I generally don’t get my kicks out of spending a small fortune on birthday parties for my children, but it was her GOLDEN birthday. Beyond that, she expects a lot and at the end of the day, I just really dislike arguing with her. She’s as high maintenance as they come, not because she is an entitled brat, but because she truly believes that she is a princess. Judge me if you will, but I’m not about to tell her otherwise, nor do I want to be around the day she finds out unicorns aren’t real.
Who am I to rain on her parade anyway? In a few short years, she will undoubtedly realize all on her own what a fucked up world we live in and that no matter which way you spin it, reality bites. For now, I am perfectly content having an extremely naive 7 year old who skips and hums her way through life believing that she lives in Fairy Tale Land with a timeshare in Hollywood.
Besides, it was a perfect idea. Hire a princess to attend and orchestrate the most spectacular golden birthday party of all time. Of course it’s beyond ridiculous, but the excitement leading up to the event was beyond gift enough for me. By the time the day finally arrived, the expectations far exceeded even a trip to Disney World. I was half inclined to don a princess dress and wear a sparkly tiara myself, but I wasn’t drinking, so that’s a deal breaker every time. Regardless, the anticipation was almost unbearable.
“Mommy, do you think Sleeping Beauty will arrive in a carriage?”
“Probably not honey, it’s pretty cold out.”
Shortly thereafter I hear my husband sarcastically proclaim from the next room, “Umm, I think your princess is here.”
All color runs from my face as I glance out the window to witness what appeared to be Sleeping Beauty struggling to free herself from behind the wheel of a brownish colored dilapidated Ford Taurus station wagon. “Really?”
I go into crisis mode. I cannot deal with my daughter’s questions right now about why a princess drives a brown car. It makes no sense. Brown isn’t even a real color. Son of a bitch! I knew we should’ve went bowling!
Turns out that that should’ve been the least of my concerns.
The best thing I can say about the whole experience was that Sleeping Beauty did not actually put anyone to sleep. Her Highness was here for one hour. It felt like days and I’m pretty sure I aged ten years or more in the process. Aside from the lacey pink dress and sparkling tiara, my Dad could’ve pulled it off with as much enthusiasm and grace, and he is far from a bubbly sort of guy.
Five minutes in and I knew that I had made an enormous mistake, but obviously there was no turning back. The only realistic option was to sit back and witness what can only be described as a terrifically uncomfortable and beyond awkward series of events led by a princess who clearly missed her calling as a behind the scenes anything.
Q&A Session: “Where do you live Princess Aurora?”
“I don’t know. Far away.”
Nervous giggle, “Maybe.”
Seriously? Africa? Maybe? You’re kidding, right? Are you drunk?
The Presentation of Treats: Hooray! Treats! What a perfect way to lighten the mood and shift momentum. That is, if you tend to get overly excited about stale Halloween candy in the shape of multicolored neon skulls and cross bones, which nobody does, ever, especially when given to them by a princess, as a party favor, in December!
A disgruntled guest states the obvious, “Don’t you think this is a bit inappropriate to give away at a princess party?”
“Why yes, yes I do sweet child. Maybe you and I can hang out for a beer in 15 years or so and talk about it.”
The Autographed Photo: “That doesn’t even look like you.”
Yet again, another spot on observation. No resemblance, whatsoever. I can’t imagine how this has never come up before, but maybe I’m being overly critical.
The Coronation: Ahh, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the crowning of the birthday girl. I paid extra for this option and it couldn’t have been less worth it or more anticlimactic. Quite honestly a few of our guests trickled off into the next room to watch the weather channel during the ceremony. Thankfully my daughter, God bless her, was none the wiser.
Now what? The awkwardness reached epic proportions seconds later when it appeared that our dear princess had finished with her pre-planned activities well ahead of schedule and then stared at me like a scared and lost small child from across the room non-verbally pleading for me to tell her what to do next.
You have got to be kidding me right now. I planned nothing. NOTHING! I paid her to plan shit for me.
The silence and blank stares eventually get the best of me.
“Would the princess like to eat a cupcake with the birthday girl?”
“But Mrs. Veldhouse, the pizza isn’t here yet.”
“Today’s a special day. Cupcakes first!”
“But we want to eat our pizza first.”
“Sorry kids, not gonna happen. I promise to explain it to your parents later. Now, please sit down and eat a fucking cupcake with the lifeless princess. She’s waiting for you. Either that or she just had a stroke, but regardless, cupcakes all around!”
I watched the clock tick tock down to the last possible second. No way in hell was she going to leave before her full hour was up, regardless of how ridiculously uncomfortable we all clearly were together. “Who wants another cupcake?”
The Goodbye: As our time together comes to an end, I proceed to bend over as I write out the check with a big fat, “Fuck You Your Highness” in the memo line.
“Mommy, can the princess stay and watch me open gifts?”
“Because the princess has plans. Please say goodbye.”
“Can I watch her leave Mommy? Did she come in a carriage?”
“Oh. Is that her car? Why is that her car Mommy? It’s brown.”
“Who wants a beer?”