Saturday, June 6, 2015

An Excerpt From Princess Diaries 10 by Meg Cabot.

 “Seriously. What is wrong with my family?” I asked, with a groan.
“The same thing that’s wrong with everybody’s family,” Michael said. “It’s made up of human beings. Hey, quit sniffing me a minute and lift your head up.” I lifted my head and looked at him. “Why?” I asked. “So I can do this,” he said. And kissed me.
And as we were kissing, and the late-afternoon sun was pouring in all around us, and the other couples were swirling around us on the dance floor, laughing, I realized something. Something I think might be really important: This princess thing, which four years ago I was convinced was going to be the ruination of my life, had turned out to be just the opposite. It’s actually taught me things, some of them very important. Like how to stand up for myself, and be my own person. How to get what I want out of life, on my own terms. And never to sit by my grandmother while crab is being served, since it’s her favorite dish, and she simply can’t eat it and talk at the same time, and half of it will end up all over whoever she’s sitting next to.
It’s taught me something else, too. And that’s that as you get older, you lose things, things you don’t necessarily want to lose. Some things as simple as…well, your baby teeth when you’re a little kid, as they make way for your adult teeth. But as you age, you lose other, even more important things, like friends—hopefully only bad friends, who maybe weren’t as good for you as you once thought. With luck, you’ll be able to hang on to your true friends, the ones who were always there for you…even when you thought they weren’t. Because friends like that are more precious than all the tiaras in the world.
I’ve also learned that there are the things you want to lose…like that hat you throw into the air on graduation day. I mean, why would you want to hold on to it? High school sucks. People who say those were the best four years of your life—those people are liars…. Who wants the best years of their lives to be in high school ? High school is something everybody should be ready to lose. And then there are the things you thought you wanted to lose, but didn’t…and now you’re glad you didn’t.
A good example of this would be Grandmère. She drove me crazy for four years (and not just because of the crab thing). Four years of princess lessons, and nagging, and insanity. I swear, there were moments during some of those years when I gladly would have beat in her face with a shovel. But in the end, I’m glad I didn’t. She taught me a lot, and I don’t just mean how to use appropriate flatware. In a way, she’s the one—well, with Mom and Dad’s help, of course…not to mention Lilly, and all my friends, really—who taught me how to appreciate this royalty thing—another thing I wanted desperately to lose, but didn’t…. And, yes, in the end…I’m glad.
I mean, yeah, it sucks sometimes, being a princess. But I know now there are ways I can work it so I can help people, and maybe, in the end, even make the world a better place. Not in huge ways, necessarily. Sure, I’m not going to invent a robotic surgical arm that’s going to save people’s lives. But I’ve written a book that might, like Michael said, make someone whose loved one is being operated on by that arm forget about how scared she is while she’s in the waiting room. Oh, and I brought democracy to a country that’s never known it. And okay, these are small things. But one baby step at a time.
Still, the most important reason I’m glad I turned out to be a princess, and that I’m going to stay one forever? If I hadn’t, I highly doubt I’d have gotten this majorly happy ending.

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