Once upon a time, there was a normal girl.
But of course, she did not stay a normal girl. We know this because no one tells stories about normal girls because normal girls are boring.
Anyway, there was a normal girl who grew up in a village some arbitrary distance away from a castle. And, within this castle, lived a handsome prince. But of course he was handsome, because If he had been ugly, they probably wouldn’t have let him become a prince. These were different times. Beauty standards were a huge deal and no one questioned whether they were being huge jerks about it.
When the handsome prince turned 18, his mother really started to pressure him to get married. He was still pretty young, so he hadn’t really thought about it; however, he always did what his mom suggested because he assumed she knew best even though she was an egomaniac.
You think I’m being dramatic by calling her an egomaniac, don’t you?
Well, here are just a few things she did which SCREAM, “Look at me! I’m a freaking egomaniac, guys!”:
- The queen once had village peasants construct an entire palace just for her hats. Yes. It was literally just a castle where her hats lived. And queens don’t even wear hats. They wear crowns.
- She made the village peasants buy her a bunch of hats.
- After her husband died (King Rupert, may he rest in peace. Wait. Wrong story.), the queen had a memorial service for him. But, the queen got jealous of all the attention her husband was getting so, instead of a memorial service wherein people recall fond memories, the queen threw herself a “predictorial” service, wherein attendees were forced to predict all of the great things the queen would still do. Otherwise, it had basically all of the same qualities as a traditional memorial service.
So, it should be of no surprise to you that the queen was really pressuring her son to get married so that she could prove to him that she was better than any other woman he would be able to find. And, before you think, “Hey, this is getting kind of Freudian,” don’t worry– the only reason she was jealous at all is because she was a freaking egomaniac.
Every beautiful woman the prince brought to meet the queen, she would insist that the girl stay for dinner and for a night in the palace guest room to see how she felt in the palace. The palace guest room was very nice– as most guest rooms are since no one ever wants his guests to judge his taste in drapes or cleanliness. However, this particular guest room had a very interesting quirk:
The guest bed was very, very, very tall. As in, the bed was about 100 mattresses stacked atop one another.
I know. Weird.
But there was a reason for this: The queen was testing each of the women her son brought to the palace.
You see, each girl would climb a ladder to the top of the large bed and then, the ladder would be removed by the palace maids. If the girl was normal, she would go to sleep, or fall off of the bed to her death.
However, if she were princess material, she would not be able to sleep.
In fact, about one hour into the night, she would realize that she might maybe possibly have to pee. This thought would consume her until she realized, probably about 45 minutes later, that she really really did have to pee. But she would be too afraid to ask someone to replace the ladder, so she’d just lay awake, thinking about whether it would be more socially acceptable to wet the bed, or to be found dead as a result of a bladder implosion.
A princess would always choose the second option, but would not actually die because having to pee in the first place was probably just all a figment of her imagination anyway.
The queen knew the following about all princesses: 1) They were always self-conscious and anxious and 2) They always had small, dainty bladders.
And up until the day this story took place, no princess had been found.
Now, let’s get back to that normal girl we were talking about at the beginning of the story.
The normal girl’s family told her that, in order to make a life for herself, she must be independent, move out on her own, and get a job already.
This was very scary for the normal girl. After all, she was only 18. But she set out on her own and traveled closer to the palace because she thought it might be easier to get a job in a more metropolitan area.
As she traveled toward the kingdom, the normal girl noticed strange advertisements. At first, she thought they were “Wanted” posters for a criminal or something because they all said, “WANTED” and depicted a vague shadowy picture of an unspecified woman’s face. But then she understood what they were trying to do there (she also read the fine print after seeing three of these posters and getting kind of freaked out): They were cleverly advertising that the kingdom was looking for a princess!
The normal girl knew she was pretty normal, so she didn’t get her hopes up.
But, hey, she knew about the American dream and, while she didn’t live in America, she decided to go directly to the palace and demand that the prince give her a chance.
On the way, she got caught in a terrible storm, so when the normal girl got to the palace, she looked like a normal wet cat.
The palace guards took pity on her and invited her into the palace. The maids at the palace knew that the girl was way too normal to even meet the queen– or the prince for that matter– but they allowed her to bathe, get into some comfy jammies, and even let her stay in the guest bedroom.
Unfortunately for the normal girl, out of force of habit, the maids forgot to leave the ladder next to the bed.
The normal girl started to drift to sleep when suddenly, she jolted awake.
Did she have to pee?
She had just gone.
But she did swallow a lot of rainwater.
She lay in a torturous state all night. And, because she was in an unfamiliar environment, she did not want to wake the maids and have them bring the ladder back. But she CERTAINLY did not want to ruin all of these mattresses.
When daylight finally began to break, the girl heard footsteps outside of her room and a voice she did not recognize.
No matter: She couldn’t take it anymore. She whispered from atop the 100 some-odd mattresses:
“Pssst! Excuse me!” (Manners matter) She whispered, “I need some assistance please!”
The voices in the hallway stopped and the girl saw a shadow move toward the door. The door opened and, from where she was sitting, the normal girl saw only the top of a very, very large hat, full of pink and purple feathers.
“Madam,” the girl said, “I have been here this long night and it seems that the kind maids who allowed me to stay here took away the ladder,”
“So?” the woman asked,
“So… I REALLY HAVE TO PEE!” the normal girl shouted (Forget manners).
The woman below looked up at the girl. It was the queen! The normal girl had no idea because she just assumed that queens never wear hats.
“My girl!” the queen answered, “How would you like to marry my son?”
The normal girl was right– the American dream still lives!
The now almost-better-than-normal girl answered, “That depends. Is he handsome?”
Instantly, the queen knew that this girl was no normal girl. Deep down, this normal girl was also an egomaniac: A perfect princess.
The egomaniac girl met the prince and, because he was handsome, she decided to marry him.
And so, the princess and the prince lived happily ever after.
As did the queen’s hats.