Old People Say the Darnedest Things
Episode 6: Speaking of the Royals
A few months ago, I was visiting my Scrabble Friend on a Sunday afternoon. She showed me a Christmas card, made of heavy cardstock. It opened backwards, like a Hebrew book, though the cartoon illustration on the front looked more Scottish than Israeli. Inside was printed a generic holiday message and a signature – simply “Sarah” in loopy blue ink. Facing that were two pictures - real photographs glued into the card - of a man in a fur hat posing with two teenage girls.
“Do you recognize them?” she asked, and I admitted that I did not. “Should I?”
“You really don’t know who that man is?” Nope. I stared at him, stared at the girls, but nothing rang familiar.
“The card is from the Duchess of York,” she explained. “That’s Prince Andrew and their daughters.”
“Ohhh,” I said, “THAT Sarah. Fergie.” And then, “Wait, why did you get a card from the Duchess of York??”
She explained that when Fergie was dealing with a bunch of bad press last year, she had written the Duchess a note telling her to keep her head up and stand strong.
“I also told her how I had written to [Princess] Diana before, when she was going through a rough time, and how I recommended that she read The Natural Superiority of Women. So now I'm on their Christmas card list.”
"Oh, right," I said. Because, of course.
I love that my Scrabble Friend writes letters. She writes letters to former classmates in Hungary. She writes to a couple she met on vacation in Peru in the 80's. She writes to an Irish artist and a young man in the Canary Islands, both former Scrabble partners of hers.
She also writes notes of encouragement to Roger Federer. (But not Nadal. Never Nadal. Don't even get her started on Nadal.) She'll send an occasional letter to Hillary Clinton, to discuss her opinion on euthanasia. (I don't know why.) Recently, she sent my mother (whom she has never met) a get-well card, after I mentioned she was having surgery.
My Scrabble Friend casts a wide net with her letter-writing. She stays connected. She sends well-wishes out into the world.
"What do you think of William and Kate?" I asked her, back when we were on the subject of royals.
"Well, I hope it goes well for them. I sent them a postcard, with my congratulations."