It’s Friday morning and I have an appointment to get my hair cut. I’m in desperate need of a re-style for the summer months and I am looking forward to a bit of pampering. As a mother of two young daughters, me-time is sparse.
My hair is washed, I am relaxed and happily explaining what I want done to my stylist. Pure bliss.
“Excuse me, but are you British?” The lady in the next chair is looking at me eagerly. I tell her that yes, I am English. I think I know what’s coming …
“Did you watch the wedding?” I let her down gently, “No, I have two small daughters that I have to get to pre-school and Kindergarten, so I only got to see what her dress was like.” Polite, but firm – I’m not a big fan of royalty.
This dear old soul is very excited about the wedding especially as she has some English friends who sent her some souvenirs. I do hope they realize how much she appreciated their gifts – she really was excited about them.
I ask the stylist to take another 3 inches off my hair length, and the dear old soul then asks me a tough question: “What’s the difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain?” I thought for a moment and gave my answer, which I now know is wrong (as long as wiki is right). Later, I asked my husband the same question which he answered correctly without hesitation. I think this may be grounds for divorce.
A few more people have heard my accent now and have a few questions of their own. Before long I am giving an informal lecture on the Royal Family and answering questions on inheritance, titles and why did they wear such strange hats? I answer as best I can while my stylist silently cuts my hair. The discussion also covered Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, the Tudors and of course, Diana, Princess of Wales.
My hair is finished, and thankfully I got exactly the cut I wanted and am totally happy. Thank you, dear stylist. I get up to leave but the people there clammer for more answers. So I stay a while longer, going from person to person and answering questions as best I can.
As I walk back to the car, in a haze of patriotism, I reflect on the experience. I wish I’d had the foresight to realize this would happen. I had answered questions to the best of my knowledge and made things up when I didn’t know (a captive audience is a heady incentive!). The evening was spent googling like mad to see how much I really knew. My main errors occurred with the first question – good thing the dear old soul didn’t ask about the British Isles too!