Monday, June 28, 2010

The One With The British Invasion.

Dear Lover,

There's this old British man that I sometimes get to work with.
Most of the time, we get caught up in the topic of books.
And he tells me the stories behind so many titles, and authors, and illustrations and bookplates.
I can sit there before him for hours.
Just listening.
He especially enjoys spilling the beans about this author or that illustrator.
And the affairs and love interests and triangles they were all mixed up in.
And he always ends his narrative with a witty remark.
Which I love.

Then, sometimes, he'll slip in a story or two from his own life.
Like how, when he was a child, he'd watch his mother ride off to the market on her bike.
With the wire basket hanging from the handlebars.  
And wait for her return on the lawn in front of their home.
And how each and every time she returned...
She had more used poetry books than groceries in the basket of her bike.
And how he and his siblings would give her a hard time, saying how hungry they were.
And how their mother would toss them a book of poetry and say, "Well, suppose we ought to gobble these up then." 

So, of course, with stories such as these, I die.
Right there in my chair before him.
Just overwhelmed with the idea of it all.
So entirely all things cheeky and romantic.
So entirely my idea of England.

One time, after I picked myself up off the ground.
And caught sight of his chubby rosy cheeks again.
I couldn't help but spill all my little quirks.
Mentioning things like how the voice inside my head.
The one I make grocery lists with, read novels in and create witty comebacks with, almost always two minutes too late...
Is decidedly British.
Mention how I'd love to wander the countryside of the Cotswolds.
And can quote Monty Python at a whim.
Mention my love affair with the Beatles and David Bowie.
Even though I think the latter is sort of a creep.
Mention the fact that, if given the opportunity, I'm rather sure Prince William would fall madly in love with me.
And if not, surely, his younger brother Harry would make a suitable second.

Yes.  I went there.
But, that's what the British do, correct?  
They go there.

But I was only met with silence.
So I begin to wonder, that perhaps the British in fact, do not go there as much as I'd imagined...
And instead, it's crazy Americans like me who do...
That perhaps I'd just watched Mary Poppins a time too many as a child.
Perhaps living on a British ruled island for a year had given me the wrong impression of actually being practically, almost completely a citizen.
Maybe I read too many Jane Austen novels at an impressionable age.
Or should really consider switching out my David Gray and Coldplay cd's in my car for a change...

But then.
The older British man clears his throat.
Like he always does at the end of his conversation.
And banters back with, "Don't sell yourself short.  Why not the whole lot of them?  William and Harry.  Give the Queen Mum a real run for her toppins?"




  1. Oh my, you've cracked me up. I totally get the Mary Poppins and Jane Austen cause for my adoration of all things English.

  2. @ Mindy: I think I must have been British in my previous life and have little pieces scattered about my soul, leftover from then, just dying to get back to that sodding soil!