From the age of three to about eleven, I was absolutely, positively, 100% convinced that I would be a fairy princess when I grew up.
It is important to note that I had zero game plan for this. I certainly didn’t expect to wake up one morning having sprouted wings (that would be RIDICULOUS) or enroll in a school with a supernatural royalty degree track. I just assumed that at some point I’d become a fairy, and all of the other fairies would be like, “Wow, she’s really good at this, let’s make her our princess.” Naturally, this would all happen on the same day.
On my first day of university, my degree college put all of the Communication-focused freshmen into a big auditorium and had us go around and introduce ourselves: name, home state, and career choice. There were like 300 people in there and cell phones weren’t a thing back then, so by the time they got to me and my fellow back-of-the-alphabet classmates, many of the students had been lulled to sleep by the melodious sound of, “Becky Bolecky, Texas, Filmmaking. Jenny Johnson, California, Journalism. Scott Pippin, New York, Public Relations.” I don’t know if I was feeling punchy or thought there might be a secret fairy prince out there who was dabbling in advertising and also looking for a wife, but when the microphone was passed to me, I stood up and said,
“Amanda Silverman, North Dakota, Fairy Princess.”
I got a handful of laughs so it was worth it.
Years later, while interviewing for my current job at an architecture firm, my boss asked me, “What are your career goals?” At the time I was planning on living in North Dakota for a couple of years and then moving to one of the coasts but I didn’t want to tell him that, so instead I relayed my college story and said, “I’ll stay here until the fairy princess thing works out.”
It turns out that these architects were (are) perfectly comfortable with a potential fairy princess working at their firm, because not only did I get hired, that became my thing. And because they were (are) nice people they supported my dream in the best way they knew how: by giving me tiaras. And then I started dating my husband, who visited me at my office and saw all of my tiaras and probably figured he needed to lock in his royal status, because HE started giving me tiaras. AND THEN my children came along, noticed I had a stack of jewels in my closet (I moved all but the pink light-up cowboy hat tiara home after I ran out of room for my actual paperwork on my desk), and THEY started giving me tiaras. I wear them to the Renaissance Faire and on Halloween and randomly around the house.
If I’m being totally honest, I’m not sure I even want to be a fairy princess anymore. It seems like a lot of (non-)human resources and inter-species conflict resolution, and those aren’t really my skill sets. Also, I struggle to keep plants alive and I don’t like pranks, and my assumption is that both are a big part of fairy princessing. Plus, I dislike wearing tights.
However, what I DO like is that people feel completely comfortable giving me these objects with virtually no practical use. That stack of tiaras is my reminder that even when life is totally normal and repetitive and “real,” there’s always space for a bit of the imaginary.
That imaginary space has come in handy many times, especially in parenting. When my oldest son was just a pup, he accidentally saw a commercial for The Walking Dead and became very concerned about the threat of zombies. No matter what Kyle and I told him (mainly variations of “Zombies aren’t real and that show has some major plot issues”), he was too scared to sleep.
It wasn’t until the wee hours of the morning that I decided to pull out some fairy princess tiara magic.
“I was a zombie killer, you know,” I said, lying on my back on my son’s floor.
His little face popped up from the side of the bed. “What do you mean?” He asked.
“I mean I killed zombies,” I said. “So you don’t need to worry about them because they know not to mess with me.”
“No you didn’t,” he said, slowly.
“Yes, I did,” I said.
“Far away,” I said. “You’ve never been there.”
“What did you kill them with?”
“Two golden swords,” I said.
“I’ve never seen any golden swords,” he said, squinting in the dark in case he somehow missed a pair of giant gleaming weapons strapped to my person.
“I got rid of them when I stopped being a zombie killer,” I said.
“Why did you stop?” he asked.
“Because I met Daddy and we decided to have a family.”
“DADDY!” He hollered to the next room. “Was Mommy a zombie killer?”
“Yes,” Kyle sleepily called back through the wall. “Now go to sleep.”
Five minutes later we were all deep into dreamland.
That boy is almost ten now and no longer believes (or needs to believe) that I am a retired zombie killer. I know he doesn’t believe it because we drove past a billboard for some zombie something-or-other and I said, “I’d better not go to that in case the zombies are too scared of me to come out,” and he snorted from the backseat and said “M-om.” However, later that week we happened to come across a pirate costume with a yellowish cutlass and he said, “Look, a golden sword,” and winked, so at least I know that idea is still out in the universe – like my career in fairy princessing.
I was going to make a photo montage of me wearing all of my tiaras but I have around twenty of them and the idea of twenty selfies pooped me out, so the picture above is me as a pre-teen being a fairy princess.
This week’s news has bracelets, books, and Boy Scouts. Read on.
Mandan’s Emily Montgomery has turned her bracelet-making hobby – which she started after suffering a traumatic brain injury in a car accident – into a cause-based business. (KX Net)
With the help of a ghostwriter, Jamestown’s Elaine Staael Haugen has had her family’s life and times published in a new book, entitled Rings of a Family Tree. (Jamestown Sun)
The Devils Lake Boy Scouts recently donated 1,200 pounds of food to the Hope Center. (Devils Lake Journal)
For the fourth time, Mandan Public Schools has been named one of the best communities for music education in the country by the National Association of Music Merchants. (KX Net)
The Fargo/West Fargo Golden Drive is packing up meals in preparation for the end of school. (KVRR)
Most of Amidon turned out to celebrate Linda Narum for her good work in supporting Hunger Relief. (Bowman Extra)
(Like Amanda Silverman Kosior and/or North Dakota Nice? Check out this other story about writing.)