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The Princess Problem

Everybody wants to be a princess. Well, everyone who isn’t already a princess wants to be one. It’s no picnic, let me tell you. Except for when guards shoo the villagers away and you see thirty beautiful people carrying baskets and blankets into the meadow circle…then, right, it’s a picnic.

Oh, it sounds lovely, I know. All the beautiful gowns and dances past midnight and sweeping bows from everyone you meet. I’ll admit, you can’t beat the food. Mouthwatering herbed meats that fall from the bone, savory vegetables, hot and cold soups, incredible cakes and mousses and chocolates. The petit fours are to die for. Not literally, of course. Unless they’re poisoned petit fours…but you can usually avoid that by paying your cook well.

And there are perks. The music, the grand ballroom, the enormous feather bed, the tapestried walls, the turrets. Let’s see, what else. Ladies to wash and dress me. Boys to carry my things. My horse is made ready to ride anytime I like, the lake is cleared any time I want to swim, flowers and fruit appear at my side. I understand. You want to switch places with me. Who wouldn’t?

If I were you, I wouldn’t.

I’d be happy to just stay you.

Here’s the drawback that nobody discusses during the Princess Interview Process. Okay, okay, there’s no princess interview. How would that go? “Hello, Baby Born to the Queen, would you like to be a princess? No? Well, in that case, let’s switch you for a peasant baby, so everyone will be happy.” Yeah, like that would ever happen.

Someone will probably point out the flaw in my logic—that babies can’t talk or make informed decisions—but I’m sure there’s a fairy godmother somewhere who could help out.

Back to the Princess Problem. It’s not just a problem for princesses. Kings, Queens, Princes, Heads of State of any title…we all have this issue. Most people love us. That’s not really the issue, unless it’s time to choose a partner; that can get a little hairy with all these people vying for affection. Who in their right mind would make someone choose from twenty-four potentials? It sounds like a badly-written play, and it’s not going to end well.

Anyway, as I was saying. The Princess Problem.

And really, it’s not just one problem. All those perks I mentioned earlier? Two sides to every coin, honey. Those huge gowns are heavy. I think the seamstresses must sew stones into the hems. Dancing until after midnight sounds amazing, but think of the last time you stayed up late. Your feet were tired, your back ached, your legs threatened collapse. Now imagine trying to dance through that feeling, smiling at every smelly gentleman doing his best to hold you close.

I don’t care what you say; no one gets fully clean by bathing in the village pond. The princes don’t smell as bad after a true bath and some cologne, but sweat and stink don’t care how rich you are. They arrive late to the ball, but everyone knows when they show up—fashionably late, after the seventh crazy dance. That’s when I’d like to bow out, but my princessly duties require a full dance roster.

As for the rest…I’m no longer seven and would like to bathe in privacy, dress myself, and carry my own bag. The tapestries are pretty, but they’re actually there to fight the cold—a stone castle is freezing most of the time. Imagine living in a cave. Those tapestries don’t help much. Your toasty warm living space sounds perfect to me.

The food is wonderful, but I can’t eat much, because a princess must fit into size skeleton waistcoats. If I eat too much, my chambermaid goes all personal trainer on me. Fifty pushups? You’ve gotta be kidding.

The feather bed would be the one item with no drawbacks…if I weren’t allergic to feathers. I can barely sleep for the sneezing. I keep asking for a regular straw-stuffed tick, but noooooooo, it wouldn’t do for the princess to have a regular bed.

I love riding, but taking four guards everywhere just seems excessive. Clearing the lake? Who wants to swim alone? Not this princess. But gee, if anyone sees my bare shoulder, gasp, they might realize I’m human.  I’ll be honest; years ago, it was fun to have adults bow to me. Now, I’d just really like to see the color of people’s eyes.  Riding through town with everyone face-down is just plain spooky. Are you getting the picture?

Sorry, I’m a bit distracted. We were talking about the Princess Problem. I have no idea why it’s so common.

Most princesses at least try to be nice. I can’t think of a mean princess, can you? It’s always the horrible stepsisters. By the way, stepsisters get a bad rap. It’s really unfair. Just because a few stepsisters tried to ruin their princess sisters’ lives, everybody blames the stepfamily. I know several stepsisters, and we’re actually good friends. They are rather nice to each other, and sometimes I think I wouldn’t mind having a stepsister. I’m sorry, I’m rambling. I’ll get back to it.

As I said in the beginning: everybody thinks they want to be a princess, and I’ll admit there are many excellent reasons to enjoy princessdom. Princessing? Princesshood? Other than having people sit and listen to you even when you get off track. My apologies.

Everyone wants to be a princess, and it seems logical, until you understand the Princess Problem.

Someone always wants to kill you.

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