Playing Princess

Originally uploaded by quiet.eye.
"Want to play 'princess' with me?"

"Princess" is a dreadful game in which two plastic Disney Princesses say mean things to each other, do handstands, and change into different dresses. It is not so much a game as a ritual. Jane reserves the right to make all the rules, to change those rules when she likes, and to make up all the dialogue.

"Okay," I say.

She hands me Sleeping Beauty. "Now I am Cinderella, and you are Sleeping Beauty."

"Yes. I think Sleeping Beauty needs some coffee to wake up."

"NO! You say..." And Jane tells me what to say.

"Jane," I say, "if you are always telling me what to say, playing 'princess' is not very much fun."

She looks at me blankly.

"For me," I clarify. "Not much fun for me."

"But you are supposed to say..." And I get the same instructions again.

"Sleeping Beauty is sitting down," I say. "She is resisting your orders. I can't make her do anything."


"That's right. This princess is so stubborn, I can't believe it."


"She says she is engaging in a form of nonviolent protest against a despotic regime."

"Tell her to say..."