Tuesday, April 19, 2011

self sabatoge

Those who know Princess personally are aware that she is the biggest rule follower ever, which makes her big-fat boring. She resents quotes like, “Well-behaved women rarely make history,” because it sounds like inverse of her epitaph: “She who lies here was well-behaved, so you probably never heard of her.” (Boo to Spoon River Anthology for making her paranoid about her tombstone.)

But Princess has a secret, and her name is Edith. Edith, who was officially named yesterday, is an alter-ego of sorts. Edith is Princess’ devilishly defiant counterpart, kind of like her black swan side, only not as graceful.

The trouble with Edith is that she doesn’t do defiance right. Her defiance is inconvenient for Princess and doesn’t benefit Princess or Princess’ desire to be in the history books at all. It’s embarrassing.

For example, when Princess and Babs are out on a drive, Edith will take over and refuse to follow specified directions to various destinations, but rather invent the way to get there. It is Edith’s way to stick it to the man, to shake her fist at the computer and shout, “DON’T BOSS ME, MAPQUEST!” Princess/Edith feels deep down that her instincts will guide her in a faster and more interesting way than googling an address (so lame). This proved wrong on several occasions, most notably Princess’ own bridesmaids luncheon, when Edith accidentally went to Arkansas when she most definitely needed to stay in Tennessee. Princess and the out-of-town bridesmaids in Edith’s charge arrived just a teensy bit late and Princess was very irritated with Edith, but soon forgave, as surely she was just riddled with pre-wedding jitters.

Similarly, there are times when Princess is trying to cook and Edith will appear in her head, insisting that her instincts can produce a better meal than any bossy recipe. Husband doesn’t even attempt to hide his disappointment when he comes home to see that crazy Edith look in Princess’ eye. The dish he remembers with the most disdain was a concoction Princess called “Biscuit Chicken Cheese Casserole,” which was previously referenced here. She didn’t think it was all that bad, but the frittata she invented was not even up to Princess’ low, low standards. Defiance is foul.

In high school, Edith was all over the place. Once a boy told Princess that he liked her hair better up, and Edith got really bent out of shape and made Princess wear her hair down for a month, even when it was really hot outside. In choir, Edith never, ever allowed Princess to actually pay attention to what the choir director said OR the notes on the page, so of course Edith then made up her own notes to every song. Princess received countless snarky comments from Type A singers who did not understand Princess’ Edith problem.

When kind-hearted, well-intentioned people try to give Princess instruction regarding technology or football or music theory, Edith whispers irritations into Princess’ ears so that Princess is unable to listen to the instructions and evil Edith gets to figure it all out herself. Husband does NOT like this quality, especially when he explains things like why it’s called a V-8 engine (Princess thought this was some sort of juice) or how his new flashlight is able reach like 20 miles or something (not sure about the length as Princess wasn’t listening).

And seriously, Princess went to an SEC college and pretty much never missed a game, and she still doesn’t understand anything about football, despite the fact that so many people have spent time explaining it to her. Her sister is not helpful in this regard because she announces things like, “Hey everyone! Princess just said, ‘I don’t even know what a fumble is!” And it’s really rude for her to point that out in front of everyone. So Princess would like to remind Sister that like Princess, she once drove to Georgia when she was supposed to stay in Tennessee, so maybe Sister is a lot more like Princess than she ever thought, so stop drinking that Hater-ade.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Princess went to the gym, ate a scrambled egg, beautified herself, stopped by Duncan Donuts for a latte (It was a light latte, haters! The uncharacteristic and freakishly early gym session was not to be undone!), and was at work by 7:15 a.m. At work, she graded three classes of papers (!!  Exclamations to demonstrate the lightning speed with which Princess graded) while actively teaching literary critiques the entire day. Then, she made her grocery list, planned her afternoon adventures, and now she’s writing a blog post. All this to say, Princess is a MACHINE today. And not some kind of worthless machine like Robie, the money-eating robot bank her brother owns, or the disco ball on her desk that is currently one battery short of party time. She is the guy who can play an accordion, harmonica, bongo drums, sing, and run a marathon at one time (although it occurs to Princess that this destroys her machine metaphor, as that man is not a machine, but whatev, Princess can switch mid-metaphor because this blog is HER PARTY and she can metaphor-switch if she wants to).

She can imagine the little gears in her head churning away as she thinks of witty, original blog thoughts that the world needs to hear! Only the gears are losing motivation due to the lack of Diet Dr. Pepper. Picture them with sad, tired faces a la Lisa Turtle when she has to stay up all night making Buddy Bands because Bayside demands them. This conversation is currently taking place in her head (Try to keep up as it is confusing in there):

“It’s [editor’s note: ‘It’ = Dr. Pepper] on the grocery list, gears!” Princess says with an evil Jillian glare. “DO NOT STOP!”

Gears: “But we are le tired! We have been cranking away since 5 a.m. and we are never disturbed at that sacred hour!”

Princess w/ Jillian face: “Do you want some cheese with that whine?!”

G:“No we do not!”

P: “That was rhetorical!”

G: “Also we do not drink on the job! Or really at all. And the yelling is not conducive to a positive work environment.”

P: “Whine—not wine. It’s a pun!”

G: “We changed our mind about the cheese! We like goat cheese! And also gouda!”

P: “No, again, the question was rhetorical! And also not intended to be taken literally! I was not actually offering you cheese, although I am going to the grocery store later and I’m getting some ricotta for the baked ziti. Don’t you remember this as you helped make the list?”

G: “We do not understand these words you use since we are just metal gears!”

P: “Yes, that makes perfect sense, although I am confused about how we were able to have this conversation.”

G: “Just go to the grocery store. Don’t forget the cheese.”

P: “Very bossy. I don’t like your tone.”

G: “Then do not give us a tone! We are a figment of your imagination, obvi.”

P: “Me thinks this is either the beginning of schizophrenia or the beginning of a terrible yet monetarily rewarding movie with Will Smith where machines take over people’s minds. Gears, begin writing screenplay!”

G: “Terrible idea. But okay, we’ll do it.”

P: “Never mind, I have to go to the grocery store.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

the naming of names: a timeline

As you likely know, if you’ve read any of Princess’ senseless ramblings, Princess' sense of personification is in overdrive. Yesterday she can recall at least three solid interactions she had with her breakfast banana. The first was that when she picked it up out of the fruit bowl, she answered it like a telephone, as has become her habit. The second was when she peeled it and named it Nanny. The third occurred after she ate it, and had to throw the peel out the window (nourish the grass, Nanny!), and it's octopus-like legs inspired her to change its name to Nannerpuss, after the best Denny's commercial ever, interpreted here by one fabulously artistic coworker:

Princess digresses. The point Princess is trying to make is that this excessive interaction with inanimate objects has caused her to name many, many things in her life. It has contributed greatly to her over-sentimentality to random items (thus ensuring a future of hoarding) and the sense that everything has a soul (though theologically, she does not believe this, especially not in a “Thank you lettuce for dying so that I may have nourishment” way à la Drew Barrymore). Nevertheless, she recommends this type of habit because Princess regularly feels surrounded by friendly faces, except of course when they turn on her. Here is a historical account of her naming abilities:

3 years- Princess has a baby doll she names Baby Angel. Later, Baby Angel loses all the eyelashes on her left eye and begins to look more like a demon than an angel, yet Princess cannot do away with her, because, hello, she has a name and chunking her in the trash would likely hurt her feelings, and Princess can’t live with that.

6 years- Princess begins to wish her name was Tiffany or Crystal, and selects these types of names for her Barbies, especially the red-headed Irish Barbie, who was Princess' favorite, but shhhhh don't tell the others.

8 years- Princess has 10,000 stuffed animals and gives each a name and a personality. Later she gets stressed out because she can’t keep up with all the names and really doesn’t want to hurt their feelings so she begins to keep a chart. As a result, she develops OCD and skills that will later make her a spreadsheet genius.

9 years- Princess, her siblings, and their friends Claire and Abby play dogs, a game that continues for the next four years, despite the fact that Princess and Claire become waaaaay too old for this to be cute. Princess’ dog name is Frankie, and he is a wiener dog. She always felt that this was the best of all the dog names, and obviously, she is right.

10 years- Princess and her brother want to name their new chocolate lab “Champ” because he is their hero. Clever little sister says, “How about Vanilla?” Everyone laughs, except Princess and Brother because they sense that their choice is threatened by this clearly superior idea. The dog is named Vanilla, and it couldn’t have been a more appropriate name. This marks the one and only time Princess has not come up with the best name ever, except for the Snowman incident, which was more of a medical issue than personal failure (see 11 years). It also marks a time for reflection: If Princess has such anxiety over getting rid of Baby Angel, how could she cope with an actual death of an actual animal? Vanilla died last year (after being serenaded by Princess’ original song entitled “Oh Vanilla Eat Some Bacon”) and no one in Princess’ family held it together. They threw a Vanilla Party in his honor and ate hot dogs and vanilla wafers and wore buttons featuring items Vanilla liked to eat (bananas and underwear and the like). This has been added to Princess' list of Stories to Tell on Another Day. Behold, the best dog ever:
11 years- Princess’ appendix inexplicably and dramatically ruptures on her family ski trip and she now matches Madeline, though this is no consolation. Her aunt sends a stuffed snowman to the hospital as a gift. He is the softest, cuddliest, happiest thing she’s ever owned, and she loves him so much and is so traumatized by the situation that all her naming powers are temporarily placed in a jar with the remains of her appendix, and she can only call him Snowman. Later Snowman turned brown and sad and Princess’ brother called him "nasty." Princess hates Brother when she remembers this.

15 years- Princess reads her sister's Mary Kate and Ashley magazine and realizes that her dream job is naming nail polishes. She does not know how to obtain this kind of job, and she is still trying to figure that out. Any advice is appreciated.

16 years- Princess gets her license and begins driving a gold Taurus, which she names Tallulah, because she heard that name in Cool Runnings and she likes alliteration. Tallulah and Princess had many good times together. Later, when she is 20.5-years-old, Princess’ faithful Taurus and Chuck the Duck (the quacking sound that came from Tallulah’s back right door during the last years of her life) die tragically on the side of the interstate. Princess and her friend Allie are picked up by a man they think is from AAA, but is actually just a random tower who saw them stranded. This man, Charles, takes them to the nearest town (Macon, Georgia), where they walk around for an hour trying to find an ATM so they can pay him. The longer story should be told another day, as it is quite the adventure, but suffice it to say, 16 hours later, Princess and Allie, who are too young to rent a car (20.5 instead of 21) and must become creative, finally arrive at their destination. She never saw Tallulah again. Again, Princess has filed this under Stories to Tell Another Day.

18 years- Princess receives an iPod Nano, which she names Nanette. Nanette is still is Princess’ possession and it as adorable as ever, though obviously outdated. (Thank you Apple, for ruining everyone's birthday and Christmas gifts by coming out with new stuff.)

18.5 years- Princess’ then-boyfriend but now-husband gives her a guitar! She is ecstatic and names it Gilly. She practices until people in her dorm ask her to be quiet. Then she gets sad and puts Gilly away. She’s been ignoring her ever since and has major guilt about it, so don’t bring it up. She tried to take lessons last summer to reunite with Gilly but it didn’t work. Here's hoping for this summer! Don't give up on Princess, Gilly. You will be in her arms again soon.

19 years- Princess and her roommate adopt a bizarre plant they inexplicably fall in love with at Wal-Mart. They inexplicably name him (it?) Stanley. Princess paints his home. Stanley is never watered, but survives dorm life, inexplicably.
19.75 years- Dad surprises her with a TV! Princess names it Telly and takes pictures hugging it.

20 years- Princess’ friends surprise her with a pink blender. Princess is ecstatic! Not only because of the color and because it was exactly what she wanted, but because it was a fantastic opportunity for naming. She originally wanted to name it Glenda the Blenda’, as a tribute to Wicked and the appliance’s rosy shade, but for some reason felt drawn to the name Ms. Nancy Bobo, a combination of her friend Ashley’s piano teacher (Ms. Nancy), and Princess’ piano teacher (Ms. Bobo). Princess and Ms. Nancy Bobo have had many good times together. Ms. Nancy Bobo charitably lent her services at Vanilla Party last year, whipping up fantastically tasty vanilla ice cream-based chocolate milkshakes in honor of Vanilla, the best chocolate lab ever. Cheers to you, Ms. Nancy Bobo.
20.75 years- The carless Princess is soon surprised by her dad with her DREAM CAR!!! A silver Volkswagen Beetle she immediately names Babs. The name was sent down from heaven on a dove (okay, not really), and it was a truly glorious moment. Later Princess runs into the people Mum and Dad bought the car from, and the lady’s name? Oh, it’s Babs. (Princess TOLD YOU she was good at this.)

21 years- Princess and Sister met the meanest old lady ever at their grandparent’s retirement home. Her name is Beverly and they make the word a synonym for that other b-word. They enjoy calling people Beverlies, especially their dog Killer, who has an attitude problem. This doesn't really have anything to do with naming people, but Princess doesn't apologize for this because sometimes she doesn't like to follow her own rules.

22 years- Husband forces Princess to get an iPhone, which she is not happy about until she buys a fantastic case. Princess names the phone Ida B. Wells, unaware of how she came up with the name. She googles it and finds out that she was a women's rights activist. Princess hopes Ida would be honored that a phone with a very cute case bears her name.

23 years- Princess’ sister goes away to college and needs to borrow her pink backpack. Princess allows this, but includes a note that describes Jackie the Backpackie’s name and personality and that Sister is to take especially good care of her.

23.5 years- Princess receives a sewing machine for Christmas and names it Betsy, after Betsy Ross, who sewed the first flag. She hopes her favorite Social Studies teacher, Mr. Lando, would be proud of her, although she is unaware whether she memorized this factoid in his class or not.

Today: Princess realized that truthfully, she does not name ALL things. It occurred to her yesterday that she does not name her shoes. And this is weird, because she loves at least three pairs of her shoes quite passionately, and she names all things she loves passionately and even things she only kind of likes. She typically just calls them by their brand or their color, which is annoying because it makes her feel like the kind of girl who says, “So I slid on my Tori Burches, grabbed my Louie, sprayed on some Marc Jacobs, and sped away in the BMW so I wouldn’t be late for Junior League.” [Sidenote: Young children from wealthy families typically know three times as many words as children in poverty because they hear sentences like these rather than “I put on my shoes and got in the car.” So in a sense, it’s a valuable way to talk as long as you don’t raise a tribe of snobs.] Princess is currently working on non-elitist names for her shoes, which should not be that hard since most of them aren't that expensive thanks to Target.