Would You Want Your Child to Marry a Prince?

You see, I hail from a demographic that lauded and honored the glorious gown, the high forehead, the pearls, the pedigree, debutantes, boarding school, society weddings -- our country's version of princesses. When I was my daughter's age, Lady Diana and Prince Charles walked down the aisle and every one of us dreamed of having a gown like that, and an aisle like that. And where I came from, for some of us, it was possible. Our mothers would make it possible. I was thankful and I was lucky and I was ready to embrace it all.

But by and by, I started to see that money didn't bring you happiness. It brought you comfort. And as I grew older, and watched Diana and Fergie both fall from grace and bust through the myths they were procured to uphold, I related with them. I didn't have their crowns or their jewels or their royal pressure, but I did understand the pressures of society in the way of a well-heeled upbringing and what that meant the future should look like. I didn't know if I wanted that future. Not if it meant that I couldn't be myself, warts and all.

Mostly, I had questions: How could I be a feminist and parade in ball gowns in front of elite boy blue-bloods, window shopping for future society wives? How could I be an artist, channeling the human condition, in rooms so opulent, so exclusive? How could I, in good conscience, advocate against oppression from a view so high atop a "throne?"

My father was from homesteading and farm stock and he told me over and over. "People are the same everywhere." In my heart I knew this was true. He'd put it to the test. I wanted to put it to the test, only in the reverse.

So I left.

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