Earls and Dukes
So, as you know, I am performing in a Shakespeare play in America-land.
Last night the director was discussing the role of Paris and likened him to an Earl in the English class system.
‘Claire,’ he asked me. ‘Is a Duke above an Earl?’
I stumbled here and had to think for a moment.
My response? ‘I don’t know, I’ve not had either…’ And then I gathered my [more sensible] thoughts and replied as though I knew what I was talking about. ‘Yes, a Duke is above an Earl. A Duke is in the immediate royal family, like the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and an Earl is someone who’s a bit posh, with a lot of money and goes to Eton, but is a bit thick.’
Yes, I totally generalised and stereotyped on this. And I totally don’t know if I’m right or not, but it seemed to help with the characterisation of Paris and that’s what matters 😉 .
‘Ah,’ said the director. ‘ In future we shall come to you for all things related to class.’
‘My father will be delighted,’ said I. 🙂
One of the things I’ve been doing recently is to reach out in to the American community in order to find out what it’s like for different Americans in different places in the USA. After all, there’s a whole bunch of them out there and it’s a big old country!
I chanced upon Elle, who is a ‘social butterfly’ in DC. Oh, that is a fabulous thing to be, I’m sure.
So, here’s it is – All About Elle….
I’m an only child originally from Greenville, South Carolina. I am single and childless and 30 something (YIKES!), but I have a large extended family and awesome friends! I’ve been blogging at Southern Girl in the City since May 2010. I work as an Event and Wedding Planner in Washington, DC.
1. Tell me a bit about growing up in the USA and what your childhood was like.
I grew up in the South, so mostly everyone was friendly, warm, and welcoming. I experienced a few issues of racism (being an African-American), but not anything so overt that it was detrimental. I went to school, went to church, was super involved in extracurricular activities all through 1st through 12th grade (something that has followed me to adulthood). I spent my summers with family in Hilton Head, SC and attended college in Tallahassee, FL.
2. You’ve lived in places across the States – how do they differ and what did you like/dislike about each of them?
In the South, people are WAY nicer, things are a little slower, and that’s where my family is. But I LOVE DC due to all of the activities that are here, all of the cultural things one can do. Plus, DC is just a Mega Bus ride away from NYC. And I love DC because you have people from all over and there are so many different cultures that you can learn about. In SC when I was growing up, most of the people were either black or white. I have met people from all over the world since I’ve moved here, which has given me the opportunity to look outside of my own world and to open my eyes to so many different things. My major gripe with DC is the traffic and the parking, which I’m sure is felt by most of the people who live in the area.
3. If you were to do a sales pitch about your lifestyle as an American in Washington, how would you sell it?
Oh, wow, that is so hard! If you want to be an independent go-getter who has the world at their fingertips, then DC is the place for you!
4. And if you were writing an honesty column for other American gals, what would you say about your lifestyle?
I love my life. Though there are moments when I wish things were a little different, I realize that I am living the life God has ordained for me to become the person I need to be.
5. Tell us about you being a ‘social butterfly’ and your jobs. What does that mean and how does it work?
One of my sorority sisters once told me “you’ve never met a stranger”, which I think is true. Due to my outgoing personality, I always befriend people wherever I go, be it work or play. I always look for an organization to join or somewhere I can volunteer my time, even organizations with the companies I’ve worked for. It’s in my nature to be busy and to always do something. Currently, I volunteer with First Book-DC, Michelle in Training, the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the DC Black Theater Festival. I am also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
6. Complete this sentence: Washington is…..
A melting pot of amazingly diverse people.
7. If you could tell your high school self three bits of advice about being a ‘girl about town’ what would they be?
Do what makes you happy, make sure you have amazing friends, and always take care of yourself!
8.Complete this sentence: Being an American is…..
something that is hard to explain.