The Princess Notarianni-Borgen turns 37 today, same day as the prince of Wales, and she's doing just fine, thank you.
Edith, or Nina as she is known, is not technically a princess, perhaps. The day she was born this newspaper had a big front-page story on her birth, not that there was anything amazing about it, but since there was a big story on the birth of the prince of Wales, the editors thought well, hell, every kid that's born is pretty royal to mom and pop, so let's salute a princess born right here. And Nina Notarianni arrived at Georgetown Hospital the same day as the royal birth in London, so she was the one. She was brand new, barely dry, when her picture appeared in the newspaper.
Eh, well. Years pass. But there she was Tuesday, at her regular job as manager of Mason's Flowers, at Layhill Shopping Center in suburban Maryland. There was a nice bowl of Dutch irises on the counter and some yellow alstroemerias in a bucket, along with wreaths of grapevines, some Victorian chairs, a few antiques for sale, some artificial flowers and a very attractive cash register.
With her was Walter Borgen, her husband, who drives big trucks and hopes to buy a small farm where he can have a few cattle and some pigs and a horse. They have one boy, Walter, who is 9. Nina's good friend, Dawn Kay, had come in to say howdy, and Nina said she has no squawks about life -- a good husband, a good kid, a nice house in Olney and a job that keeps her busy and interested.
"I've found most people are pretty good and want to do the right thing," her husband said. "I work hard -- 80 hours by last Thursday and the week wasn't even over -- and I think most guys do. It's hard to pay the bills, but we manage. No complaints. I would like to have a couple of cattle, maybe a horse. We have a boat, but were too busy to use it the past year, but we like to go fishing."
"I wouldn't mind being rich like the prince of Wales," said Nina. "I'd give Walter a million dollars to do the things he wants. In the meantime, I stay busy with my job, house and family. Like most people, I guess. My family have lived in Washington for several generations. I just grew up, went to school here, got married and have a family. Nothing very exciting about that. To be with them and with friends -- well, that's how I spend the time.
"When the prince of Wales was in town this week, we phoned him at the British Embassy and left good wishes for a happy birthday.
"Hope he has one. Say, will you mention Mason's Flowers? We have some great Thanksgiving specials coming up."