Since I’m several weeks behind on our Remember When meme, allow me to offer this little fairy tale of sorts to you. And I’ll admit, I was very much one of those girls who wanted a Prince Charming and a happily ever after. I’ve met a couple princes, but the happily ever…I’m still after.
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Damsel in Distress: The damsel must truly need rescuing. None of that manufactured drama to get a boy’s attention. That’s just game-playing. The damsel must also be willing to be rescued. Once rescued, she must thank her hero and be prepared for the wrath of princesses, divas, virgin hookers, and other damsels when she gets him. This means she must develop a bit of grace and poise. Also, learning all the prince’s favorite foods, games, and ways to unwind will serve her well.
For the Charming Prince, well he hasn’t escaped with merely rescuing the damsel. No, now he has to follow up with the proper feeding, care, and maintenance of his damsel. This is especially important if he wants to keep her which he should since he likely had to battle a dragon, a giant, a wizard, an evil witch, and a bunch of angry, odd, little men to get to her in the first place. He may have even had to fight off her ugly step-sisters and then had to deal with her mom, step-mom, dad, or perhaps a pimp (if she is, indeed, one of those virgin hookers like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman).
So, once the Charming Prince has saved the Damsel and put her up in a wing of his castle, he makes her comfortable and they begin to decide whether or not the prince got the object of his desire and still desires her. She has to figure this out, too. After all, the queen is likely going to frown upon her anyway since she was weak enough to get herself into some rotten predicament in the first place. Mama Queen only wants the best for her boy. The king is leering at the damsel, causing even further friction between the queen and the damsel. The damsel is also not going to press the prince to tattoo her name or physiognomy on his arm, back, leg, chest, or buttocks. She will not demand from him a larger allowance, cable TV in every room, filet mignon every night, nor will she make him sit through a fashion show each evening where she asks if the bustle on the gown makes her ass look fat. She simply finds out what the man likes and keeps right on doing those things, occasionally spicing things up with an extra bath each month and a bit of berry juice to stain her cheeks and make it appear she is, indeed, ready for his advances.
The prince wants the damsel.
And of course, once the prince makes the decision to keep the damsel, he’s going to struggle with the age-old question of what to do with his last damsel/s. Here’s how this works: If this particular damsel is the sort that fills all the prince’s needs (and saves him right back), he should get rid of the other damsels. He can keep a couple as friends as long as the damsel agrees (she does, after all, need girlfriends for retail therapy and royal bath days). The prince must stop rescuing other damsels during this time, even when former rescuees need his services again. This is due to the very high risk of losing his life in some vicious battle to save a former rescuee. He could be killed by a dragon. Another prince. A troll. An evil witch. A powerful wizard. A poisoned meal before he heads out the door. An ambush by a band of charming prince conduct enforcers (which never, ever goes nicely) sent by the unhappy damsel. Or he could save the wench and return home to discover his newest and best damsel ever has decided his antics were those of a fool (he was on a fool’s errand, if you will, after all) and she will pack up her bags, including the new items he purchased for her, and she will return to living with dwarves, trolls, ugly stepsisters, evil stepmothers, blood-thirsty wizards, and spooky trees intent on taking over the world.
Let’s face it, the care and maintenance of a damsel isn’t easy. But if done right, if done sincerely, if done with true affection, the rewards are great. He has all his needs met, he will likely knock her up and while she’s in her indelicate state, he can go out to the local tavern, swig some ales with his friends, slay a few dragons for sport, and maybe she’ll even encourage him to pick up his lyre again and start a new band. She’ll barely notice he was gone.
That seems like a pretty good trade off for both of them. Sure, there’ll be arguments over whose leggings were left lying on the floor and who forgot to empty the chamber pot, but those are common conversations heard throughout the kingdom.
If you were the charming prince, what would you do? If you were the damsel no longer in distress, what would your response be?
You would think this is all too complicated a story to come from the mind of a young girl, but this is the simplified version of the crazy stuff I used to think up. I think I missed my calling. I should have been writing Snowella or something.
Share your fairy tale rules with us in your own Remember When post. You can grab a copy of my photo from Flickr.