Rosette, The Queen of the New Year 2010. As suggested by Original Banshee. (Yes, last year.)
On New Year’s Day of 2010, we were up at my brother’s house, eating, hanging out, etc. I took my entire “Club of Curious Friends” girls to show them to my sister-in-law who had asked about them, but Original Banshee caught a glimpse and just freaked out — in a good way — at the sight of them. She immediately began talking in all capital letters.
“TEE TEE! WHAT ARE THESE?”
“Well, they’re some girls I painted.”
“I LOVE THEM, TEE TEE!”
“I WANT TO HAVE THEM ALL!!”
“Aw, thanks, Banshee.”
“WHY DO THEY EACH HAVE AN ANIMAL??”
“Well, the animals are their friends.”
“THEY’RE KIND OF FUNNY FRIENDS!”
“Yep. I know.”
“I LIKE THAT!”
“TEE TEE, CAN I LAY THEM ALL OUT ON THE FLOOR?? I WANT TO SEE THEM ALL AT ONCE. CAN I??”
My sister-in-law interjected. “Banshee, if Tee Tee says yes, you need to be very very careful with them, okay?”
She was just so ramped up. Could not modulate herself. While I love that about her, I also wondered if I should check her vital signs because I’m a caring and diligent aunt that way. Her eyes were spinning around like pinwheels in a gale force wind. She was breathing in fits and starts. Basically, she was going to need to be institutionalized and lobotomized, all over The Club of Curious Friends.
Well, it is curious.
I sat and watched as, one by one, she held each painting like a feather on her palm and placed it on the carpet in front of us. She laid them out in three rows, adjusting each one until it was perfectly straight, perfectly lined up in the row. She is adorably OCD. I enjoy it because it’s her problem, you see, not mine. She continued speaking in all capital letters until her mom shushed her a bit, reminding her that Baby Banshee and other babies in a 53-mile radius were trying to nap.
“Tee Tee, do they have names?”
“Yep. Well, most of them. Some of them I haven’t named yet.”
“Do the animals have names?”
“Yep, they do too.”
She pointed to each girl and creature in turn, asking their names and didn’t spare me her candid opinion on each of the names.
“What’s her name?”
She wrinkled her nose and shook her head.
“No, Tee Tee.”
“I don’t like it.”
“Really? Okay. Tell me why.”
“Well, Tee Tee, Ursula is the mean lady in The Little Mermaid. She can’t be Ursula!”
“Oh, you know what? I didn’t even think about that. You’re right. She needs a new name.”
She glanced up at me with pleading blue eyes.
“Can I name her, Tee Tee? Pleeeeease, can I?”
Hm. I’m thinking no, actually. I mean, would I end up with Rosie Fallulah Flowerbeam or something?
Despite that thought, I heard the words “sure, sweetie” coming out of my mouth. Too late now. I can’t say no to those blue eyes. It’s dangerous.
She gently picked up “Ursula” and held her in her lap, staring intently at her.
Uh-oh. Here comes Cherry Gingerbread Poofadoo.
“She looks like a Phoebe.”
“Banshee! What a great name! I love it!”
“Really, Tee Tee?”
“Yeah. That’s perfect! She does look like a Phoebe.”
With that, the floodgates opened. The Banshee became a naming machine. She searched through my bag for the smallest drawings or the merest scraps of sketches and began proclaiming who they were. She was good at it too.
She even decided the narwhal in one of my unfinished Curious Friends paintings should be named Larry.
Larry the Narwhal. Perfect.
Late on that New Year’s afternoon we all went for a walk. The Banshee held my hand — a rare thing for her to hold anyone’s hand — and discussed The Club at length with me. Out of the blue, she exclaimed,”You should have a Queen of the New Year, Tee Tee!”
“That’s a good idea, Banshee. What would she be like?”
“Well, her dress would be pink and have flowers and she would have a crown and her name would be Rosette.”
So that’s who she is. She does not have a friend. She is not in The Club.
She is the Queen.
On New Year’s day of this year, the Banshee requested a new queen for 2011. All I can really remember of the truly dizzying details/parameters/commands set forth by Banshee for this new queen — which I swear involved armatures and slide projections at one point — is that her name will be Coral.
Coral, Queen of the New Year 2011.
Don’t tell The Banshee I’m procrastinating on Coral.
But, honestly, I’m a wee bit terrified.