Of late, I’ve found a kindred spirit in Cinderella.
Sure, I have neither an evil step-mother who locks me in an attic nor ugly step-sisters who steal my clothes and spill pizza grease on them, but I have my share of chores that keep me looking like I just rolled around in a cinder bin.
Mornings are spent makeupless in old jeans and a t-shirt running errands for the family while my mother recovers from her recent hip replacement. I race through grocery stores, power-mop the kitchen floor, dust away the cobwebs from the corners of the living room, transfer the laundry from the hamper to the washing machines, groom the dogs, and put two meals on the table while prepping the third for my return at night. The projects I’m working on have me on call 24-7, and the majority of what I accomplish during the day is done between blackberry emails on the run and conference calls from my compact-SUV. At night, I’m “training” and if I’m lucky, home in my sweats by 10PM.
In short, I’m like every other modern woman as she tries to make her way in life on her own two feet while contributing to her family’s overall well-being. There isn’t much in the way of glamor, but there isn’t much to complain about.
On the console table near my front door sits an invitation to a charity ball. The event is being organized by a woman whose generosity, strength, and heart I greatly admire, and who has recently emerged as a fairy god-mother of sorts. A little bit of sparkle is something to look forward to, especially in the name of a good cause. As for the Cinderella transformation, do you remember that scene in the Disney movie when all the worker mice team-up and create a ball-gown for Cinderella from scraps of material? Yea, I’ve got seamstress mice too. Rather than buy something new, my tailor is reviving a unique vintage piece. It is a recession after all, and I’m a big believer in “once couture, always couture.” A needle, some thread, a little bibbidi, bobbidi, boo, and I’m good to go.
Hopefully, I won’t leave a Ferragamo behind on the dance floor.
All these parallels got my friend Annie and I thinking: If the 21st century New Yorker edition of Cinderella looks like me, what would the some of the other princesses look like in today’s Grimm fairytale?
Rapunzel is that girl that lets men walk all over her. She’s the one most likely to get back together with the jerk who dumped her. Because she spends most of the day locked away in her room/office, Rapunzel is bound to get into trouble when she’s partying away a Friday night. As she goes off to the bathroom to make-out with the bartender, her friends say “It’s no wonder her mother had to lock her in a tower!”
Snow White shares a flat with 3 gay guys. In fact, all of her friends are handsome gay guys who take her shopping and tell her she’s fabulous and that they can’t live without her. She stopped having girlfriends after her jealous best friend slept with her boyfriend. Snow often eats indiscriminately and feels bad about it later when she’s passed out on her sofa in an apple-turnover-induced food coma.
Sleeping Beauty is the girl we all hate because every guy hits on her and she’s totally oblivious. She has no idea how beautiful she is or how charming. Men stumble over themselves trying to buy her a drink. She’s nonchalant about dating because she never has to work to get asked out, but she doesn’t like to ruin a good night’s sleep by having a strange guy stay over. All her friends secretly hope she has an eating disorder…
10 thoughts on “We’re All Pretty, Pretty, Neurotic Princesses”
I love the modern-day princess blurbs. Also, you are welcome to come over and Cinderella my apartment any time you want…it sounds like you are an amazing cleaner. Hope your mom recovers nicely from her surgery!
hahaha I’d be happy to share my domestic skills! I’m particularly good with a mop and vacuum… just don’t ask me to iron, unless you like the look of charred marks on your shirts.
I love this!!!
I’d like to have some witty reply that adds to the blog, but that’s pretty much impossible with this one 🙂
The Little Mermaid is completely obsessed with a guy who doesn’t even know she exists. She basically stalks him. Her friends always ask her to hang out, but instead she waits around the phone hoping this dude will call. Her friends stop inviting her out. One day, when she is hanging out with the guy she’s in love with, he introduces her to his new girlfriend. She runs home and eats a pint of cookie dough ice cream while watching the BBC’s “Pride and Prejudice” in the dark.
The Princess from “The Frog Prince” loves a guy she thinks she can “fix.” Her friends think she’s crazy. She finally meets the ultimate “fixer-upper” and uses sex to try and get him to “improve himself.” He does, but it all sort of goes south after a few months. She sees it as a triumph anyway.
The Princess and the Pea has no friends because she does nothing but complain ALL THE TIME. Finally she meets a guy who confuses her whiny and rude attitude for good taste. They marry, but neither of them is ever really happy. They go to couples counseling where she insists it’s all his fault and he believes her, thus enforcing her behavior and further destroying his self-esteem.
Whee! This is fun!
Jess, those are brilliant!!
I still think your Snow White one is the best.
That was a Kat&Annie team effort!
She arrives for the ball at 5PM, dressed to the 9s in Diane von Furstenberg and ruby-red, 4-in glass heels. But the Royal Palace, knowing she has a knack for cleaning-up messes, needs her help making sure the ball runs smoothly. Cinderella forsakes the dance floor and spends the next 6 hours running up and down the castle stairs troubleshooting potential calamities.
By the time she gets to the Ball’s after party, she’s broken a glass heel and has a sprained ankle. By midnight, she’s slumped on a couch with a beer in her hand. The mice tell her it’s time to go. But she says, “Fuck the pumpkin coach!” and makes out with the Court Jester.
The next morning she’s forgotten what the Jester looked like and curses the glass heels for her bruised toes and kankles.
You can take Cinderella out of the ash-bin, but sometimes you can’t take the ash-bin out of Cinderella.
Cinderella is a graduate student who spends so much time working for her advisor that she can only dream of having a life outside of her grading and research.
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