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The Queen Mum is NOT Tacky

Dear Rudy,

My husband and I went to London last winter and bought belated Christmas presents for a married couple who are old friends. The first thing we bought was a chocolate Rosetta Stone from the British Museum, carefully wrapped in silver paper with a picture of the stone on the front. It would have made sense to send two to the couple, but they were surprisingly expensive.

At the airport, just before we left for home, I got stricken with guilt over our tightfistedness, so we went into a souvenir shop to look for something to pair up with the Rosetta Stone. What we found was a kitchen magnet with a picture of the Queen Mum in a great flowery purple hat. We were making snide comments about the hat and about the idea of the Queen Mum holding up the grocery list as we went up to the counter to pay. The middle-aged shop attendant let us know that our behavior was rude and inappropriate -- that the Queen Mum had stood by her subjects during all the horrors of WW II and that she was deeply loved and respected. I felt about four inches tall. It wasn't the Queen Mum magnet that was tacky, it was us.




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