Miss Patricia: The Markle Sparkle lights up a Dark World
Our wicked columnist looks at the funny side of how the new royal bride will fare as a mixed race US expat
By Miss Patricia
Actress/royal fiancée Meghan Markle is a stunning American divorcée, appearing in the news right alongside Merkel from Germany. Their names are far more easily confused than their photographs, and the US was underwhelmed by the engagement announcement. 'They are just regular people who put their pants on the same way I do,' said 'Toma' from Florida, aged 50, in a revealing remark showing the visible panty line between the US and UK languages.
Our girl is slender with a flashing smile, as flexible as Gumby and no longer available. She's been filmed, so she must be interesting, and the alarm is going off on her biological iPhone. She reportedly gets on with Kate, who also was once a carefree pretty young girl, but is shifting to mom-ish hairstyles and a dutiful demeanour, so I fear The Sparkle of Markle might have numbered days, and not big numbers either. The press started out fawning over her. But already there are critiques that her rescue dog is soon to be abandoned, and they haven't even started on her mom being left behind as well. I'm sure at Mom's age, it's The Best Thing for Her.
The press was disappointed to discover that Ms Markle's childhood neighbourhood was tidy and pleasant, instead of the LA gangland they hoped for. Oh, you naive Brits! This girl was tough enough to make it onto TV, in Hollywood? The Bloods and the Crips cower when they see her coming.
The name 'Markle' is one dear to me. We have a family relative who used to lose her mind when her two sons tormented her, and when she furiously shouted at 'Mark' or Michael', she would get confused and just yell at 'Markle'. I can't hear the name without snickering.
It is not news that Ms Markle is of mixed race, in Britain. Yesterday's paper said so. Indeed, one wonders how the news of her parentage even came out, since it is not news: surfer blondes at my high school were darker then she. In fact, if one wasn't informed, one would not know…but we DO all know…because every article mentions it about 30 times. Like his brother, Harry has wisely chosen someone photogenic and fashionable, their mother having proven those qualities useful in the job.
Ms Markle's ancestry has been tweezed apart beneath a global microscope. A DNA test will not be run on her future spouse, however, because…THAT would be undignified. Experienced before cameras, she's as relaxed as her hair.
The couple cannot have mixed drinks served at their wedding reception, Ms Markle cannot spearhead any charity campaigns, and she may never suffer any black moods after a tragedy, because THAT WOULD BE RACIST. But like Clinton and Lewinsky bonding over cruel fat jokes, Harry can understand discrimination because he's ginger. This local speciality is unheard of in the US, as well as being spelled 'specialty'. Seeing everything in black and white, like sharks, has given American racists enough to feed on.
This is SO much work! Figuring out which terms are currently racist is like having to guess which cup covers the ball. In my parents' day, negroes became Proud Blacks, then African-Americans, then 'people of colour', which is merely rewording the offensive 'coloured people'. Will Ms Markle, as the new American rep for all women of colour, be served a fruit of orange at the Bucks breakfast table?
Recently, at a discussion of early American history, one woman asked if it was still OK to call 'them' Indians? Did 'they' prefer Native Americans? Aboriginals? Indigenous Americans? She felt safe in using the term 'they', since no one in the room looked remotely like Pocahontas, which is just as well since when Pocahontas actually did come to London as a sort of living souvenir, she contracted some poxy disease and died as a result.
This is what I think about the Ethic Name Game, (since no one asked): A schoolyard bully grabs a smaller boy's glasses, and every time the victim gets close to grasping them, they are held even higher. They're just messin'. My favourite thing about racists in England is that unlike racist Americans, they don't pretend to be anything different. If they don't like foreigners, they just say so, and you don't have to play 20 questions to figure out who the jerks are in the room.
But I too, have been a jerk, taking pleasure in forcing people to quote me! In another of my fruitless quests for justice, I sent a complaint to my bank about their neglect. I felt they would excuse themselves by pointing out that poor service is the industry standard now, so my keyboard scolded: 'If you stab your mother using the defence that other people have also stabbed their mothers, that is not a valid excuse.'
I received a prompt call. To my delight, the bank rep was required to repeat my exact words, following with the bank's official response to each line. He agreed that there was no excuse for stabbing mothers, and we both concluded that being open when they claimed to be was actually their duty. In fact, I received a surprisingly nice cheque in the mail the same week and we're cordial again, although both more wary than before.
Now my bank is like a husband who says he'll never strike me again, and although I wish to believe him, suddenly, other men ...I mean 'banks' ...appear to be bathed in a flattering glow.