Thursday, October 2, Ladies’ Room at the Plaza Hotel
I guess now I know why my dad is so concerned about not being able to have more kids.
BECAUSE HE’S A PRINCE!!!
Geez! How long did they think they could keep something like that from me?
Although, come to think of it, they managed for a pretty long time. I mean, I’ve BEEN to Genovia. Miragnac, where I go every summer, and also most Christmases, is the name of my grandmother’s house in France. It is actually on the border of France, right near
Genovia, which is between France and Italy. I’ve been going to Miragnac ever since I was born. Never with my mother, though. Only with my dad. My mom and dad have never lived together. Unlike a lot of kids I know, who sit around wishing their parents would get back together after they get divorced, I’m perfectly happy with this arrangement. My parents broke up before I was ever born, although they have always been pretty friendly to one another. Except when my dad is being moody, that is, or my mom is being a flake, which she can be sometimes. Things would majorly suck, I think, if they lived together.
Anyway, Genovia is where my grandmother takes me to shop for clothes at the end of every summer, when she’s sick of looking at my overalls. But nobody there ever mentioned anything about my dad’s being a PRINCE.
Come to think of it, I did that fact sheet on Genovia two years ago, and I copied down the name of the royal family, which is Renaldo. But even then I didn’t connect it with my dad. I mean, I know his name is Phillipe Renaldo. But the name of the prince of Genovia was listed in the encyclopedia I used as Artur Christoff Phillipe Gerard Grimaldi Renaldo.
And that picture of him must have been totally old. Dad hasn’t had any hair since before I was born (so when he had chemo, you couldn’t even tell, since he was practically bald anyway). The picture of the prince of Genovia showed someone with A LOT of hair, sideburns, and a mustache, too.
I guess I can see now how Mom might have gone for him, back when she was in college. He was something of a Baldwin.
But a PRINCE? Of a whole COUNTRY? I mean, I knew he was in politics, and of course I knew he had money—how many kids at my school have summer homes in France? Martha’s Vineyard, maybe, but not France—but a PRINCE?
So what I want to know is, if my dad’s a prince, how come I have to learn Algebra?
I mean, seriously.
I don’t think it was such a good idea for Dad to tell me he was a prince in the Palm Court at the Plaza. First of all, we almost had a repeat performance of the shorts incident: The doorman wouldn’t even let me in at first. He said, “No minors unaccompanied by an adult,” which totally blows that whole Home Alone II movie, right?
And I was all, “But I’m supposed to meet my dad—“
"No minors," the doorman said again, “unaccompanied by an adult.”
This seemed totally unfair. I wasn’t even wearing shorts. I was wearing my uniform from Albert Einstein. I mean, pleated skirt, kneesocks, the whole thing. Okay, maybe I
was wearing Doc Martens, but come on! I practically WAS that kid Eloise, and she supposedly ruled the Plaza.
Finally, after standing there for like half an hour, saying, “But my dad . . . but my dad . . . but my dad . . . ” the concierge came over and asked, “Just who is your father, young lady?”
As soon as I said his name they let me in. I realize now that’s because even THEY knew he was a prince. But his own daughter, his own daughter nobody tells!
Dad was waiting at a table. High tea at the Plaza is supposed to be this very big deal. You should see all the German tourists snapping pictures of themselves eating chocolate chip scones. Anyway, I used to get a kick out of it when I was a little girl, and since my dad refuses to believe fourteen is not little anymore, we still meet there when he’s in town. Oh, we go other places, too. Like we always go to see Beauty and the Beast, my all-time favorite Broadway musical, I don’t care what Lilly says about Walt Disney and his misogynistic undertones. I’ve seen it seven times.
So has my dad. His favorite part is when the dancing forks come out.
Anyway, we’re sitting there drinking tea and he starts telling me in this very serious voice that he’s the prince of Genovia, and then this terrible thing happens:
I get the hiccups.
This only happens when I drink something hot and then eat bread. I don’t know why. It had never happened at the Plaza before, but all of a sudden my dad is like, “Mia, I want you to know the truth. I think you’re old enough now, and the fact is, now that I can’t have any more children, this will have a tremendous impact on your life, and it’s only fair I tell you. I am the prince of Genovia.”
And I was all, “Really, Dad?” Hiccup.
"Your mother has always felt very strongly that there wasn’t any reason for you to know, and I agreed with her. I had a very . . . well, unsatisfactory childhood—"
He’s not kidding. Life with Grandmère couldn’t have been any picque-nicque. Hiccup.
"I agreed with your mother that a palace is no place to raise a child.” Then he started muttering to himself, which he always does whenever I tell him I’m a vegetarian, or the subject of Mom comes up. “Of course, at the time I didn’t think she intended to raise you in a bohemian artist’s loft in Greenwich Village, but I will admit that it doesn’t seem to have done you any harm. In fact, I think growing up in New York City instilled you with a healthy amount of skepticism about the human race at large—"
Hiccup. And he had never even met Lana Weinberger.
"—which is something I didn’t gain until college, and I believe is partly responsible for the fact that I have such a difficult time establishing close interpersonal relationships with women—"
"What I’m trying to say is, your mother and I thought by not telling you we were doing you a favor. The fact was, we never envisioned that an occasion might arise in which you might succeed the throne. I was only twenty-five when you were born. I felt certain I would meet another woman, marry her, and have more children. But now, unfortunately, that will never be. So, the fact is, you, Mia, are the heir to the throne of Genovia."
1. overalls n. 工装裤， 长罩衣( overall的名词复数 )，套裤
2. encyclopedia n. 百科全书
3. hiccups n/v. 嗝( hiccup的名词复数 )，连续地打嗝
4. have a tremendous impact on 对...有巨大的影响
5. mutter v. 轻声低语，咕哝地抱怨，含糊地说，自言自语地说
6. bohemian n. 放荡不羁的文化人
7. skepticism n. 怀疑态度，怀疑论，多疑癖
8. interpersonal relationships 人际关系
9. do one's a favor 帮...的忙，为...好
10. succeed the throne 继承王位