This week, my daughter is attending her middle-school dance. She’s in seventh grade, and it’s a big deal. Even though they are not wearing gowns or tuxes—this isn’t a prom, after all—she definitely wanted to look nice. So she spent a day in search of an “elegant creation.” How interesting that teddy bear artist Vicky Lougher creates her well-heeled (and sometimes undressed) critters under the banner of Elegant Creations. The array of well-garbed bears run the gamut from a “Wicked” witch, who could be belting out “Defying Gravity,” to a dapper husband-and-wife pair of newlyweds. Her characters are supernatural and theatrical, sure to cast a spell on collectors.
It’s hard to believe, but it was a little over 50 years ago that the term “tribble” entered the American lexicon. Now, most people of a certain age, as well as many people who adore science-fiction screenplays, know that a tribble is a round ball of twittering and vibrating fur that invaded the starship Enterprise. These at-first-adorable houseguests are a precursor to the horror-film “Gremlins,” which also begin life as cute and sweet-natured before becoming overbearing and domineering. No wonder that the fan-favorite “Star Trek” episode was called “The Trouble with Tribbles,” because that’s what these furry folks brought with them—loads of trouble, mayhem, and laughter! It also explains why “Star Trek” has continued to be a vehicle that begs to be made into different collectible figures, plush toys, and even teddy bears.
Living in the United States, we usually have the Atlantic Ocean and our own emotional arm’s-length distance from the goings-on in England. Even though they were once our Mother Country—and we the rebellious child who revolted and ran away from home—we’ve always remained tied together through language, customs, and culture. Now, with the announcement of Prince Harry tying the knot with U.S. actress Meghan Markle, we are about to be bombarded with all manner of bridal collectibles and novelties.
I, for one, love the idea of a “commoner,” though Meghan is hardly common at all, rising to the rank of princess. Markle hails from a privileged Hollywood background. Her father was an Emmy Award–winning lighting designer, and she always attended prestigious private girls’ schools. Educated in theater, with a dual major in international studies, she is smart, self-assured, talented, and extremely contemporary.