Letters from London
Lovely Mrs. Blogsworthy
by Will Pratt –
It didn’t need the stamp on the envelope or the address inside to tell me the letter had come from the U.S.A. It began: “Greetings to you and your lovely wife.”
Early on in our six years in the States, we learned that all wives are lovely. One Sunday, we heard it announced that the following Sunday’s services would be conducted by Captain Blogsworthy and his lovely wife. Good, I thought, I don’t know Captain Blogsworthy, but I’ll look forward to meeting his lovely wife.
A week later, when the somewhat ample Mrs. Blogsworthy made her way cautiously to the microphone, I realized that my understanding of the word ‘lovely’ was too secular and needed to be spiritualized.
I love many things about Americans: their immediate friendliness, their openness to anything new (whereas we Brits are usually suspicious of anything new) and perhaps most of all, this quality of being complimentary.
Whenever I conducted services and afterwards stood at the door shaking hands, compliments would shower upon me. “You were great, Commissioner!” “Sir, you blessed my soul.” Fortunately, the guardian angel that sits on my shoulder (and has a face remarkably like my mother’s) was saying in my ear, “Pratt, you were awful, and you know it.”
Blarney, typical Yankee hyperbole, some deriding Brits might say. Maybe. But somehow I walked away two inches taller. This capacity for encouragement is a wonderful national characteristic. Please don’t ever lose it.
For more of Pratt’s writing, read “A Funny Thing Happened on…THE WAY” available at Supplies & Purchasing. Price $14.95 hardback, $10.95 paperback, plus shipping and handling (310) 534-6090.