She is only a fresh seven years old. I cross my legs and sit down by her cousin’s Barbie house. There’s a party going on for her one year old cousin and even though I want to be meeting his family, I would rather – in this moment – be here with her.
There are three Barbies. The first is decked out in glittery jewelry and extremely put together, the second looks like she just stumbled out of bed after an extremely rough night and the third is just right, simple and cute.
I have my own feelings about Barbies. They are gross exaggerations of the female form, something no little girl should ever feel she should live up to or look like. Why are their breasts so large in proportion to their waists? Couldn’t Mattel make them just a hair more realistic? And then there are all of the good times I myself had with Barbie as a little girl. I loved them.
She starts by lining all three Barbies upstairs against a wall.
“What are they waiting for?” I ask.
“The Prince,” she says.
Then the Prince marches in and measures up the girls.
“He’s going to pick one,” she says.
After he’s made his choice and marched off with the Just Right Barbie, I am left holding the two single Barbies.
“We have to find them Princes,” she adds nonchalantly, as if it is part of the plan all along.
“Or not. Maybe they are just happy to be single! See?” I start dancing them around and making them chatter about how awesome it is to be single. ‘We don’t really need Princes, do we? Let’s go have fun!’
“Yeah, but they probably want one,” her voice is completely monotone and matter of fact. She added the “probably” only to be polite. They’re happy, certainly, but they still want a prince. Deep down inside, every girl does.
Her father is a prince.
A modern prince, surely. There is nothing fantastical or magical about this label I give him, no impossible standards are being held over his head. He is who he is and he happens to be my real life version of a man I would, in the past, have only dreamed of finding. In fact, I had lowered my expectations to the point where I believed no one like him existed or that if he did, he was surely taken.
So, do we all really want princes? Deep down inside? And by prince, again, I mean, someone just perfectly perfect for you. Someone who makes your heart skip a million beats, someone who brings you flowers for no reason at all, someone who treats you like a queen, someone who is responsible, caring and kind. Someone your inner 7 year old would have wanted to find?
I think, if even the most emboldened love skeptic could feel what I’m feeling right now, they would want it also.
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