Rant mode time…
I think this rant applies more to you middle-class parents out there, who are aspirational by proxy and projection and insecure, stuck between:
- The proletariat, the oiks who know their place
- and the upper class who have already got their through luck of birth and can trace their family trees back 23 generations, back to William the Conqueror
Why, oh why, oh why, do you insist on bringing your female offspring to family meals in:
- dining pubs
and then let your Princess “hold court”? Why? Why?
I have to say, and I apologise if this is based on sexist, misogynistic prejudice, I’ve so far not seen any family prince hold court in Tandoori Indian restaurant, Düsseldorf, or the cafe by Clemensplatz in Kaiserswerth. It’s seems to be some competitive parenting “thang” these days to:
- Take said Princess Daughter out to family meals
- Make her the centre of attention – and also of your universe
- Let her rattle on to all seated at her table (and anyone within a 20-mile radius of table) about:
- all her recent sporting achievements – Olympic dressage team, according to her sports teacher
- all her travel plans – “Pitcairn Island is sooooo different, yet sooooo British at this time of the year”
- praise from the school head teacher, who happens to know all the Oxford admission tutors personally
- the BBC’s plans to serialise her blog as a Downton Abbey style costume drama
- all her petty gripes about her vindaloo being too spicy (hey, it’s a f*ckin’ vindaloo – it’s meant to be spicy)
- ad beeping nauseum
So far this year, I’ve had a Friday evening meal with Schatz down my one-time favourite Indian restaurant ruined (well, maybe not ruined, but marred) by the incessant drivel of a British princess telling her intended audience (mummy and daddy) as well as “innocent bystanders” (should that be “bysitters”?) about all the above. Princess was driving Schatz up the wall, and Schatz is not even a native speaker of Post-Norman Demotic Anglo-Saxon. It was even worse for me. I had to listen to the words and music.
Last week in Kaiswerswerth, Prinzessin Wundertochter was holding court, seated in the middle of table, surrounded by family, verbal diarrhoea in full flow, again with heroine-worshipping parents beside her. This time, I was wanting to stick mp3 player earphones into my ears to block out her drivel, while Schatz got the words and the music, being a native-speaker.
Self-praise is no recommendation. It’s also abundantly tedious to the people sitting near you, especially when it comes from petulant, self-absorbed teenagers.
Have an over-achieving day, won’t you!