Hello MCMM-ers, it's your wayward correspondent from Atlanta, back for a guest visit. 'Tis over the Piedmont and through the skies, to my middle brother's house near Philly we go for Thanksgiving. We had such a great time messing up Jason's house last year that we begged to be permitted to come back. Once again we will throw wet towels on the floors, occupy every bedroom and bathroom, eat too much food and generally flop around for a few days. They are wonderful hosts, my brother and sister-in-law, and it will be fun to go north and hang with them, but the real treat, as far as I'm concerned, is to watch the Reunion of The Princelings
Just who are The Princelings? They are the constellation of 4 teenage boy cousins on the Rubin side of my family. You have heard about Jewish Princesses -- that's the bad rap moniker laid on spoiled, self-centered daughters of indulgent parents. It's a hideous term and I hate it. Though I grew up in suburban comfort and had indulgent Jewish parents, I have always believed that my Princess-hood derives from the noblesse of a big heart, a self-imposed mandate to change the world, a passion for politics, and a sense that I could and can do or be anything. It was not narcissism-based, it was nachas-based. In my growing up, you had to do good, be good, and be nice to be a real Princess.
And so, by this measure, I maintain that there are also Jewish Princes -- noble, achieving, big hearted Jewish sons of indulgent and loving Jewish parents. My very own Grumble 16, is one of 4 boy cousins who have been adored and fussed over like a litter of royal puppies, by their parents and grandparents alike. These are nice, smart, sassy, self-assured guys, the kind you'd love to have as sons in law. They are The Princelings.
As a litter, the Princelings have had their ups and downs. There were years when they were all in synch, making mudpies and digging complex trenches on the beach, fishing at dawn from the dock of a cold Adirondack lake, belting out Weird Al Yankovich songs from the back seat of the van, and years when they couldn't be more different. I vividly remember the year that Prince Charlie, the youngest of the pack, upstaged all his elder Princelings with his brilliant cup stacking skills, learned at an Adirondack camp that caters to Princelings. There were years when these boys only saw each other at bar mitzvahs and Passover seders, wearing starchy shirts and uncomfortable shoes, with never enough free time to run off and unleash their inner puppy. That's why a 3 day Thanksgiving weekend, with all its excess and lethargy promises to be so much fun.
Right now we seem to be in an "up" period, where each Prince has solid in his sense of place in the pack. The age lineup is Prince Jaws 22, Prince Henry 18, Prince Grumble 16, and Prince Charles 15. For the next few days they will be playing pool, watching tv, sleeping late, begging for the car keys, belching and planting their enormous feet upon dainty things. My own darling Prince Jaws has already graduated college and is eager to impart the wisdom of the world to his younger accolytes. My nephew, Prince Henry is currently contemplating the college admissions scene, having already snagged admission to a big New England University, but holding out hope for early decision at a small prestigious New England college. My younger dauphin, Prince Grumble, will listen to his elders and hopefully return home with some anecdotal wisdom about where to actually apply to college himself. Prince Charles, the youngest, (and some say the cutest) will wield his lacrosse stick menacingly and flash his trademark grin. He is a charmer, that one, nothing like that middle aged jowly Prince Charles over across the pond.
Prince Jaws informs me that he is bringing several bottles of his homebrewed beer to the Thanksgiving feast. How he intends to smugge this contraband onto Delta is beyond me, but good luck to him. His royal cousins have been known to quaff and their father (my brother) tells me he now counts the number of beer bottles in the 'frig to keep them in line. Alas, young Prince Grumble, a royal lad who is so sensitive he still feels the seams in his socks, does not drink anything carbonated and cannot get a brewski down his sensitive velvet gullet. He is, however, training himself to drink every caffein-based sugar drenched, chocolate doused latte drink Starbucks makes, and now sips red wine and offers terse commentary: "Nice and fruity," he'll say. Or, "Very full bodied." He had a sip of a margarita last spring and his eyes got quite round with delight and joy. We will have to keep this Prince away from the tequila.
Are there no princesses in this kingdom, you wonder? Well, there is young Princess Abigail, a 5th grader, and the Queen Mum, 85 year old Grandma Isabelle. Cinderella will be played by my sister in law Debbie, and I guess that makes me Lady in Waiting.
Yup, I'm waiting for my Princelings to come and give me a hug.