Dim the lights! Cue the princess music! Illuminate the castle and send Jasmine out! Is that woman in section T, row 15, seat 14 trying not to cry?
What? At least I’m man enough to admit it. The Disney species of princess make me cry. I don’t know why. Is it the music? The gowns? The castle? The last time I was exposed to the princesses en masse was March of 2006. Gwen was just a bun in the proverbial oven as I stood in front of Cinderella’s castle during some kind of Disney Princess extravaganza, sobbing. I was a weird 30-something pregnant woman blubbering at the vision of fake royalty waltzing with their princes on the grand staircase of the castle.
I remember pushing my little boy’s stroller toward the castle and hearing the grand announcement of Ariel and Prince Eric, followed by Snow White and Prince Whosey Whatsey and the guy who got hitched to Belle. Did we ever find out that guy’s name, or does she still refer to him as ‘Beast’? Maybe she really is a peculiar girl… Anyway, there I stood with my eyes glued to the girls and their princes waltzing around when I felt the overwhelming sting of tears working their way up the pipeline. I bit my lip, I took a deep breath, I looked away and shifted on my feet, but there was no stopping the flow. I let my freak flag fly under the guise of emotions run by pregnancy hormones, but the truth of the matter is that to this day, I have no friggin’ idea why the hell I was bawling.
Today I took Gwen to Princesses on Ice. The overture announcing the arrival of a princess boomed throughout the Civic Center, the lights twinkled and danced, then Jasmine skated into view. The ol’ pipeline started to trickle and threatened to spring a leak. Thankfully I was able to call myself a jackass and turn off the spigot. I was fine until the end of the show when those stinking princesses went and lined up on the stairs with their princes. Maybe it was the gowns, or the music. Mostly, I think it was the delight in my little girl’s sparkling eyes as she clapped and danced with excitement. I realized how quickly time has passed since my Disney World princess/pregnancy-induced outburst. Back then, my baby was just a bump. Four years has assigned the bump a sex, name and terrific personality. I’ve spent the past four years falling in love with a beautiful princess.
The waterworks flowed as those princesses stood on the steps waving and waltzing, but mostly my tears were tears of joy and wonder as I watched my girl’s face.