Tonight we had an audience with The Queen. Ha, ha, ha, I've been saving that little joke for the entire time it took my computer to boot up. I have an affinity for the queen, mostly because we share the same title. She, the ruler of the United Kingdom. I, the tamer of the stirrups. Both of us, in thankless positions. Stiff upper lip (except when I start crying in the middle of the meeting with the RE). Love of hats. She enjoys a good walk. I enjoy a good walk. She likes tea and, by fuck, I like tea as well. She lives in a palace and owns several properties. I aspire to live in a palace and own several properties. The list of similarities is endless.
I loved the film not just because I am totally and completely in love (in LOVE) with Helen Mirren, but because it led to a very interesting conversation on the ride home about celebrity worship. There is a point in the film where Prince Philip looks at the video footage in disgust of the mourners crying and exclaims, "Sleeping in the streets and pulling out their hair for someone they never knew. And they think we're mad!" The whole film made the concept of finger pointing seem so ridiculous in retrospect. The judgements we levy on people we don't know. The assumptions we make based on a small amount of information.
I was thinking about it in the way people jump down one another's throats based on a few words on the screen. When we have no concept what has shaped that person's view of the world. Or what else they would say if we were to engage in conversation. Reading blogs is a privilege. Growing up, no one left their diary open to the world. Even if reading each other's diaries could have saved most of us a great deal of heartache and angst during those middle school years.
I'm thankful for everyone who shares their blog with me. And while I take all with a grain of salt--on one hand, I don't actually "know" you simply by reading your blog and on the other hand, what does it mean to truly "know" someone and do we ever really know another person--I can't put a price tag on what I've learned in the last six months of blogging and reading blogs. Without the editing of a publisher, this raw material of first-hand information is invaluable. I love every typo--yours and mine--that show our humanness. I love the posts that are left up even though we have an impulse to take them back down after a response. I am eternally thankful for the people who admit to their jealousies and foibles and the hushed out side of humanity. You make me stop kicking myself so viciously. We all have our faults.
Helen Mirren admitted in an interview that I recently read (in People Magazine) that she was worried how the Queen would view her portrayal. "I had been invited to Buckingham Palace while I was making the film, but I turned them down because if the film became mortifying to the royal family, I didn't want their mortification to be doubled by me turning up. If they invite me now, I'll go. And if I get a steely stare, then that is what I get." I don't think she will get the steely stare that she fears--though I understand the impulse. We all want to be loved. We all want our work respected. Queen Elizabeth expresses that hurt over her unpopularity post-Diana's death so eloquently in the film.
I think she did a wonderful job of showing the Queen as human. As a woman who argued with her former daughter-in-law. Who thought it was best to internalize emotions and not dump them on other people. While the world was mourning Diana, the Queen was concerned with her grandsons. And rising above the difficult relationships she had with her son and former daughter-in-law until the end. At the end of the day, she is simply another person whose car breaks down now and again. Who owns a cell phone and sleeps with clips in her hair to keep her curls crisp upon awakening. The movie showed her as a human, whereas the press portrays her as an entity. And I love humans. I love seeing their foibles and accomplishments.
I leave 2006 with a large thank you to everyone who had read the blog thus far. And a thank you to everyone who has commented and shared their point-of-view. I still have so many thoughts brewing to carry me through not only 2007, but well beyond. Can you imagine if your kids grow up to find themselves faced with infertility and I'm still yawning on about infertility. In my day, we didn't have these fancy Follistim pens! We had to mix our own vials. In my day, we didn't have implantation information the moment it happened! We had to wait two whole agonizing weeks to find out results.
A thank you to everyone who writes blogs--all the blogs in my blogroll and an advance thank you to the people who will be added this upcoming year as they begin their own blogs.
My New Year Resolution: To listen and read without judgement. When I feel judgement creeping into my mind, looking at the picture of Helen Mirren taped onto the refrigerator and remembering her portrayal of the Queen. Her stiff upper lip, yes. But the way her lips also trembled slightly when she admitted how hurt she was by the way she was judged. And with that lack of judgement, a sense of temperment when leaving comments or blogging about something I read in the newspaper that upsets me. Perhaps not when it comes to huge entities such as insurance companies, but certainly when it comes to individual people.
Happy New Year. May 2007 be a wonderful year.