Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Royal Time of It

The Place!
bertucci's SignThe Plan!
Four Cheese RavioliThe Participants???
Princess Patricia, Queen Mimi, Duchess LindaThe Possibilities!

As a rule, and as a Virgo, I am generally a very punctual person. No, I take that back, I am beyond punctual, I am one of those people who arrives at least ten to fifteen minutes early as I abhor being late in any way, shape, or fashion. It appalls me to be late. I can't stand to be late. It embarrasses me to no end to be late. I will not tolerate being late.

So - for my very first meeting with royalty? I was late! Go figure!

As I left my hometown of Norwich Upon the Thames heading west towards the lovely little town of Glastonbury and my much- anticipated meeting with Mimi, Queen of Memes who was vacationing in Connecticut, I knew that I was going to be running late. Trying to get out of Norwich is sometimes next to impossible as a) traffic is generally horrible and people don't know how to drive, b) the roads are laid out very badly, and c) invariably when I need to get somewhQueen Mimiere in a hurry I get behind the one person in the world who not only does the speed limit but drives five mph below it! All three of those things were working against me Thursday afternoon but I figured I would just do my best to get there relatively close to on-time. I knew that Patti of Late Bloomer Boomer fame had also been summoned to the Royal Summit and that she was shooting for a 4:30 arrival so I was just hoping to get there by then rather than at 4:00 p.m. as Queen Mimi and I had planned What can I say? It was a busy day at work and I got out a little later than I had wanted and I couldn't meet royalty without taking a shower before I left and ... and ...

...and as the miles ticked by I could imagine Her Majesty sitting and waiting for her subjects to arrive, probably tapping her immaculately manicured nails on the side of her iced tea glass while she debated what punishment to mete out for such impropriety. I thought about calling her on my cell phone but I'm one of those people who believes that if the State of Connecticut has made a law against talking on one's cell phone while driving that it is a law to be obeyed and not to be trifled with even if one is calling a Queen! I also wear my seatbelt but that's neither here nor there, I just thought I'd throw it out there!

At approximately 4:15 I finally pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant we were to rendezvous at and glanced over to see a red Cadillac with a vanity plate sitting just a few spaces over. Ut-oh! The Queen was most definitely there and I was most definitely late. Oh dear, oh dear ... ah well, nothing for it but to suck it up and walk in and take my lumps like an adult. I just hoped I wasn't going to be sentenced to a permanent cell next to Frank in the dungeon - my back really doesn't do well in dank and musty conditions!

Pulling up my courage by my bootstraps I walked into the empty restaurant and turned the corner to find Queen Mimi regally sitting on a high stool at a table in the bar tapping her toes in queenly displeasure. At least, I thought that was the Queen. Having only ever seen half of her face I thought she looked like the Queen but I couldn't be positive. As she turneMimid to cast her royal gaze upon me, I squinted my left eye, turned my head slightly to the side, and looked at her again. Yes! It was most definitely the Queen! I'd recognize the left side of her face anywhere even without the crown (which she had apparently left at Bloggingham Castle and didn't bring with her on her fact-finding mission to New England).

"Your Majesty," I gushed. "It's such an incredible pleasure to at long last make your most royal acquaintance and I sincerely and most humbly apologize for keeping you waiting like this!" Well, no, maybe that isn't what I said. I think it was more like, "Mimi, right? Yeah, hi, sorry I'm late!" Ah, ever the poet with words ... not! We chit-chatted for a bit and not but a few moments later I saw a car pull in next to mine and out stepped a woman who could only be Patti (whose face I've seen several times on her husband Ralph's blog). Patti whooshed into the restaurant with the world's biggest smile and hugs all around until I reminded her that she was supposed to curtsy for the Queen at which time she performed a perfect curtsy most definitely fit for a Queen!

With all of us finally in attendance, we adjourned to a booth with Queen Mimi leading the way while Patti and I walked a respectful distance behind her. At that time the restaurant was still mercifully empty and the giggling and carrying on was not witnessed by anyone except the wait-staff who had most likely decided that we were all on an outing from one of the local group homes and that it would be best to simply serve us and keep a safe distance from the table!

Our waiter, Mark (who was kinda cute in a "hi, I'm Mark and I'll be your server this evening" kinda way!) had to come back several times before we were ready to even order beverages due to the constant giggling and talking that we were doing. Finally we explained to him that we were bloggers (oh, well, that explains it then!), that this was the first time we had met, and that Mimi was - in fact - a Queen from North Carolina. "You don't have much of an accent," said the ever-observant and really-kinda-cute Mark. I commented on the same thing, as did Patti, and we were told by Mimi that, because she teaches music, one has to have proper diction and annunciation. Ah ... yes ... that makes perfect sense!

After more giggling and talking, food was at last ordered and while we were waiting for it to arrive Patti whipped out her cellphone and called Ralph to say she had arrived safely and then passed the phone around the table so that we could all talk to him for a bit. He had made the restaurant recommendation, that area of Connecticut being his old stomping grounds, and as a final recommendation he suggested the tiramisu for dessert. Well, no one has to tell me twice that not only is there tiramisu available for dessert but that it's good tiramisu so when the time came for dessert Patti and I ordered a piece to share. Mimi, who could probably blow away in a good wind, declined dessert but did give our tiramisu a royal blessing before we consumed it.

During dinner, Patti showed us a recent article that she had written about a silver pheasant that was printed in the New Haven Register and I have to say that I was very impressed. I knew that she wrote for a newspaper as she has mentioned it several times in her blog but I didn't know that it was such a well-known newspaper that she wrote for and that she has been a journalist for thirty years. Having once hoped to be a journalist myself, I was quite in awe of both the article and her by-line. Check out Patti's article "Exotic Bird on the Loose" and I think you'll be in as much awe as I was! Talk about feeling insignificant, I was sitting not only in the company of a Queen but an honest-to-goodness newspaper journalist - wow!

Shortly after showing us her newspaper article, Patti then surprised us with another example of her fine writing when she whipped two envelopes out of her purse and presented one each to both myself and Mimi. Taped to the front of the envelope was a lovely heart-shaped purple stone and, inside, a lovely poem penned by Princess Patricia herself! It was quite the honor to receive and her sentiments were lovely! It's definitely going in my jewelry box for safe-keeping! When Patti wins her Pulitzer I can then sell the poem on eBay for big bucks and retire comfortably to a house in The Hamptons!

Obviously Patti must have known that Queen Mimi was going to bestow titles upon us as she had already signed her poem using her royal title (officially: "Princess Patti Keeper of the Royal Meme Apologies") but I had yet to be given a title myself. After giving it some thought and trying out and then discarding a title or two, the Queen dubbed me "Linda, Duchess of Norwich Upon the Thames". Now doesn't that sound quite regal? You all, of course, may still refer to me simply as Linda but it's quite nice to have a title other than "Mom-There's-Nothing -in-the-House-to-Eat" or "Hey, You!"

At that point the restaurant was becoming quite crowded so we graciously decided that we needed to move on so that others could sit down and dine. We adjourned outside to try to figure out how to go about taking some pictures of the three of us and were immediately presented with a dilemma. Obviously we weren't smart enough to have taken up the cute Mark when he offered to take a picture of the three of us while we were inside (can I get a royal DUH?) so that left us having to figure out how to do this on our own.

While Patti and I practiced being "Ladies in Waiting", the Queen descended to the parking lot where she then partially hid behind a row of potted plastic plants so as to maintain her mystery while also garnering a lot of strange looks from the people inside the restaurant! I'm sure that the looks grew even stranger as, at Princess Patricia's persuasion, the Queen decided to pull part of the plastic posies from the pot and pose prettily for pictures.

Oh dear ... was plastic posy pilfering for pretty picture posing a possible punishable crime in Connecticut? Were we all going to be pinched and placed in the pokey as punishment for pulling plastic posies from pots in public? Perhaps we were going to be put away in the penitentiary pending pre-trial preparations? And if that were the case, who was going to bail me out? Princess Patricia could call Ralph, Queen Mimi could call Prince Budwick, but who was I going to call? Certainly not my surly 15-year old who was sitting at home grumbling about the fact that I got to go out to dinner while she stayed home and ate leftovers! This was not looking good and I urged the Queen to replace the posies posthaste prior to police populating the parking lot! Phew!

Let me just say at this point that it's not easy getting pictures of a Queen who wishes to only have one side of her face photographed (and no, there is no hideous disfigurement or deformity that she's trying to hide, she just prefers her left side - must be a royal idiosyncrasy or something!) but we certainly had a good time trying even when Patti's batteries died (she reminded me that she was a journalist NOT a photojournalist hence these sorts of things happened) and then Mimi's batteries decided to follow suit. Luckily Patti had spares so the bizarre picture-taking was able to resume after only a short break while Patti and Mimi shared batteries. I seriously believe that people were beginning to think that there was something seriously wrong with us but not having any plans to ever return to Glastonbury I wasn't worried about it! Even if I did have future plans to return to Glastonbury, I get the feeling I might have been asked not to return ... ever ... please and thank you! Oh, and could you take those other two with you?

Still, a fine time was had by all and it was fantastic to have met two more blogging friends - both of whom are funny, charming, and gracious ladies. Mimi granted both myself and Patti lifetime "Get Out of the Dungeon Free" passes (sorry, Frank, I really did plead your case but Mimi mentioned something about needing someone to keep the rats company) while she also firmly stated that didn't give us free reign to not do any memes that come our way simply because there is no threat of the dungeon over our heads. As representatives of Bloggingham, we are to act as such and not tarnish the royal name.

Before parting company for the night, Patti and I promised to get together again soon, this time with Prince Ralph in attendance, and the next time Queen Mimi is visiting in Connecticut there are plans for all of us to get together again with both Prince Ralph and Prince Budwick and, if she behaves herself, Lady Amanda in tow. I'm afraid that by the end of that meeting there will be yet another town I've been banned from but I'm sure it will be worth it!

All in all, meeting a Queen is not as intimidating as I initially thought (I think she even forgave me for calling her an idiot!) Now, if I could just get used to this whole half-a-face thing ...

If you'd like to read Queen Mimi's version of this historic meeting (complete with video that doesn't want to work!) please visit her post "Who Would Keep a Queen Waiting" while Princess Patricia's can be found at "The Queen and her Ladies-in-Waiting".


  1. That was quite a post! Even without all the P alliteration, I was positively impressed with your retelling of the story!

  2. I'm sure the meeting was enjoyable, as reading your account certainly was fun!

  3. Anonymous8:33 PM EDT

    that's just too cool meeting a fellow blogger in person. that reminds me, I need to get going on my meet and greet list.


  4. well yay is all i can say! i love a good title or can you tell? i am am empress you know! ha ha ha

    smiles, bee

  5. Anonymous11:40 PM EDT

    Your plastic posie story nearly made me pee in my perfectly pressed pants!
    It's so cool that you've met fellow bloggers. I'd love to do that someday.

  6. It looks and sounds like you had a great time, and it looks like a great plan.....

  7. Anonymous4:15 AM EDT

    Pizza looks to be yummy and thats my favorite but it is different in shape and looks like you guys had lots of fun having food.

  8. Jon - that's because it's not pizza, it's actually four-cheese ravioli. Even though we were at a brick-oven pizzeria, none of us had pizza. Perhaps I should have mentioned that??

  9. Anonymous10:29 AM EDT

    Oh wow, looks like a wonderful time with yummy food and delightful conversation with new friends! I'm so glad you shared it with all of us.

  10. hey that was pretty cool! what an awesome time you had! (great blog btw, new visitor and enjoying the read thru.) I grew up in Rhode Island, and I have friends in CT...

  11. cool times for you.

    I am still working on my wishing star deal. Trying to figure out how to use that graphic program you talked about... reallY i am ...

  12. Ahaha! I love it! What a great post - sounds like you had an absolute blast! But, then again, how could three bloggers get together and NOT have an absolute blogast (that's blogging and blast hehe)

  13. oh now THIS was a wonderful recap....I wonder why alliterate and illiterate are so similar. Bwahaahahhahaha!!

    A most phenomenal paragraph!

  14. How fun. Thanks for sharing a great post on your meeting. I'm off to Mimi's now. :)

  15. Looks and sounds like you had a great time!

    Bwahahah at local group home :)

    I am bit scared now, just how long are your posts going to be in September? lol :)

  16. I'm sure this meeting could easily have been called "Giggle Fest '08" Sounds like it was a blast.

  17. Dear Duchess of Norwich Upon the Thames,

    You are an absolutely delightful person. I don't know when I've laughed so much. We most definitely will do it again. What a memorable evening. I don't think Glastonbury will ever be the same.
    At least we high-tailed it out of there as quickly as royally possible.

    This re-telling is excellent, Linda. I will cherish it!

    Queen of Memes and Stealer of Plastic Flowers

  18. practically perfect!

    sounds like a great time was had by all!

  19. Well that all tallies with what Mimi wrote! :)

    I think it's great that you get to meet up with other bloggers now (whispering) tell us what Mimi looks like!

  20. hi linda,
    looks like you all had fun.
    how does the rest of the queen look?

    PS: any bobbarama sightings lately?

  21. Sounds like you, Ladies, had a great time!

  22. Anonymous2:51 PM EDT

    Ah a visit from the Queen of blogland.
    I hope you got a royal autograph.

  23. Hi Linda,
    Great post ! You really gave me a good laugh this morning ;)
    As it is said, there is always more than one side to a story, and I enjoyed very much reading your post.
    Cheers to you !

  24. "plastic posy pilfering for pretty picture posing a possible punishable crime in Connecticut? "

    It's a shame you don't live in Pennsylvania or have a cabin in the Poconos.

    Sounds like a great time was had by all. Reminder "Sweeny Todd" is available today.

  25. Trying to think of an appropriate response... "we are amused" comes to mind....


Thanks for visiting!