Tag Archives: Prince Wills

A letter to The Queen

Dear Queen Liz,

Quite honestly, I’m not sure you’ll ever see this request, but maybe it will somehow work its way up through the ranks to your level. Maybe the consort to the consort to the consort of your consort’s consort will just happen upon my blog and send it your way. Who knows?

I know you’re a busy woman, what with choosing your bonnet for the day, celebrating Prince Wills’ recent engagement, and choosing which British subject to bestow with the title of knight. Which, by the way, brings me to my subject. Knightdom. Or Damedom. Or more specifically, “those who should be knighted or be named a dame”.

According to my sources, knights and dames are typically so named in recognition for “services rendered to society”. Apparently, those services are no longer necessarily martial in nature (i.e. the Sirs Elton John and Paul McCartney, and the Dames Judi Dench and Julie Andrews — my personal favorite, but that’s neither here nor there). What I can’t figure out is how and when you decide someone is deserving of such an honor and/or if your British subjects may submit nominees to such awards.

I am, of course, not British, although I have to say I adore British mysteries (P.D., Agatha, Dorothy, etc.). Just a side comment, there. Anyway, on the outside chance you have run out of folks to knight or dame, I’ve compiled my own list of nominees. This list took some careful consideration — usually during those morning runs when my mind was not preoccupied by the local black-bellied whistling duck and/or American Bald Eagle. Sorry to drop that reference to “American” but I don’t know if you Brits have your own eagle.

So here’s my short list, in no order of preference. Yes, I realize these folks are not British but let’s not quibble over formalities, and yes, some of these would be awarded — pardon the phrase — “post-mortem”.

*Lew Wallace (the inventor behind the snooze button)
*Corrine Boehr (just because she makes everyone feel they’re the most important person in the world)
*Meryl Streep (you know who she is — c’mon, you HAVE to have seen “Mamma Mia” since all those Brits danced and sang alongside her)
*M.C. Beaton (hey, she’s Scottish, and yes, I know that’s her pseudonym)
*Dr. Timothy Noakes (author of “The Lore of Running” — maybe you’re not a runner, but if you are, get a copy)
*Jeff Kantner (he owns our local hardware and can fix almost anything — including our staple gun)
*Gilda Radner (remember Roseanne Roseannadanna of SNL fame — surely she made even you crack a smile?)
*Tony Shalhoub, AKA Adrian Monk (if you knight him, I’ll convince JP and Tim to invite you to our Monk party)
*Maureen Dowd (read the NY Times — she proves just how far a degree in English lit can take you)
*John “The Penguin” Bingham, (for a number of reasons, not the least of which is his current status as national spokesperson for Team In Training

Please note that I’ve provided some live links to some of the nominees….just in case you need to check them out. So, I’ll leave it at that — don’t want to be a bore — but if you need more specifics and/or other suggestions, just give me a jingle.

Tally ho…’ta…cheerio,

Mary Pannabecker Steiner




On waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

Here’s how my morning went. On my one day off from early morning aerobic activity, I woke up bright and early thanks to the fact that my body has not yet adjusted to the time change. So I fiddled around on the computer for awhile, baked some bread, and took Ike out for his morning constitutional.

At 9:15 a.m., I left Bluffton with my mom to meet with her surgeon. The appointment was scheduled for 9:50 a.m. Having been to this doc previously, as well as several others in the same practice, I was prepared for a wait. A long wait. But whoops…I forgot to warn Mother.

By 9:45 a.m., we were hunkered down in one of the 800 chairs in the largest waiting room in the world, completing at least 15 forms. Halfway through, we were summoned back to the reception desk, where the cheery woman reviewed what we had completed and hustled us off to waiting room number 2. Aha, I thought. Perhaps I was wrong and today there would be no wait.

Well. One can always hope. One hour later, I had finished two transcript evaluations, read through all of the course materials for my next round of teaching, and skimmed yet another article about Prince Wills and his new fiance — including the obligatory debate over the tackiness (or not) of giving her Lady Di’s engagement ring. Which, by the way, he lugged around in his “rucksack” for at least three weeks.

Beside me, Mother was engrossed in Sudoku. By contrast to our relative relaxed moods, the tension in the room was palpable, as the others compared what time their appointments were and who’d been waiting longest. Two hours and 32 ounces of water later, I’d made four trips to the restroom, one to the car, and was beginning to eye the vending machines.

Then I took a nap. Mother took a nap. Oddly, the two of us were more relaxed that anyone else.  One guy stood up and said “I’m going to take care of this,” headed for the door to the inner sanctum, but was quickly ushered back by an irritated staff member. So much for taking care of it. Finally, the room began to thin out as one person came out and the next went in.

When they finally called us, we were both so startled we didn’t respond immediately. When we entered the examining room, the poor med assistant eyed us warily and asked if we planned to yell at her, too. Apparently, she’d already gone several rounds with irate patients. Lucky for her, we had nowhere to be — other than work — so I assured her I didn’t plan on yelling.

Couldn’t speak for my mom. I learned long ago not to speak for her. She’s pretty good at doing that by herself. Oddly, she too must have been feeling mellow, because her only comment was that she hoped the wait wasn’t indicative of how long she’d have to wait for surgery. Gotta say, it was a well-aimed bit of sarcasm but didn’t quite hit its mark.I think the woman was more than eager to turn us over to her boss.

Waiting is one thing. Pain is another thing, and it’s rarely acceptable. After all, at 88, a quilter, pianist, computer buff, and genealogist with a lot of paperwork waiting, my mom has little patience for the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome. Which, of course, she made perfectly clear to the surgeon. He assured her he’d rid her of the pain. When?

Well, there’s the rub. She’ll have to wait her turn. Again.