Sunday, February 19, 2012

Downton Abbey and the Disney Princesses

For each episode of Downton Abbey's second season, a friend has taken me into her home and fed me snacks while we watch the show.  Tonight PBS will run the last fresh Downton Abbey episode before Season 3 begins.  Although in the U.S. this episode is running as the last of Season 2, my understanding is that it had originally run as a sort of holiday special.  And so, in honor of this episode, and as a way of celebrating my hostess, and I thought I'd see if I couldn't track down some Christmas Crackers.

I know it's February, and I know I'm in the U.S., but I thought I'd give it a go.  A Brit friend of mine directed me to a store that specializes in importing authentic British foodstuffs and sundry items.  I called the place and was told that they were out of Christmas crackers, but had some that were for "other occasions".

Though the idea of non-Christmas crackers felt like it was probably a bit like those sad "Easter trees" decorated with egg, bunny and other spring themed ornaments, I was willing to buy some of the damn things if they might kind of pass as Christmasy-enough, and might possibly delight my friend.  Beyond that, I figured the worst that could happen was that a snooty shop lady would judge me for buying non-traditional crackers from her ("Daft Yank").  Which wouldn't be too awful, because I would totally agree with her.

Instead, what I found at the end of my inconvenient errand a few miles out of town was:  Disney Princess crackers.

I wish I could say that, at that moment, standing 10' from an Oregon interpretation of high tea service and surrounded by racks of delicate tea pots, that I smashed everything to bits and then, with a cracker in each hand, I dropped to my knees and raised my hands to the heavens screaming "Why, Walt? Why?!!!??!!!!" and/or that I popped open all crackers in the store, stacked each of the paper crowns on my head and then whimpered while curled up in a nest of the paper rubbish, but I didn't.  I just quietly left the store.  (And sent a tweet cursing the So-Cal born royalty).

It was my fault.  My hope and optimism kept me from asking for details about "other occasions" the instant I heard it.  But, even then, would the Disney Princesses have come up?  And, for what occasion does one bring out the Disney Princess crackers?

At first, I was a bit miffed, that Disney was able to stake a claim in this independent store supposedly devoted to traditional foods and sundry items from a non-U.S. country, but if the corporate-entertainment-complex will continue to prove itself to be this insidious, I'll just consider this a gentle reminder to always be prepared.

Before making a dinner reservation, committing to see a new hairstylist, or calling a cab, I must always confirm, "Will any of the Disney Princesses involved?"