Fairytale: Daydreams of a would-be Wallflower Princess

The world is abuzz with the upcoming royal wedding between Kate Middleton and the late Princess Diana‘s eldest son Prince William. Celebrities are atwitter on what to wear, every who’s who is constantly watching their mailbox for the embossed royal invitation, the entrepreneurs are riding with the hullabaloo by churning out souvenir items to commemorate the special day, and the media is all geared up for the frenzy that will happen on the 29th of April.

Prince William and his future wife: Kate Middleton

Amidst all these brouhaha, I sit here in front of my mac reading all the news stuff with mixed emotion: wistful, joy and sadness.

Once upon a time, there was this young girl who dreamed of living in her own fairytale world. A world where she would find adventure, wonder, mystery and love. A world where she could dream big, where she could read all the books she want, wear all the pretty clothes even though she’s a clumsy dork, and finds a guy who is a prince, all handsome and kind. A prince who will see for just who she is and appreciate and love her.

It sounds cheesy, right? But to the girl, she could almost smell the flowers in the open fields, and she was just counting the days till her prince would sweep her up and take her away where they would live happily ever after. That young girl was me.

I first saw Prince William back in my second year high school. I have a close friend in my class whose mom was working in London. Every time her mom gets the chance to go home, she brought all these tabloid magazines to keep her occupied on her long flight home. And my friend would bring all these magazines with her and we would peruse these during our recess time. I saw Prince William’s picture on his way to his entrance exams to Eton College, a prestigious boarding school for the British aristocrats. He was wearing a coat and a tie, shyly smiling on the camera, reminding me very much of my former crush, Jonathan Brandis.

Prince William and his family: brother, Harry; father, Prince Charles; mother, Princess Diana

It instantly clicked on me that here was a real young Prince, with a real kingdom to rule one day, and he would need a princess to be by his side when his time finally comes. In between my high school crushes and heartaches, Prince William would dominate my daydreams. The daydreams seem more vivid to me when I started writing my short stories. My mother bought me a second-hand, old-fashioned blue typewriter which I loved so much, especially the sound it makes. I was happily clacking my way through my vivid imagination, creating scenarios where I am all grown up and I had the freedom to choose what life I would lead. In my mind, I was already a brilliant designer, working in a design firm in London. I would envisioned myself with long straight hair, clear skin devoid of adolescent acnes, and curves in the right places instead of the gamine look I was sporting in high school. I imagined myself meeting Prince William, who was all grown up and handsome. I would not recognize him after all these years. And he would keep his identity a secret as he pursues me ardently. I would not be able to resist his charms and his gentlemanly ways, and when he finally reveal himself to me, we would both be on our way to marriage bliss.

The future king

Silly old me, imagining that a handsome European blue blood like him will fall in love with an Asian girl like me. But I could not stop the thrill that I felt as I typed away my fantasies, and when the night gets too dark for the tapping noises I made, I would get my trusty old notebooks that I recycled from leftover blank pages and scribbled away until early morning. That was my routine especially during the summer, where I would spend my days reading my books, and my nights making up stories in my head. My mom would often scold me for having random sleeping habits during the summer, but I never cared.

I had my heart broken yet again in 1997 when my crush wanted to pursue another girl from my school. I stopped writing for a few months, trying to get my bearings as I struggled with my school work and my low self esteem. I turned to my books and my trusty recycled notebooks and browsed through the pages. I would feel calmer thinking of the future I’ve written for myself. Even if they were just stories, I could not help being optimistic about the future: that someday Prince William is waiting for me to crown me as his one and only Princess.

Maybe the fates were not in favor because I am too small for him.. 😛

I have trouble finishing my stories. I became attached with my fantasies and the characters I created that I would stop halfway in the story and start a new one. Always the same characters with different scenarios. Through the years, I realized the main reason why I always stopped halfway through a short story: I kept the hope that one day, when that dream finally comes, I would be able to continue the story by writing what happens next in real life, rather than re-imagining the next scene. I was so convinced that tomorrow would be much better and all the good things in life will come true.

Fast forward a few years. I was no longer the dark, small, tomboyish bookworm that I used to be. Battle scars from previous heartaches forced me to grow up and accept that reality and fantasy don’t mix. I did not get the long, shiny straight black hair that I dreamed of getting. I did not get the beautiful face that I imagined I would get someday, just by looking and staring at those beauty magazines that I would covertly buy. I also did not get the beautiful figure that I had hoped I would get. In summary, I did not grow into this awesome breath-taking beauty- the heroine of my childhood stories. Instead, I have to accept that I would never be as sophisticated as I would have liked. I have just become an older version of a younger me.

I have thought back then that the ticket to a beautiful life that I have envisioned is to become beautiful in the eyes of many. But that was not the case for me. It was a painful process to accept the fact that I would never become a great beauty. And in the course, I have also accepted that my childhood crush on Prince William will never become a reality, too. I have accepted that I needed to make the most of what I have and make a life for myself outside the crystal box that I carried around in my mind.

One afternoon in August, just after celebrating my 25th birthday, I was rummaging through those large cardboard boxes, making some last minute packing and storing my childhood books and novels, trinkets and fragile items. I encountered the same old notebooks that kept me occupied during those years. I read through them while shedding a few tears. Everything in life was so easy back then where you can’t help but be optimistic about the future. I took the packing tape and began sealing the boxes one by one. One day, when these boxes have a good layer of dust on them, maybe a little girl will come and break the seal open. She will find the old notebooks and read them. And maybe she will even pick up a pen and try to put a happy ending to those short stories as befits them.

In case you are wondering, there is one good thing about this sappy crap you are reading. I did get to leave for a foreign country. It’s not London. But it’s almost the same as living in London. I did get to meet my Prince Charming. But as you all know, its not Prince William. My husband may not be ruling a kingdom, but he treats me like a cherished Princess.

Congratulations are in order for the future newlyweds. Thank you Prince William, for all those early morning writing habits. For keeping my hopes up , for helping me dream, and for looking gorgeous in those photos. If you ever change your mind about Kate, you can personally contact me. Just kidding! ^^

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~ by confessionsofbricknmortar on April 24, 2011.

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