I’ve never understood the girlish fascination with princesses and being a princess. Raised by Chinese immigrants in America, I was familiar with the concept but never really got it. I think I was nearly 40 before my parents ever referred to me as their princess. Back when I was growing up, the princesses in popular culture looked nothing like me: I looked more like the evil stepmother.
The culture in Texas in the 70’s and 80’s also reinforced my sense of not being special. Rather, I was pretty invisible, usually being ignored in restaurants, at deli counters and by men in general.
I’m not writing this as an ode to Poor Me. I’m simply observing the juxtaposition of those expectations of usually fading into the background with my experience in the last few months where I have been Princess Galore: 50th Birthday Party (surprise party, no less), Graduation and a wedding, all in about 6 weeks. Center of attention. Photos. Toasts. Gifts in abundance. Pampering. Friends and family from afar. Compliments and congratulations.
Wanting to hide beneath the covers.
Don’t get me wrong. It was pretty sublime and there is literally nothing better than having those that you love most surrounding you and helping to celebrate the most important moments of your life. I wouldn’t want it any other way and am so incredibly grateful to my loved ones for taking the time and effort to join me/us. Truly, I feel so unbelievably blessed and fortunate.
But being a Princess is not the normal state of affairs for the 99.9% of us. At some point we go back to our daily lives where we instead try to make other people feel special each day. If I got too used to being Princess, I’d feel deprived and resentful for not being doted on like that on a regular and frequent basis.
So I feel that being a Princess once in a while is pretty freakin’ amazing, but I’m glad I was not raised to expect it. Instead, when Princess happens, I can view it as a special gift from a loved one and savor every precious moment.