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?