Pre-Christening: Freddums writes Mummy
Den 18. januar 2006
Chère darling Mor,
I do hope that this letter finds you well today. I must say that I enjoyed myself so much the other night with you and Papa as he was giving the kitchens in Fredensborg a good send-off. He must have covered every surface in flour! It does make one feel a tad guilty that Cook will have to have his crew clean up our little mess. But we haven’t all laughed like that since President Bush was in town – such fun! Your laughing was so deep that your smoker’s cough was productive! Well, I’m sure Mary had a good time, in fact I’m sure she wanted me to write and tell you such. Her eye rolling was only because of the flour in the air – you know how sensitive she is ever since the laser resurfacing for hyperpigmentation during her makeover wedding present. And I do want to apologize for it looking like she huffed out of the place back home in anger, but she mentioned something in passing along the lines of trying to deplete her breasts again as a better way to spend an evening, but I’m sure that she just meant that it’s very important to try and bring the baby up to a better weight.
As you well know, she’s been a little hurt by my and Joachim’s baby photos. I suppose that chubby cheeks don’t run in the Donaldson family, so of course, her hurt is understandable. We need to do our best to continue to comfort her and not stir her up. I’m trying very hard to do my best to quietly ensure her that achieving a healthy weight during the next pregnancy is actually beneficial for the baby and not just something that “totally sucks” for her, poor darling. Now, I’m just as scared as you are about these rather, well, hillbilly genes tainting our placid Slesvig-Holsten-Sønderborg-Glucksburg pool, but evidently I made the mistake of pointing to Felipe’s daughter and Haakon’s son as examples to strive for. After the yelling stopped, she tried to call her geneticist in New York to fire him and revoke his license, which I’m not sure you can do just based on puniness, and go back to the doctor in London. I don’t remember what she shouted into the phone to him since my own ears were still ringing and I was feeling around for the bottle of scotch, but I can assure you that he won’t be vacationing in Denmark anytime soon. (Yes, I reminded her that we are THE link to the tourism industry here even though the party line is that we don’t care and are a viable institution that doesn’t come when called. Even Mary doesn’t swallow that one entirely, though, Mor.) Well, as it turned out we just sent out some press releases that the company actually used photos of the baby on their website to divert attention from the real issue. I’m starting to see that Mary’s right, Mor, it really is easy to fool people!
In fact, I was looking forward to a more robust wife, especially after going on a honeymoon with something akin to a bag of bones, which I dare say, is not terribly romantic. (Shall I just quickly mention that it is indeed a blessing that she has that charming Anglo-Saxon diversion to nudity which kept her from pulling a Bettina and providing us all with an entire rib count and pelvic exam in a paparazzi photo. Plus, she’s far too careful with her image, as you well know.) But then, when we weren’t out on the boat, Mary did prefer to lay out on the lanai with magazines and the cell phone (don’t worry, Vogue Australia is no longer on speed dial) and have the staff bring her drinks and new hats every time the headband would start to get a tad sweaty. (You can’t say she isn’t grateful for her makeover! She sure is being careful about protecting her skin now, thankfully. Yes, I did relay to her how important that is to us that she respect our generosity after all we’ve done for her. Please don’t make me do that too often, darling Mor, it is a rather trying conversation to have with her.) I do hope she’ll start becoming acquainted again one day with food, just like she was when I first met her. It’s strange, even though I was physically attracted to her when I didn’t see her as more than a toss-away girl, now that you’ve forced us together, she becomes skeletal. It’s like my proximity makes her not want to eat. Well, clavicle chic was never my bag, but we do have to try for another child eventually, so I guess I’ll just have to grit my teeth and proceed. Maybe I can use a blindfold and pretend that I’m trying to spice things up.
All this obsession with looks brings me to a rather sensitive subject. Er, um…well, I know we’re almost used to it now, but remember your reaction the first time meeting the Donaldsons? I still remember mine, and I know we reacted the same way. We won’t ever forget a shock like that, now will we? (Normally, I fear for Papa’s reaction, but as the Donaldson’s only speak English, his “Mon dieu, quel horreur!” was blissfully ignored. So maybe you’re not correct that education is everything!) Even you admitted you may not have been so quick to engage us at the Caix press conference in August 2003 – boy, did you have me in a panic then just as you were in a panic once you’d realized what you’d done to the future of the dynasty!
Now, even given that fluoride and the dental arts apparently were not available in Scotland before he left, it still is quite a surprise I do realize. I’ve reminded them that your excuse is that you smoke like a Texas barbeque. What, pray tell, is theirs? And then there are Mary’s poor sisters. (By the way, the one you think looks like an emu is actually her sister-in-law – that should make you feel better!) Although your quip about them showing genes that could rival a Viking’s actually touched a nerve, and contrary to what one would expect, they agree! Well, the other day all this came up while I was cooking dinner for John, Susan, Jane, Amber and Mary (I must say it is very complimentary how they like my cooking, and quite odd that none of them claim to even be able to boil water when I’m around. Oh, and don’t worry, that scary boyfriend of Amber’s isn’t staying here at the house, too. When I asked if he still had business to attend to in London, I was met with a bursting laughter and a reassuring “uh, yeah, that’s it”. He does seem to be a dedicated chap, I must say). I suppose they’d all been drinking quite a bit and, as is their habit, getting quite loud when the conversation took an unfortunate, but not surprising turn as they declared their “Scot Highland” genes as far superior to ours. Stop laughing, Mor, I can just hear you now! Really, it was a frightful turn in the evening. Now when I get blotto with Bendt, Jeppe, Holger and Nanoq’s crew, we are at the least still able to keep our saliva intact and not wont to picking fights, as you and Papa have explained well to me and Joachim as vulgar and undignified behavior.
They all started yelling about some chap named Rob Roy being better than "some asshole named Gorm” and then arm-wrestling each other. They have an interesting Highland yodel, I suppose is the best way to describe it – it must be a necessary call to arms when family pride feels offended. It was all I could do to remind them that I had a kitchen to attend to (now you know why I insist on cooking). Amber and Jane were on the table with their drinks arguing about whether it was better to be forced into having sexual relations with a plumber or a multi-millionaire hotel and pub owner. They were actually pointing their fingers into each other’s shoulders. It was all so strange and grotesque, and as Mary says, it is all so “bogan”. But I’ll tell you, when the cameras aren’t around, my wife can roll with the best of them. I’ll admit to being a bit turned on by it, after all, this is the gal I fell in love with, ol’ “Iron Thighs”, as I call her. It certainly is a pickle you put me in Mor, I love my Mary (doesn’t she remind you of Nanny MacGillicuddy, too!?), but sometimes I am evidently not enough for her, which of course makes me terribly sad. Plus, she really is a very stocky girl, isn’t she? Doctor Freudenborg has been telling me during our weekly sessions that I never noticed Mary’s stockiness and demanding nature due to her uncultured insecurity because pheromones get in the way of perception early in an affair. Also, given my unnatural devotion to Nanny since you were busy with other things when I was young, I was a bit blind-sided, I suppose one would say, by what I perceived as inner strength. Honestly, I had assumed all along that Mary was the backbone I was missing, as she does have many masculine traits I lack, and while she most certainly does have brass ones (Per will be the first to agree with that!), she’s not exactly the nurturing type. Nor the forgiving type. Nor the understanding type. Nor the comforting type. Nor the inspiring type. She’s the hard place to my rock. I always wanted to be someone’s rock, but I figured it would be to a sweet girl who had deep integrity, a sense of self and tradition, and a cultured background that could gently buttress me in my duty toward Denmark. Now I have to inspire myself, and I will be the first to admit that it is a rather difficult thing when one has such a nice sailboat, wonderful friends with expansive estate homes, and a black Amex to instead try to focus on teaching at the academy or knuckling down and doing “work” and getting “exposure”. I can start to see now, with the doctor’s help, that Mary may not be the ideal personality to lead me out of this hedonistic pit I’ll admit we both enjoy so terribly much. Sometimes I feel I should have done as Felipe and Haakon did and brought home a nice local girl who would understand the culture and know what expectations there are of her and who would have birthed us a nice, fat heir. After all, after the shock of Papa being French, you actually set the country up to want a Danish girl as queen, didn’t you? Oh, je t’aime, Papa!
I do, however, welcome these family diversions for her, especially since she’s been feeling so down lately. She wasn’t as enthused by the floral mustard and eggplant colored jacket dress you picked out for her as she was by the blue costume from the Royal Theatre for the first kur. Maybe she’s more attuned to Victorian Orientalism than we originally thought. She did after all ask for your help in turning that gorgeous sari into a cute, Western saloon lady dress. I’m sure she knows she’s lucky her mother-in-law designs theatre costumes! But I suppose it was sad for her not to be able to wear the tiara again, she does love it so (what a sight to see her jump up and down, howling something about "outdoing the bogans" and "the eastern suburbs are my bitches", whenever we bring out Mormor’s rubies), although I’ve told her that technically we cannot call her Her Majesty until your passing. Well, the quiet pout that ensued is better than the usual yelling session, wouldn’t you agree?
As for Mary’s kur, please have my assurances that it was Lis our press agent who made such an egregious error. I’m sure my dear wife would never have asked the press to show up only to close the door on them. Actually, if I’m sure of anything in this life, it is that my wife would not lock out the press. You were correct, Mor, that the press AND the Donaldsons AND Amber cannot be at an official court function, absolutely. I could not imagine the photos that could emerge from such a combustible guest list. Yes, Mary has spoken to Amber about carousing on public mattresses with skinned knees and the bridesmaid’s outfit you designed and paid for. Don’t worry. She threatened to have it dyed another colour, but I do think she was kidding. Yes, I’m sure of it. Just as she promised that her new boyfriend would not crash the christening. Hm, on second thought, maybe I’ll just double check with her that she wasn’t kidding on that last one.
I do want to thank you again, and on Mary’s behalf, too, for all of your wonderful organisational expertise for the christening. As you know, Mary and I are quite incapable of pulling off such a show, as I like to relate more to the common man with ill-fitting suits and "down-with-it" street cred, and Mary is a common man, er, well, woman, of course. Oh who’s kidding, MAN. But at any rate, what would we do without you? And I do thank you, too, for allowing so many godparents for the baby. Mary really does have an inferiority complex, as you can well imagine and unfortunately have seen manifest, and it seems that she and Pavlos’s wife will be competing in the Rag Tag Commoners Pretending They’re Really Super Cool Through Their Child’s Godparents Roster contest. Pavlos and I can only roll our eyes, but in the end, he grants his beloved wife’s wishes and I do the same to my wife, if only to keep the peace at home. In that regard, thank you ever so much, dearest Mor, for acquiescing to Mary’s wishes regarding the flowers. I guess we’ll just have to see how it all comes off on Saturday. That poor, scared florist! You’d think he’d be used to her now since he supplied her with fresh orchids every week when she was living in her flat in Langelinie. Mary’s time now is thankfully busy choosing a new outfit for the celebrations. Oh, the number of samples that designers have sent over! I’m trying to steer her clear of strange, fluffy, feathery, hat thingies, but we’ll see if she listens to me. I’m not in good standing right now, as always.
Oh, if you are needing a new craft project once you finish your latest decoupage tissue holder for me, the baby could use some new booties. Perhaps you could make them a little longer than would fit him normally? You see, as demonstrated in Mary’s Christmas card that Ziggy and I got to be in, we had to resort to digitally manipulating the baby’s proportions in order to elongate Mary’s hands, which I’m sure you’ll agree was the best thing to happen to her little hams. But now Mary’s very worried that he’s not going to have most people’s attention at the christening since Sverre is coming (I know, isn’t he something! Now, HE could take on a Donaldson with his two month old pinky and win) and will make the baby look even smaller and punier. And Mary would prefer cashmere with mink trim this time.
Thank you ever so much, dearest Mor.
Your loving and devoted son,