The lights shift. An expectant audience leans forward as three young girls step forward on screen. The littlest goes first—so cute. So sweet. She looks like a medieval princess. Reading from a storybook, she sings about how she’s waiting for her prince. She’s been waiting for a whole twenty-three days!
The second girl steps forward. We giggle as she sounds a bit um… desperate. A few of the younger children in the audience ask in stage whispers that would thrill any director’s heart, “Where is the prince?”
But, I have to admit, those same kids look rather alarmed as girl three starts talking about destroying the storybooks. I think they’re ready for the main attraction to begin—Aladdin Kids. That’s safer and doesn’t have some gal singing about being bi-polar.
The curtain goes up a moment later, and the play begins. Finally, Aladdin himself appears. Just call him “Al.”
Those same little kids enjoy it all until Jasmine’s friends start singing about a person being “rather tasty.” Then they ask why there’s a play about cannibals.
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Okay, so it’s all true but that last part.
If you’ve never seen or heard that song I talked about, then you might enjoy this performance of it as shown on the Today Show. Too funny. Note: this is from “Shrek the Musical.” I have no idea what the movie or musical is about, although they clearly thought we need a new princess, too. I just heard this song and cracked up, so this isn’t a total endorsement or anything.
Last week was “National Princess Week.” While America celebrated with Disney movies and tea parties wearing tiaras, Ashley and I worked to get my fairy tales on sale. Why? Well, because fairy tales have princesses, right?
When I was asked to write a short story about “a paisley princess” I thought of all kinds of things. A girl with henna paisleys all over her? A princess lost in a giant maze of interlocking paisleys? If she doesn’t get out by a certain moment, the kingdom is lost? So many options!
I finally chose a princess who wasn’t traditionally beautiful or exceptionally gifted or clever. She plays a harp. She has a stunning smile, and she’s not excited about what’s coming in her life. While storybook princesses sit around and wait for princes with “gleaming teeth” and “stylish hose” to show up, she’s hoping to avoid all that.
I didn’t stop there.
Once that book was finished, I played with another one—Everard. This one’s about a shy prince. Yes, it has a princess, too. But like my favorite stories, she’s not the one born in the ivory tower.
Of course, there will be another one as well—one where no one can see the princess’ beauty. Well, almost no one. But she’ll have to wait for another day.
There are so many princess ideas spinning through my overly-active imagination. I’ll get to them someday. But, until then, take a moment to check out my Not-So-Fairy Tales book chat, and if you haven’t read them, now’s your chance to get them at .99!
No matter what I write, though, I think we need a new princess who is always late. You know, kind of like me to this whole celebration thing. Can’t you see her? She leaves on a journey a month late because she forgot about it. She orders dinner at midnight and has to wake the house to feed them because she forgot. Oh, and she arrives a week late to parties in her honor—kind of like this week’s special.
So, though Cinderella, Belle, Aurora, Rapunzel, and Jasmine had their fun last week, celebrate with Princess Tardina this week. Make petit fours. Have raspberry lemonade. Read about a princess who refuses to wear “dunce cap hats” and about another one who discovered just how cool daisies can be thanks to a painfully shy prince.
And forgive me for being late to this party. Just call me Tardina. Trust me. With my name, you probably wouldn’t be the first. I’ve been called almost everything else.