A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
By Nina Pajak
Here is a real fact: after his 6-year-old daughter asked him if she could be “a real princess,” a Virginia man claimed a plot of land in Africa and declared it his own kingdom in order to make his kid’s dreams come true.
If this strikes you as a heartwarming tale of a father’s love for his child, you should probably stop reading now. Go pour yourself a tall lemonade and enjoy the summer weather. Look at the clouds, think about rainbow-pooping bunnies, maybe take the yacht out for a spin.
Are we alone? Great. Phew. Now come on.
There are lots of things I say I’ll never do as a parent which may well prove me a hypocrite one day down the line. Letting them use a scooter on a busy city sidewalk. Waiting outside in a line for three days so they can go see a British boy band perform in Rockefeller Plaza. Buying a cell phone for a tween. Stocking squeeze cheez in the pantry.
Making my daughter a literal princess by colonizing a small portion of Egyptian land because she really, really likes princesses? Like, really likes them. So much that she wants to be one. And everyone knows that little girls who want to be princesses when they’re six and don’t become one by the time they’re seven ultimately lose faith in their parents and humanity and probably wonder from the stripper pole whether their disillusionment with men stems from their fathers’ failure to make them royalty.
Listen, it’s so nice that this guy just wants to go to the literal ends of the Earth to make his little girl happy. So, so nice. I’m assuming, of course, that this is a very special little girl for whom going out for ice cream, catching a movie, playing in the park or even going to the toy store with dad holds no joy. And it’s sweet, really. As the dad points out, most colonization scenarios are a result of war while this one “was an act of love.” I’m certain that the Egyptian people who now reside near the so-called “Kingdom of North Sudan” will find solace in that when they consider the fact that the sovereign is a spoiled little white girl whose views on princesshood are mainly informed by the time-honored stories of austere pinnacles of leadership like Ariel, Belle, Cinderella and Aurora.
Now that I mention it, what of those gals? I highly doubt that being the princess of a made-up country fabricated from a piece of politically contested Egyptian land on the Sudanese border bears even a passing resemblance to the lives bestowed on our beloved Disney monarchs. I don’t even want to think about what her tax returns are going to look like.
I cringe to think what happens when the young royal gets super into space travel. Or when she decides she’d like to become a professional supermodel, movie star, or Argentinean football player. Or when she tells him, “God, Dad, I don’t even like princesses anymore, that was when I was six and I’m 10 now and you’re SO DUMB DON’T COME INSIDE WHEN YOU PICK ME UP FROM SOPHIE’S HOUSE OKAY?”
Oh, dad. You can’t do anything right.
Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!