents or states.

 I got a cabbage patch and a new book on Princess Di the same Christmas in 1984 and which one do you think I still have? My favorite birthday present of all time? When I was nine I was informed I was getting something big , bigger than a breadbox and smaller than a horse. My two grandmothers got together and bought me the Princess Di Bride Doll by the Danbury mint. I was shocked and amazed as I pulled her out of her box , smelled the lace and tulle and saw the "real'' cubic zirconia tiara! I put her back in the box and up in the closet awaiting a special case for her. She is so big she doesn't fit a standard doll case plus she has a 5 foot train and veil that make her even bigger. I would take her down and look at her every once in awhile but in the box she remained and eventually moved to my Gramie's for safe keeping.

Fast forward to 1997.. I am married and pregnant with my first child and the Princess Diana fairytale is long gone. I am adult and have seen my fantasy of Diana collapse into reality. The Sotheby's auction was that summer and I was hoping to get the auction book which was autographed. Marty's dad had passed away and I inherited his Grandma's china cabinet. So we drove over to Gram's to bring the doll home and display her for the first time. I go into the closet and drag out the black trash bag containing the box. I decide to take a peak and check her out and Marty was laughing at me.

 My Gram comes into the room and says "You better come see the news on the television. It's Diana she has been in an accident" all of the sudden fantasy and reality collided. It was real she was in Paris and there has been a wreck. I grabbed the doll went home to watch the events unfold.

I had a answering machine full of messages as I get home with people calling to tell me the news. My dad called to ask me if I had heard the news? As we were talking and he says " did you just see that?" and I said "no" and he says "She is gone".  My Dad delivered the news to me, my childhood idol was gone.

 I am a hysterical mess over someone I didn't know. I guess for me it was the same as it was for many when Elvis died or Kennedy died. I had people calling me for days offering their condolences and people at work doing the same. I wanted to go to LA to the embassy to sign the condolence book but Marty couldn't go and I was too pregnant to go alone. So my friend/co-worker Catt went with me to LA to sign the book a truly kind gesture. Days later,I once again got up at 3 am to watch the funeral and this time cried so hard from grief and sadness mixed with anger.

So here we are almost 10 years later and this movie comes out. I no longer follow the Royal family and that is just a sepia-tone memory tucked away in the file cabinet of life. I go to see the movie and it was a flood of emotion that I am not sure ten years is long enough to relive just yet. A docu-drama with actual footage mixed between the acting. I was able to see things I have never seen before and live it again. Helen Mirren nailed QEII and deserves a Oscar at one point she was walking toward a room and it felt as if I was watching the real Queen. I can see why only Helen Mirren got award nods because it is all about her character and Tony Blair in the days following Diana's death. The old regime and the new and both fighting for their ground in Britian. To wrap this book up... Highly recommend to any anglophile out there but if you don't know about the Royal family and could care less wait until it is a blockbuster in the old release section because this movie will bore you to tears. To my wonderful husband, Thank you for sitting through this with me and reliving something you would like to forget all over again. It meant the world to me!