"I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart, or young. They're still princesses. All of us. Didn't your father ever tell you that? Didn't he?"
Movie: A Little Princess, 1995
Character: Sara Crewe
My wife and I recently suggested to a friend that he send some flowers and a card to his wife on a special occasion (not her birthday or a holiday). He thanked us and said that he appreciated the suggestion because he never would have thought of it himself. It got me thinking...
Princesses are princesses, in large part, because of the way that others treat them. Princesses are inherently special and they deserve special treatment. In the movie, The Princess Bride, the prince responds to the princess' every desire with "As you wish." She understood him to mean "I love you" every time he said it.
When we're young we see our girlfriends or wives as princesses. We think of them as pretty, special, fragile, needing to be handled with care. We see ourselves as protecting them from harm, caring for them, getting jealous of them should others try to get their attention.
The princess guards herself from believing that there will be a "knight in shining armor riding up on a white horse," but something inside her still sings "someday my prince will come." Eventually, she settles for one of us. We're not exactly the prince she had in mind, but she sees potential and hopes she can make something of us.
Inevitably, something happens along the way. They say "familiarity breeds contempt." We start to take our princess for granted. She loses her specialness in our eyes. She loses her bloom. Pretty soon, we wouldn't even think of sending flowers or a card.
But, in her spirit, our princess still believes she IS a princess! Even if she isn't pretty or smart or young. She wants to believe that she's special and deserves special treatment, but that stands in stark contrast to what she's experiencing.
What our princess needs is a prince. Someone who will awaken her with an innocent kiss of true love. Someone who will handle her with care. Who will treat her special. Open doors for her. Provide for her. Fight windmills for her. Lay down his life for her sake.