Crowning glory for a princess with finesse | Daily News

Crowning glory for a princess with finesse

There was a time when my wife and the immediate family had been trying without a modicum of success to influence our grand-daughter, Moya Lihini since she was three or thereabouts that she has absolutely no links or any clanship to royalty.

Her aunts and the family matriarchs feared that the problem with princess stories would reinforce her obsession with crowned heads and celebrity culture. As in the case of most little girls any story involving a fairy tale princess grabs her attention as nothing else would.

So naturally our Moya lived life as a fairy tale, focusing only on the pretty ‘princessy’ things. She is well aware that we have put her at the centre of our family universe. But ever since we have been reading to her and from the time she learnt to read by herself she has put herself at the centre of the entire universe.

The family contended that when a girl is a toddler this can all be a heck of a lot of whimsical fun. But further down the line they worried that the fanciful fixation could set the tone for all kinds of psychological problems. The fear that she might not be able to cope with the cruel realities of the real world had troubled them no end.

Even the most logically convincing reasoning had in no way been able to dissuade the little fury that the appellation ‘Princess’ had been thrust on her only as an endearing designation. But she remains unmoved.

That is because spoilt little girls with minds of their own are stubbornly set in their ways. In similarity to most children of her age she had been influenced to a great degree by her first storybooks. You know the type, the ones that feature archetypal fairy-tale princesses, gallant princes, extravagant castles, talking animals, giants, trolls and wicked stepmothers. And not forgetting the joyful endings where they all lived happily ever after.

The last example of wicked stepmothers is perhaps why divorcees and widower fathers of young progeny never get the approval of their little ones to take another shot at marital bliss or rather marital blitz. A successful business divorcee once mischievously quipped to a buxom woman he fancied that the secret of a successful marriage was ‘incom-patability,’ not to be mistaken with incompatibility.

He decoded his coined word with the explanation: “I have the income, you have the patability.” He managed to escape unscathed only because he beat a hasty retreat seconds before his wisecrack sank in to the head of the voluptuous lady.

I must actually concede that my name has become a household word because I have become a sort of literary celebrity only among my immediate and extended family. My grandchildren in particular have acted as though my book launches were really more exciting than they really were. They are also actually the only ones who are all ears when I feel the need to talk too much.

That is why I suspect, as a last resort I was dragooned into the family conspiracy to wean our lovely Moya off the ‘princess disorder’. This was with the hope that my influential wisdom would persuade our little girl to relegate her imperial mindset to that of a more modest station. Honestly, I must say I gave it my best shot conjuring up all my persuasive powers in the process.

But then again I gave the whole procedure some serious thought. It struck me with clarity that our fascination with monarchy has been inherited from the time we were British subjects. I also surmised that women of all ages from the time they were little girls have loved to portray an image of class and sophistication.

I relished the reality that women of all ages are little girls at heart and pine for that halcyon phase of life. Yes the older they grow, the once little girls still want to be little girls. But then again all you mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers out there who have reservations about the ‘Princess Syndrome’ would probably have gone through the same flights of imagination while being empowered to create your own mythical kingdoms and castles in the air.

Yes every girl creates her own fairy tale and pretends she is a princess at one point, no matter how little her life is like that. But as they say, if you dream a thing more than once, it's sure to come true. I analysed the situation and asked myself the question whether this was necessarily a bad thing, though?

After all, princesses have been fairytale protagonists for hundreds of years. The characters of Cinderella and Snow White long predate their modern day incarnations. Set your mind into the thinking of a little girl and you will soon realise that the appeal of princesses is not hard to understand.

So I felt there was nothing strange about Moya’s fascination with the princess phase. It is a perfectly natural phenomenon where all young girls resist any criticism or alteration of their majestic mindsets. The wealth and privilege factors of being a princess make it a close parallel to classic boys’ fantasies of being superheroes.

Take my own case for example. In the mid to late 50s, I was in love with the Wild and Woolly West. My dream of being a cowboy included a deep desire to have a full cowboy outfit that included the stetson, shirt, jeans, boots, and a pair of cap-gun revolvers in leather holsters hanging from a wide, hand-tooled gun belt with a shiny, silver buckle. Dreams have no limitations.

As it happens a part of my home at the time boasted a section which soared more than 40 feet skywards and was embellished with several windows that give it a castle-like appearance. That had been another factor which had bolstered little Moya Lihini’s assurance about her regal bloodlines.

Clearly aggravated by the line of reasoning adopted by the family disbelievers she was constrained recently to make a powerfully rational rebuttal. “How come you all say we are not royalty when we live in a castle? Besides, my Dada (that’s yours truly) is the King of Writers.” I blushed uncontrollably at the crowning accolade although I must admit that I rather enjoyed the wildly extravagant honorific. A family wag uncharitably countered her rave review with: “She must have mistaken a Joker or a Jack for a King.”

Bitchiness and rude remarks apart there is no disputing her logic that a man’s home is his castle. So I for one will never again question either her assumed grandiose lineage or her delightful flights of imagination.

The others may content themselves with wallowing in the realities of life. But there are two of us now who revel in living out our fantasy while belting out the lyrics of the old nursery rhyme: ‘Now I’m the king of the castle, get down you dirty rascal!’

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