There’s been two Royal weddings of late- Meghan and Harry and recently Princess Eugenie. Meghan and Harry have just made their way to Australia where they excitedly announced their baby news and met hoards of Primary School students. Why? So the kids become emotionally invested in their lives, respect and love them and won’t want to leave the Commonwealth when they grow up. That’s one of my theories anyway. Yet, as girls grow into women, we want them to be more realistic about their lives and rather than hope to fall in love with a prince, or be rescued by a prince, they can recognise fairy tales from hard work, strength and resilience.
“The paper bag princess” by Robert Munsch is a must read for a girl of any age! It’s a tale that starts off with the typical characters- a prince, princess (well, his fiance) and a dragon. However it is the prince that gets kidnapped by the dragon and needs rescuing by the princess! She hurriedly gets dressed to save him and wears only a paper bag to run after him and attempt to outwit the dragon.
When she encounters the dragon, Elizabeth outwits him by asking him to perform feats of strength until he passes out. Elizabeth then passes the dragon and goes to save Ronald. However, when Ronald sees Elizabeth in a paper bag, rather than beautiful princess clothes, he is aghast. Ronald yells at Elizabeth to come back when she looks like a “real princess”. Our heroic Paper Bag Princess swiftly replies by saying, “You look like a real Prince, but you are a bum.” She takes off her crown, and gleefully dances into the sunset. (Credit: https://www.teachingchildrenphilosophy.org/BookModule/ThePaperBagPrincess)
This paper bag princess is now single but strong! I can identify with Elizabeth as I want to meet someone that accepts me as I am. If I have to change to please him, then I am not going to please myself. After being gaslighted in a previous relationship, I truly believe that you need to be happy in yourself, with yourself, by yourself.
When dating and speaking to friends about trying to meet someone, I’ve been given the following advise:
- Write a list of everything that you want in a partner and it will come true. It has to be specific though, or it won’t come true
- Make space in your wardrobe and clear out a drawer for a future partner. When you have made the physical space, the partner will come
- Expand your age range, you need to go for older men (try a lot older)
- Try to meet men with kids
- You need to wear lipstick
- Get the ‘girls’ out (boobs)
When you do meet someone online, frequent questioning is along the lines of ‘What are you looking for?’ I’ve tried to communicate what I’m looking for in a couple of different ways as if you tell most guys that you want a relationships that’s a quick turn off and has them running for the hills! I’ve previously tried ‘casual but respectful’, and something like ‘looking for a connection’ or someone that wants to get to know me.
I’ve been on four dates with Mr Suave now and neither of us have asked what the other is looking for. I think we are just enjoying getting to know each other. I have put in some effort with hair, make up and clothes and get nervous putting myself out there with high school type doubts ‘what if he doesn’t like me?’. On each occasion I’ve forced any doubts away and reassured myself ‘just be yourself, you are worth getting to know.’
I’ve just realised that I’m not looking for a relationship. Well not just any relationship. If I was, I’d be happy to go out with anyone that was single that I could pair up with. I’m the paper bag princess. I want someone to like me just the way I am. If that’s make -up free in my PJ’s then that’s my paper bag. I’m happy to rescue my prince but he also needs to be respectful, kind, and appreciate me. I certainly don’t need to be rescued…I am single but strong.
Off I go, gleefully dancing into the sunset.