I am not a princess

I am not a princess. I am well aware of this fact despite the secret fantasy I share with millions of other women — a handsome, wonderful man (wealthy, of course) who will sweep me off of my feet and make all of my dreams come true.

Growing up in the U.S. most of us dreamed of the prince riding in to be everything we never knew we wanted. We’d live in a castle happily ever after. We grew up still believing that we’d meet our one true love, our soulmate. Broken heart after broken heart many of us started to wonder if HE (or SHE) really existed. Stupid cartoon movies built up these dreams in our little girl heads, leaving us hopelessly clinging to what we thought we’d find.

When some of us sat home on Homecoming dance night, we began to be filled with self-doubt. “Am I the ugly stepsister?” “Am I just not enough?” Images of the girls who were dressed in their finest, hopeful at the beginning of the ball were ingrained in our heads. “Am I one of THEM? Destined to be left at the end of the night watching as HE (SHE) runs out after HIS (HER) dream?” After all, the prince in the movie fell in love at first sight and was smitten after one evening, how difficult could it be to find just one person who appreciated us for who we are? It didn’t have to be love at first sight. Couldn’t we start as friends first? After all… why couldn’t we wear a princess dress someday? (Besides at prom in the 80s.)

Am I a cynic? Yes, I am. As a recent divorcee’ (Why do I hear 70s music every time I say or write the word “divorcee”?) I’ve recently gotten back into dating. So different from nearly 20 years ago before I met my ex-husband. Yes, I wore a princess dress at my wedding, but there was no happily ever after for me. For some strange reason I still think I can find a happily ever after (I blame childhood movies for brainwashing me). Maybe. I’m fascinated by (and envious of) those who find love quickly the 2nd (or 3rd) time around. Even more envious of those whose marriages work.

Despite those who have warned me, I have tried online dating. A few friends have found wonderful partners that way, so why not? I actually did meet a really nice guy. And several crazy ones. As if to remind me once again that I am not the perfect princess, it seems that those that I’ve primarily attracted are those that are just full of…something. Most recently was one who began calling me “baby” within the first few emails. He then forgot my name, but tried to cover it up with “I only have eyes for you.” Really? After 4 hours? uhhhh ya  I was done with him at that point, but for some crazy reason (I think it was entertainment value) several more texts were exchanged in which he continued to call me “baby” and even threw in a “princess.” That word brought so many mixed emotions. Primarily that I was done talking with him.

The failure of my marriage has made me feel like I am one of the “other girls” left standing at the ball wondering what’s wrong with me. I no longer believe a prince will come and whisk me away. (That’s what 18 years with the wrong person will do.) But I do believe that I am in charge of my destiny. I can go buy my own ballgown and tiara. I know that I don’t want someone who is going to blow smoke and try to convince me that he’s a prince when his castle is really a basement apartment in his 80 year old mom’s house. After all I’ve been through, I know I’d be a great date at the ball. If someone doesn’t want to dance with me, it’s his loss, not mine. I’ve battled my dragons (even tamed a few). At this point in my life, I know I’m not a princess. I’ve earned the title of Queen and I deserve nothing less than a king.



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Patricia J Grace

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