1. You insist on speaking with what you think is a British Royal accent. At first your family tolerated this irritating tendency of yours, as did colleagues on Zoom; in fact, some revealed themselves to be fellow obsessives by saying, also in crappy accents, things like, “Perhaps her Majesty would take us through the projections for the first quarter of 2021, hmmmyes?”
2. You start exhibiting an uncharacteristic interest in the quality of your household dinnerware. Suddenly IKEA mugs are too common to drink your morning coffee from; you demand 24k gold-trimmed bone china. You suggest to your eye-rolling wife that it might be time to do away with the film-coated Dixie plates, red Solo cups, and Costco plastic cutlery in favor of some non-dishwasher safe Wedgewood china and Waterford crystal glasses (in four sizes).
3. You shun coffee, declaring it “common” and American, in favor of tea. This despite the fact that you ARE American and have been a lifelong six-espresso-a-day sort of guy. (Twelve a day since you had to start working from home in lockdown.) It takes 34 cups of tea to match the caffeine One’s body requires in order to adequately “oversee the Kingdom,” a phrase One now uses to refer to “sitting on Zoom meetings all day.”
4. You’ve taken to referring to yourself as “One.” One takes no notice of One’s teenagers’ pleas to JUST STOP, DAD.
5. You've recently purchased three pairs of plus fours. You haven’t tried clay pigeon shooting yet but as soon as you can step away from “overseeing the Kingdom,” that’s the first thing you’ll do, and you’ll be ready. Also, you delight in explaining to your wife, who didn’t ask, what plus fours are and how nicely they’ll show off your argyle socks. You say this with raised eyebrows and your lower jaw jutting out, making you impossible to understand, while she mutters, “How many goddam seasons IS this show?”
6. You don’t allow the fact that there is nowhere to learn how to shoot clay pigeons during lockdown to deter you. After all, if the Queen could be an ambulance driver during WWII, One can certainly improvise while living through a modern day World War of sorts. One commands One’s royal subjects—er, children—to launch cantaloupes and pita bread off the backyard deck while yelling “PULL!” and takes aim with the moldy Super Soaker One found in the garage.
7. You declare the family WhatsApp group to be lowly and suggest communication methods befitting a royal. You’ve ordered a case of 400 gsm blank note cards from Vistaprint which feature the family crest, designed by you on Canva. You handwrite messages to family members and neighbors with an imitation Mont Blanc fountain pen and demand that these be delivered on a silver tray. This causes your wife to drink more wine than ever. You note that she drinks white wine out of the goblet clearly meant for red. Heathen.
8. You identify equally with British government leaders as with the royals because power is power. This manifests as you assuming a hunched position and chomping on a pretend cigar (which is, in fact, a carrot) while methodically plunging the yet-again-clogged downstairs toilet and growling “those goddamned Narzis” in your barely passable Winston Churchill voice. Your wife is temporarily relieved that you are: A) impersonating a non-royal for once, and B) eating a vegetable.
9. You saunter through the house wearing the fleece blanket from the TV room around your shoulders like a cape and raid your wife’s brooch collection to accessorize it. One never knows when one might have heads of state suddenly appear on One’s doorstep and One must be presentable at all times. One’s wife points out through gritted teeth that we are still in the throes of a pandemic and no one is going to anyone’s house any time soon, while bundling the children and a few essentials into the Chrysler minivan before running away to a Holiday Inn where they will stay until you finish the series.
10. You are my husband.