For those who didn't know her...trust me, it's your loss...the Princess was The Pink Princess, Mrs. Adrianne St. George. She died suddenly on June first of this year.
I'm having a hard time gathering my thoughts, because this is like a body blow. My paper journal notes I had a down and blue day on June first; of course, a brilliant light had gone out in the world.
Altesse, as I called her, was just...something else. She was one of those people I especially admire, the kind who make their own life without much regard for the pattern set by society at large. There are people who try desperately to slot themselves into the great masses kind of life; get a job, have some kids, live in the 'burbs, shop a lot.
Altesse did live in the 'burbs, so to speak, but she lived in a castle. Oh yes, she did. A big, sprawling stone Victorian house with over sixty rooms, turrets and decor spawned entirely by her tastes and imagination, made real through workmen, Alan's talents (oh, he's a brilliant sculptor) and world-class raiding of treasures from eBay. Looking at the pictures fairly made my head spin, because each room was a journey to Altesse's imagination. When the Chambre of Kali-Ma was completed and the photos came online I nearly fainted from pure joy; it is a Persian/Indian riot of gorgeousness.
I'm so sad she didn't live to see her ballroom completed. Yes, they were building a ballroom. She was entranced by it; photos of the ceiling joists were sent on her e-list. Photos of Alan's sculptures for the ballroom (in progress) were sent. It was a riveting process to behold, because quite honestly I'm not capable of designing or imagining a turn-of-the-twentieth-century ballroom. Altesse was absolutely capable of seeing it through to completion. Every finished inch of Havencrest Castle...not that any room was ever finished...showed her imagination, her style, her incredible dedication to detail.
Didn't matter if it wasn't my style; what mattered deeply was that she had style and knew what to do with it and this ran to the minutae of her life.
She and Alan spent close to twenty-four hours a day in the same house. He worked in his studio, she worked on her correspondence (vast), her writing, (fascinating), her friends and her interests which included everything from collecting antique silver to animal rescue. Yes, she had a pack of Pekinese dogs; not everyone knew they were all adoped and rescued save for the youngest two.
They were married, Alan and Adrianne, in the truest sense of the word, the sense hardly anyone gets. They constantly sought out each other's company. They deeply disliked being apart for any reason. I think Altesse would rather have had a compliment from Alan than any other person ever born. She loved him deeply and wasn't the least embarassed to let people know this. The idea of playing cool by being dismissive of him, of their life and their love was rubbish as far as she was concerned. If you didn't think she was cool, fine, that likely meant she really didn't need to know you, did she?
Once I responded to one of her posts about a dinner they had by asking what kind of white wine Alan had chosen to go with the pork roast. I must have phrased the post badly because she took it as a snipe towards Alan's decision to serve white wine with pork. Oh my Goddess, I got a lecture about how Alan's choices were "always excellent and always, always correct."
That's how much her words meant to me; I have them memorized.
I apologized for the misunderstanding and my clumsy phrasing; I just wanted to know which type of wine he'd served since I often serve and cook pork with white wine.
But it tickled me. This was an imagined attack on her beloved Alan (who is an incredibly cool guy, in my opinion) and she was on it like white on rice. I loved that. I LOVED THAT.
I have already had to stop writing this as I have broken down sobbing. It can't be real, it just can't be real. Please let it be some kind of awful joke.
No. That's one thing she'd never joke about. Leaving Alan and the furbabies alone is not funny. Altesse had a great, sometimes naughty, sometimes dark sense of humor, but that is just not anywhere in the same hemisphere with funny.
I'd always quietly planned to someday attend one of her parties.
I thought there was plenty of time.
And I was chuffed, I do mean CHUFFED, when their annual Christmas Card arrived. The season does not start, in my world view, until the big envelope with my name and address written in sparkly green ink on it arrives. Until I get to look at the montage Altesse put together...photos of Herself and Himself and the furbabies and the castle...it just isn't Christmas.
I have these cards tucked into a scrapbook. I treasure them.
I am so very sad she's gone, but she lived. She lived her life according to her wishes and if life threw her a curve -- which it did, nobody gets out unscathed -- she made a new wish and lived that.
I really loved her. I loved her style, the way she made her choices based on her own tastes and standards and ethics and went on knowing some would admire her, some would abhor her but nobody, NOBODY, would ignore her.
You couldn't. She was a bright shining light, you know, through illness and troubles and joy and she loved sharing her happiness with people. She was a bright shining light and now the world is a little darker.
I miss her already. I know from experience it'll get worse before it gets better, but I also know that she still IS. You can't extinguish a light like Adrienne's...funny, I could never bring myself to call her by her first name...ever.
ETA: Because life always brings the funny, you know?
I was lighting the second candle from the first one, so that the flame wouldn't extinguish, and managed to put my hand squarely over the new flame long enough for it to sting.
So I said "Shit!" and heard a lovely voice in my head cry out "Brown word!". And I laughed and cried.