The Princess

Welp, I had to write another mentor text personal narrative about a small moment from my childhood for my 7th grade class. Since I put the effort in to write it, I thought I’d share it 🙂

What nerdy little girl doesn’t want to be a magical fairy princess?  As I sat at the kitchen table expectantly watching my mom sew the sparkly silver trim on the azure fabric of my princess costume and clutching my handmade foil wand, I knew I’d be the most gorgeous princess in my neighborhood.   

My mind wandered from my mom hard at work, and I envisioned walking the streets of my neighborhood as I held the plastic pumpkin basket that I collected Halloween candy in every year.  In my daydream, every other kid, from Spiderman to the creepy clown, from the evil witch to the other lesser fairy princesses, would stop on the sidewalks and stare at me in admiration as I regally trick or treated the next night, Halloween.  Although I was usually seen as studious, skinny, and uncool by most other 10 year-olds, I was convinced that this costume would be magically transform me into the gorgeous fairy princess I knew was hidden somewhere underneath all this nerdiness. 

Lost in this daydream, I didn’t see the few snowflakes that had started to fly on the crisp autumn evening in Ohio.  By the next morning, at least four inches of snow blanketed the streets of my imaginary kingdom which I was supposed to reign over that very Halloween night. 

I started getting ready for trick or treating as the sun set and the snow finally stopped.  However, there was still a cold wind blowing the few leaves that remained on the trees.  Gently, I placed the tiara on my head and felt that maybe, just maybe, my vision would still come true.  After all, couldn’t fairy princesses do magic?  Maybe all the snow would melt away as I walked house to house and in the melting snow, I really would be that amazing princess?  

My hopes were dashed when my mom said, “Diane, I don’t want you to get sick from tonight.  You NEED to wear long pants, a winter coat, gloves, and a hat.”  What???  First of all, princesses don’t get told what to do.  Secondly, and more importantly, no prince charmings or any loyal subjects ever stopped in awe of the beauty of a princess in a handmade knit hat with a lopsided poofy ball on top, her wand held in hands covered by ugly, clunky gloves.  No, this was NOT the way it was going to be!

My mother and I were very close; I almost never disagreed with her or disobeyed what she said.  But, the princess in me knew that I would rule this night and I turned defiantly towards my mom.

“No.  NO.  I will be fine and I will not wear a coat over my costume. I want to wear my crown, not an ugly hat.  And I. WON’T. WEAR. GLOVES!”  This last sentence came out as more of a bratty scream than a royal decree.  

My mom stood silently looking at me, shocked that I was defying her.  My mind buzzed as I quickly tried to figure out if she was going to give in or yell at me…or worse.  The silence was deafening. The only sound was the clock ticking closer to trick-or-treat time.  I tried once again, this time attempting a different approach, hoping to erase my brattiness and replace it with some flattery.

“But mom, you worked so hard on this costume.  It’s so pretty.  I want everyone to see what you made and I promise I won’t stay out too long and I think it’s so pretty and I don’t wanna wear a coat over it. Pleeeeeeease?” 

I realized my attempt at flattery had quickly become whining.  My parents hated whining, and I knew this would not work in my favor.  My last feeble attempt was just to stand and look at her with pleading eyes, my mouth downturned in a devastated look, grasping my wand and tiara, hoping I didn’t have to cover up that beautiful blue dress with a long coat to keep out the biting wind.  

Tick, tick, tick.  Silence.  After what seemed like an eternity, my mom replied, “Ok, Diane, you don’t have to wear a coat over your dress.  You’re right–no one will be able to see your costume”  YES!!  I had won. The  gorgeous fairy princess would reign afterall.  But then she continued, “Go get changed.  You’ll just have to wear the coat under your dress instead.”

Oh no.  Like all winter coats in the Midwest, mine was big and bulky.  My princess costume would not flow smoothly around me as I walked. Instead, I’d look like a princess sausage stuffed into a royal casing.  Knowing it was pointless to argue with her, I reluctantly accepted this compromise and went to get changed.  I emerged from my room, the bulky coat under my blue dress filling out every extra inch of the costume and making me look like an overweight princess who needed a diet.  The tiara was shoved atop the knit cap at a strange angle.  At least my mom agreed that I could carry the gloves and only put them on if my hands got chilled.  So much for my dream of people standing in awe of my fairy princess beauty.  Instead, I felt more like the obese Michelin Man Princess as I left the house, empty plastic pumpkin in one hand, princess wand in the other.   

An hour later, I returned home and dumped all my candy on the living room carpet to examine my royal collection with my mom sitting next to me. I had been stubborn and never put on my gloves, so my almost frozen hands could barely sort through the candy, but Mom helped me pull out the dreaded Tootsie Rolls and set them to the side.  My nose was red and runny from bitter chill over the last hour, but my ears and body had been toasty warm as I had walked throughout the neighborhood.  Hurrying from house to house, I had ended up with more candy than normal because few others braved the cold that night. In fact, I hardly saw any of the kids from my school.  It was like I was a princess without a kingdom.  

As my mom kissed me goodnight that evening, I couldn’t help but have mixed emotions about the success of the night mingling with with the disappointment that the dream in my head didn’t quite turn out the way I thought.  Looking back on that night, I realize that wearing a princess costume, regardless of how beautiful it was, wouldn’t really have changed my life and attempts to be superficially noticed while freezing or getting sick just weren’t worth it.  I guess mom really does know best.

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