In which OMG, where have you been??

Oh, wait. I was gone. Sorry about that. Anyway, been beavering away at a variety of projects but everything came to a screaming halt yesterday for the arrival of Baby Cambridge! I was hugely excited at the prospect of a princess who would be heiress apparent being born, but let’s be real–he’s healthy, they’re happy, and according to the doctor who delivered him, he’s beautiful. So, nothing but good stuff to be excited about with regard to the newborn prince.

And that excitement–not just mine, everyone’s–generated a predictable pushback on Twitter. For all the tweets from those of us who were genuinely happy there were plenty of those who had to take the opportunity to announce how thoroughly bored they were with the whole thing. And my response to that is: seriously? I have a problem with that for a couple of reasons. First, you can never change what’s trending on Twitter. Anybody who lives on the west coast and is trying to avoid “Game of Thrones” spoilers can attest to that. Whether it’s something political or sporting or of the “Sharknado” variety, if it’s trending, IT’S TRENDING. You might as well try to hold back the waves, people. Griping won’t change it. The only solution is to check out until the zeitgeist passes.

Second, it’s a baby. A nice, healthy baby born to seemingly nice parents who wanted it very much. Only the most cynical, hardhearted ass-munch could find fault there. In a world where a Norwegian woman can be arrested in Dubai for her OWN rape, where a mother in Texas can be killed at an amusement park, where dozens of people in China can be killed in an earthquake–good grief, isn’t it nice to have something GOOD to think about for a few minutes? And let’s be honest, the UK is on a roll. Andy Murray, Chris Froome, royal baby. They’ve had a lot to get happy about and why shouldn’t they?

And third, when you gripe about the things that don’t interest you, you become uninteresting. Talking about boring matters renders you boring. It’s your enthusiasms that define you, and if you are too cool to be enthusiastic about anything, OH MY GOD, just go away already because the rest of us are tired of listening to you complain. There’s a parent at my daughter’s old school who drives a car with vanity plates. These plates state her political affiliation–but as a negative. They say what she isn’t. And I’ve never understood defining yourself but what you DON’T like. It’s just dull. Nobody ever asks on a questionnaire about your dislikes; nobody ever starts a job interview or cocktail party conversation with, “So tell me about yourself. What do you do that you hate?” No, it’s always, “What are your hobbies?” “What do you do for fun?” Because what you like is engaging. It’s intimate; it’s real. And if your hobby happens to be raining on other people’s parades, give some thought to beekeeping or parkour.

Now, I realize that banging on about other people getting on my nerves for banging on about things they don’t like is dangerously meta, so let’s end on a positive note. Here are things I like: dogs, travel, art, history, cream teas, fountain pens, perfumes, macarons, classical music, giraffes, British fiction, children’s books, mythology, herb lore, women adventurers, foxes, royal gossip (vintage–I’d much rather talk about the fact that Anne Boleyn DIDN’T have three boobs than whatever Fergie used to get up to), Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren, stately homes, museums, gardens, poisons, antique taxidermy, and Coco Chanel. Clearly I’m an 80-year old Englishwoman stuck in a body that is neither 80 nor English. Your turn! What things interest you?


15 thoughts on “In which OMG, where have you been??”

  1. Alecia says:

    Great post, I definitely agree. It always amuses me how much effort some people put into saying they don’t care. If you didn’t care, you’d ignore it, wouldn’t you? Twitter’s great for a lot of things, but it really does make it easy for people to spew negativity or nastiness.

    My interests: baking, reading, enjoying beautiful flowers, old-timey jazz, knitting, South African accents, fancy stationery, vintage glassware, watching cricket, trashy tv and wearing new pyjamas.

  2. A wonderful thought, beautifully expressed. Thank you.

  3. Michelle Turner says:

    Brilliant blog post! The phrase “cynical, hardhearted ass-munch” really made me laugh because there are a few of those starting to show up in my FB newsfeed. My Enthusiasms: reruns of Big Bang Theory, the novels of Jane Austen, Krav Maga, fitness, good wine, dining out with friends, action movies, relaxing days at the beach, and anything that makes me laugh.

  4. Sali says:

    You are absolutely right, there’s nothing more magnetic than enthusiam….if you ever had an enthusiastic teacher you will have been educated almost without noticing. I love history mainly because my Dad loved it and turned every view and experience into historical reality, he explained how every bend and turn in the road was to avoid something no longer there….a house? A tree? No journeys can ever be boring as your’history eyes’ track and imagine how things were.
    So I love velvet coats, coffee, dogs, thunder storms, Charles 2nd, roses, vintage kitchenalia, my Bonkers Americans, and so many things……

  5. Gayle Etherington says:

    Peanut Butter, 60’s fashion, Mr. Darcy, Farmer’s Markets, the smell of libraries and of course….a good Deanna Raybourn book on the go!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Well said!! Thank you!!

  7. Heather says:

    Fantastic blog Deanna! OMG! You hit the nail on the head with everything there. I’m excited about Baby Cambridge because he’s Prince Williams’ son and Princess Diana’s grandson! I mean..seriously! She was an amazing person!

    These are a few of my favorite things (yes…I did sing that out loud!): my daughter (she’s 3 and incredible), reading, my garden, Doctor Who, my morning coffee, reading (can’t wait for the next Deanna Raybourn book!!!), and so much more!!!

    And I am American born but British at heart. πŸ™‚ Hehe!

  8. “And third, when you gripe about the things that don’t interest you, you become uninteresting. ”

    Yes girl! (She says while doing a happy dance and fist pumping..) Not really. But I’m doing that on the inside! You NAILED it! We gots enuff exposure to bad, so I’m gonna sing it when there is some good! Happy baby Cambridge and here’s to wondering what hat the Duchess will wear upon her debut as a new mum!
    Love you and thanks for this!
    xo
    Christine

  9. And PS…here is what interests me:

    Smelling every perfume at Nordstroms until I get to the one I kinda-maybe-might buy someday. Watching people over 80 snuggle. Pink dresses. Anything Italian (except a-hole ship captains that ‘fall’ into a lifeboat when passengers are still on a sinking boat.) Summer fruits. Bike rides. Desserts that are raspberry in nature, roadtrips, dogs, party togs, lip gloss, white sheets, stationary, thrift store record albums, and how to make the perfect vegan apple pie.

  10. Jaye says:

    Fabulous post! Thank you. I shared it with others, so perhaps you will get a fresh crop of enthusiastic readers. What do I like? Quilts and quiltmaking, puzzles, lunch with friends, puzzles (crossword and the kind in a zillion pieces), Assam Golden Tip tea (and others), blogging, Twitter, Pilot G2 pens in teal and lime green, writing in my journal, the ocean, big white water birds, Ferris wheels, frozen chocolate covered bananas, writing and good manners. Thank you for asking!

  11. Jaye says:

    PS Lady Julia and Nicholas, of course, reading and random small acts of kindness.

  12. Thank you! This is so true. I think we can all fall into the negativity trap sometimes.

    So, stuff that makes me all zippy: broadway shows, books with happy endings, singing, Dancing with the Stars, dogs, cats, baby animals of all kinds, my kids being amazing, beautiful homes, thunderstorms, the ocean, cooking with friends, fabulous, beautifully cut clothing, playing with makeup like a teenager, board games, stand-up comedy so good it is like opera, and watching my friends realize their dreams.

  13. Lauren says:

    (some of the) Things I like: mythology, rescue greyhounds, mysteries, country music, traveling, a good steak, TinTin comics, English Breakfast Tea, walking, old houses, Downton Abbey, fashion, bright colors, driving, trying new recipes, reading, naps, rain, air conditioning, reformed theology, babies, European history (especially British history), earrings, horses, apparently mundane souvenirs, the English language, Winston Churchill, fonts, names, folklore, and children’s fiction.

    Deanna, you are my favorite living fiction author for a lot of reasons. One of them is the fact that you post things like this on your blog. πŸ™‚

  14. Lynne says:

    It is soooo nice to see and hear such enthusiasm for the new baby. I’m thrilled for Will and Kate because ever since she appeared on the scene she has seemed like a genuinely nice woman and Will is obviously a nice man. Wouldn’t Diana be proud? Like you, Deanna, I secretly wished for a girl. But it doesn’t really matter…he’s healthy and what could be more important. I’m not a twitter follower but I read the gossip on The Daily Mail website occassionally and there were some downright nasty comments there today. Why? Such a waste of time. As a dyed-in-the-wool Anglophile, just about everything on your list – and everyone else’s – I will ditto. If a book is set across the pond, I’ll check it out. I love English history and have since I first read “Katherine” by Anya Seton years ago. (PS to Susan MacNeal who commented above – your books are on my list and coming up soon!) Thanks, Deanna, for a great blog!

  15. Kristin says:

    I’m highly interested in the next Lady Julia novel! Also: mysteries, ballet, classical guitar music, brain research, photography, cooking, baseball, classical cello, lipstick, skincare, Canada, the stories we tell about ourselves, writing, birds…

    What an enjoyable exercise!

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