Before You Meet Prince Charming – Part 1 Chapter 2

princecharmingby Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide

All quotes from the book are in blue text. Images from When Cows and Kids Collide and used with permission.

This chapter pertains to the evils of dating. Because of that, I assumed that the allegory would show the dangers of dating.

Silly me.

Synopsis of Allegory:

  • The narrator informs us that the Princess spent a bunch of time at home meeting various dignitaries and servants.  She learned a lot of unspecified things from them and did her job of making life pleasant.
  • She thinks about what the Alligator told her and wonders if she should socialize more with the People.
  • The Princess asks the King if she can go to the Spring Fair.
    • The King explains that since virtue is really important, the Princess should be a light for the People by not doing anything that compromises her vision of purity.  (The first quote below happens here.)
    • The King and Princess have a fruitless discussion where each is pursing a different goal.
    • This leads into a disturbing example of how easily emotional purity can be lost.  (A section of this section is the second quote.)
    • The scene ends with the King telling her to protect her heart until it is the right, undisclosed time somewhere in the future.

This first quote demonstrates the problems that occur in many CP parent-teen relationships.

“But what about the spring fair?” she persisted. “All the other maidens will be there, and they have asked me to join them.”
” All the others? Surely, thou dost not seek their approval?”
“No, Father,” she said slowly. “but if I never experience the real world, I fear that I will never fit in.'”
“Fit in?” he said in surprise.”Who said anything about fitting in? Of course, thou wilt not fit in. Does thou wish to be like the other maidens and youth?”
” Oh no! They are silly and chase after vain things,” she answered. ” But father, what thinkest thou of the alligator’s words? Do you not think that I should socialize?”
” It depends on the purpose,” he answered.
” The alligator says I will never meet a prince if I do not learn to mingle more freely as do others,” the princess sighed. “he says that the other maidens socialize oft with the young men in the village.”
” But you say you do not wish to be like the other maidens. And besides, such is not befitting a princess. My daughter, thy role is not to fit into the world — but to change it.(…)” (pg. 31)
  • Problem One: The King uses questionable communication techniques to railroad the Princess to the answer he wants.
    • The King uses his questions to his daughter to express horror that the Princess would even think about wanting to be outside of the CP Emo-Pure boundary.
      • This subtly reminds her of what is expected of her while pre-emptively shutting down any discussion of her wants or needs in terms of socialization.
    • At the same time, his questions also play on a normal teenage fear of “being abnormal” by telling the Princess that she’s really, really abnormal – you know, in a good way – but so very abnormal.
      • This is a twisted way of reinforcing the Princess’ sense of isolation for the purpose of making her too afraid to go to the Fair.
  • Problem Two: The Princess wanders through a bunch of side tangents rather than asking the question that is bothering her the most.
    • The Princess’ problem is completely normal in teenagers and often improves as teenagers become young adults.  Communication is a learned skill. .
    • Imagine if the Princess started with “Dad, I’m worried that if I don’t meet more people I will never get married.  I want to be with other appropriate girls as friends to learn the social skills I will need when it is time for me to court.”  That would be concise, honest and reasonably open her father about her feelings, needs and wants.
    • Why didn’t she start with that?  It’s one part normal teenager and 99 parts growing up with parents who place image and ideals above emotions and growth.
  • Problem Three: The King refuses to put his foot down.
    • I have a deep dislike of parents requiring their toddlers, kids or teens to be lead to the “right” idea – in this case, stay home from the Fair – and expecting their offspring to be alright with the parent’s pre-made decision.
    • It’s really nice when parents and their underage children are on the same page – but it’s not a requirement.  I believe parents have an obligation to communicate why they are enforcing a rule in an age-appropriate manner.  Offspring have an obligation to listen to their parents. Parents need to enforce the rule and accept that their toddlers, kids or teens may be angry, mad, or sad and help the kid deal with that emotion.
    • Imagine if the King had started by saying, “I hear that you want to make new friends, but the Spring Fair is not a good/safe place to do so because _______.  How about you start going to the Princesses’ Ball where you will meet other members of royal families?”
  • I’ve reviewed three CP books for young women.  All three have rampant examples of disturbing, pathological styles of communication in families.  That’s a stunning indictment of what is required to keep people in this worldview.

Next we have a creepy, twisted, sick metaphor about emotional purity that brings all the skeevy “A girl who has had sex is like a used inanimate object” metaphors racing back.

“Look at this. What do you see?” her father questioned.
” A lovely rose,” she said.
” What color?”
” White.”
” Pure white,” her father emphasized. ” What else do you notice?”
” Well, it is closed. It is just a bud.”
” What is the inside like?” He inquired. ” Open it for me.”
“I can’t open it for you!”
” Why not?” he asked.
” Because it has to open by itself,” she stated.
” But I want to see the inside,” repeated the king.
“then you will have to wait for it to open when it is ready. If I force it open, you will never see its beauty.”
“But are you not overly cautious?” teased the king. ” We’ll only open a few petals.”
“The rose is very delicate,” she answered. ” The petals will tear, and it will never be the same.”
” And so it is with many fair maidens,” the king explain. ” Their beauty is never fully seen, for they wait not until the proper time. They are handled and played with by too many a fellow. Their heart is opened prematurely. The fragrance and beauty that was intended for the perfect time is lost or damaged forever.” (pg. 33)
  • I have been soaked by bovine amniotic fluid while wearing a dress, fallen face-down into manure and rolled down a dusty ravine landing a patch of poison ivy.
    • None of those experiences were as disgusting as the previous “rose metaphor”.  Not even close.
  • There is no part of the human body or mind that is a single-use organ.  None.  And you know what?  Neither is a rose.
    • I swear that CP writers have never seen an actual rose bush.  Look at the picture below – there is more than one damn flower on that bush! The Princess could have ripped the rose to shreds and the bush would still have had plenty of other flowers on it.
      •  People don’t have a single heart that they hand off to their spouse and no one else – we have lots of hearts that we give to many other people in our lives.
knockout-rose-shrub-large
      • The next thing the CP writers need to do is look at an actual rose bud.  Interesting fact: You can rip a whole lot of the outer petals off and have a lovely flower.
white_rose_bud_by_deadlydonna
Pick off the outer group – the remaining petals will open farther.
      • Hell – that’s the easiest way to make a group of fading roses look fresh again; pick off the petals that are discolored and voila!  Fresh bouquet!
        • Humans are the same.  A dating relationship that failed doesn’t mark you indelibly forever; rather, over time the painful parts are shed and the resulting person is stronger.
    • Declaring that the rose – which isn’t opened – is “pure white” is stupid. What color do you think these roses appeared as buds?  Completely freaking white!
img-thing
There are several buds on the right side….
      • The important characteristic of a marriage is long-term compatibility. Hiding your heart before marriage cannot assure mutual love, friendship, mature communication skills and patience after marriage.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is either clueless and/or trying to sell you something.  Like this book, for instance.
  • I can’t decide which is more disturbing:
    • Option One: Ms. Mally doesn’t see a problem the blatantly sexual portion about being “handled and played with” in a conversation between a man and his daughter.  (So gross….)
    • Option Two: Ms. Mally was too sheltered at 25 or 26 not to realize the massive innuendo of that sentence – and no one around her felt compelled to explain it to her.
  • How the hell does this fit in with the whole “Purity is offered to anyone!” of the last chapter?  The point of this allegory is “Don’t give your heart away too early or you will be completely worthless.”
Well, I need a shower.  Next up, Sarah Mally’s views on the evils of dating based on her deep personal knowledge base.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide She is also an very valuable source of scientific information for us here at NLQ. Mel is also blessed with the ability to look at the issues of Quiverfull with a rational mind and break them down to their most basic of elements.


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