I was reading a story to my four-year-old daughter before bed tonight. She, being a fairly typical little girl (and much to my chagrin) loves princesses and predictably chose a story from one of her princess storybooks. In this tale, Cinderella and Prince Charming are celebrating their one year wedding anniversary. In true royal fashion, they are planning an elaborate ball to celebrate the occasion. On the morning of the ball, the Prince and Cinderella have a romantic breakfast together, and he gives her a giant sapphire ring. Which Cinderella, being the beautiful but not-so-smart gal that she is, promptly loses.
By this point I am only two pages into the story, and I am already trying to hold back my negative commentary (you’ve GOT to be kidding me…a friggin’ ball? A giant ring? And then she LOSES it?). But, my daughter is enjoying it, so I swallow hard and press on.
Cinderella can’t possibly look for the ring by herself, so she enlists her two mouse friends to help her find it. They tell her to walk back through her entire day, so they can check each place she visited in order to look for her ring. And as I read on, I begin to realize how closely Cinderella’s day parallels my own days.
So without further ado, I present to you: How a Princess Spends Her Day (and how closely it resembles mine)
Writing in Her Journal
According to Cinderella, the first thing she did after receiving her new ring was write about it in her journal. Yes, of course she did. I mean, doesn’t every lady immediately write in her journal after something *wonderful* happens in her life? I know I do. Except mine sounds more like, “Dear Diary, today my husband and I managed to speak five whole sentences to each other before one of our children started screaming. How marvelous is THAT?!” I begin thinking that Cinderella and I have a lot in common, minus the bling, of course.
Cinderella spends the next part of her day drinking tea. I can’t believe Cindy is a slave to caffeine like me. We could be twins! Of course, hers is served to her in a lovely china teacup on the balcony of her castle while I guzzled my Tim Horton’s medium-coffee-with-two-creams yesterday while driving to ballet class (late, again) and attempting to answer unanswerable questions like, “why is today Saturday?”. That’s almost the same, right?
Spending several hours reading in her library
OK this is where things started going sour for me. So while Cinderella spent, “several hours reading in her lovely library”, I brought my kid to ballet, then a birthday party, then got gas, got my car washed, went grocery shopping, picked kid up from birthday party, wrestled screaming kid from birthday child’s home and into car, drove home, hauled groceries in, growled at second kid because he was still wearing his karate uniform even though karate was over hours ago, growled at husband for letting kid wear karate uniform around the house…you get the picture. So, so, not relaxing. Cinderella wins this round.
Picking flowers from her garden
Cinderella spends a good portion of her day picking flowers from her garden to use as décor for that evening’s ball. While I don’t quite share her enthusiasm for gardening, I do appreciate Cinderella’s effort at some sort of meaningful work. Until this point, her day has pretty much been useless. But the fact that she does her own party décor gives me slight hope that this story might turn around. As for me, I cleaned my house and lit a rose scented candle. I’d call that a solid tie.
Gathering water from the well
For reals? That’s some actual manual labour there. I am thoroughly impressed that Cinderella gathers her own water. Like, lets the bucket down and cranks it back up and everything. This chick is more of a badass than I realized at first. Of course, it turns out that it was the water gathering that caused her to lose her gigantic sapphire. So, I am thinking that’s probably the last time the Prince is going to let her draw her own water. Plus, she makes her little mouse “friends” go down into the well to fetch her ring which feels a bit like child labour to me but with mice it is really hard to tell their age so I will let that one go. Meanwhile, back in my house, I made my older kid set the table for dinner and pour a hefty glass of wine for yours truly. But it’s not considered child labour as long as they’re my kids, right?
So, there you have it. A princess’ life of leisure and my life of…well….life. Who says princess stories are sexist, drastic misrepresentations of reality? In actuality, we’re all leading charmed lives. You just have to look hard enough.