Ladies of London Recap: American Thanksgiving
WELCOME TO LONDON
In London people respect you more if you have a fancy title and a house that looks like Downton Abbey. Unlike the United States where people don’t give a shat about whether you were born an Earl of Peanut Butter Crackers or Maple Syrup, in London you get invited to things like clay shooting and tea socials if you’ve got important relatives. Having no job, brown teeth, and an interest in bird watching makes you a loser in the U.S, but throw a Viscount in front of your name and you are popular.
Caroline, for example, is special because she was born into a family with a lot of cash. She’s got a staff that takes care of her children, suntanning her skin, and arranging the toast she eats for breakfast. As she likes to note, she probably should have born with testicles, but the Lord gave her boobs instead. That, however, has not hindered her goal of world gift giving achievement. In the last year she’s grown her online out-of-everyone’s-price-range gifts business by purchasing another site having to do with weddings. The combined business requires 45 people with varying levels of thin hair and anxiety disorders to work for her. They come early in the morning and leave late at night rushing around so she can sit on her throne behind glass walls and a pink Be Nice sign and make deals happen. Her husband, a nice enough fellow with the name Cem (which could be short for Chemberly or possibly Chem-Chem-arue) supports her rigorous work schedule because he’s always flying around making deals happen himself. But it’s fine because their nanny makes sure their daughter is taken care of and gets to violin lessons and at some point knows her mother is still alive. “She’s actually pretty hands-on,” explained her makeup and hair stylist Luke who sleeps in a trunk inside her shoe room. “When the kids see her they ask her questions like whether she is really their mother, if she will ever show them her face without makeup, and if they will inherit money.”
ANNABELLE AND JULIE
Annabelle is also special. She has fancy relatives and got married to a Rothschild at some point, but most importantly she knows people who work in fashion. She’s been considered a muse at points of her life because she can wear great pants and sparkly tops without a bra. She can also smoke a cigarette like a champ. She’s tight with Julie, an American who married the Earl of turkey sandwiches. (Julie helped rescue her back from the brink when she fell off a horse 9 months ago). This, for obvious reasons was not the reason she found him so attractive on their blind date. She was taken with his small face and hands and understanding of English literature. It wasn’t until she saw his gold American Express that she started to see a future together. “May I ask why your credit card makes reference to an item one would eat at lunch,” she asked. He encouraged her never to repeat the same thing in front of his parents, the Lord and Lady of Provolone. All these years later they have four kids and an estate in Dorset. Are they a typical? Sure they are, if you consider Julie makes her living showing people how to pretzel their body while squatting. They are normal if you factor in not having a nanny or a housekeeper or someone to brush the strings on the end of their carpets.
MARISSA AND JULIET
Then you have Marissa and Juliet, two Americans trying to circumnavigate the British social system. Marissa married a Brit, so she’s considered two steps ahead. (She tried to prove her loyalty last year by gaining British citizenship and standing outside the hospital where the royal baby was born holding a pocket sized flag and a taser gun). She’s got a townhouse decorated in bright colors around the corner from their family restaurant. She’s also adopted a mini accent a la Madonna. Juliet, however, has to slum it in a $3million home in Clapham, which according to Caroline is somewhere homeless people might urinate. It’s a place without cell phone service or access to non-depressing house paint. Juliet’s got two kids and a husband that travels due to work. She doesn’t have a tribe of friends because she’s not the kind of person who would sit up all night wondering how to get herself a ticket to a charity ball unless they serve chardonnay in glass bowls spiked with soda water and a straw. Marissa worries about this stuff. She worries if her monogram stationary has the right kind of plaid. She stresses about place settings. It’s the reason she takes over event planning, like Thanksgiving. She wants to out-Martha Stewart. This causes problems in her friendship with Juliet. Things were much cooler last season when they were on the same page. Let’s do this show and see what happens. Maybe we will get a ticket to a pheasant hunt or a Margaret Thatcher commemorative coin collection. But now Marissa believes she’s done the hard work, which is why she’s throwing an elegant Thanksgiving affair for 30 friends and family at the restaurant she will try to promote at least once an episode. Marissa, who has a birthday on the American holiday no one in England celebrates, just wanted to celebrate it the way real American do. She wanted to get wasted by 11:00 am and then pass out on the couch while Uncle Frank and cousin Larry fart while gnawing on turkey legs and screaming at the television during a football game. “Can’t we just cook at home,” asked Juliet? “No, we can’t,” answered Marissa. “The people I have invited are expecting apple cider with apple sticks and handmade napkins. I was having someone else make you a birthday cake decorated with a turkey that tastes like mashed potatoes and whiskey.” But Juliet had a back up plan. She’d convinced Caroline to throw a Thanksgiving party at her house. This way they could have a similar American experience by watching Caroline’s staff nervously try to recreate a turkey dinner with sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows in Caroline’s gourmet kitchen. Caroline in the meantime thought it was interesting that Marissa had such a hard time seeing what a social climber she’d become. People in London can smell the desperation, she would explain.
A confrontation was expected. Caroline invited 18 of London’s top women (which for obvious reasons had to include herself) over for cocktails. She invited both women, which annoyed Marissa. She thought Caroline was fine. She just didn’t understand why Juliet had spent so much time in the last few months finding a way to live inside her anal cavity. Was she trading up her friendship so she could continue to be invited to champagne events at Caroline’s opulent family home in the suburbs? But Juliet struggled to speak up because Marissa was a gold medal winner in manipulation and guilt. How could she not see that she had Juliet’s best interests at heart when she made sure there was a dessert that would be added to the menu so they could acknowledge the year of her birth? “Is this where I give you your sainthood again?” Juliet barked at Marissa. “Where you’re just perfect and you’re amazing and I’m so terrible?” Well, yes, in fact it is. It would be delightful if you could now refer to me as Saint Marissa as I am known in my own head.
NEXT WEEK: Marissa and Juliet continue to fight and we meet Caroline of the Family Fleming.