Lynn Hummel column: You have to kiss a lot of frogs
Because of scheduling complications, I will not be attending the royal wedding of Prince William and the gorgeous Kate Middleton in London on April 29. And because of further scheduling complications I will not be watching the live broadcast of the event either, or any rebroadcasts. It is more interesting to me that William's little brother and best man Harry has been promoted to the rank of captain in the British Royal Air Corps.
Nevertheless, I read the papers and watch the news on TV, so it is impossible to ignore the fact that the biggest wedding so far in the 21st century is about to take place and that no detail is too insignificant to be covered and analyzed in minute detail. For example, I have just learned that Will and Kate are rehearsing their much anticipated kiss on the Buckingham Palace balcony, and that you can buy a knock-off copy of Kate's famous sapphire engagement ring that originally belonged to William's mother, Princess Diana, for only $19.90.
What is it about marrying a prince that seems to fascinate the rest of us? It's all part of the Cinderella fairy tale. The oldest version in history goes back to the first century B.C. It's the tale of a "rosy cheeked" Greco-Egyptian girl named Rhodopis who was bathing one day when an eagle swooped down and snatched one of her sandals and carried it to the king's home town, Memphis in Egypt, and while the king was administering justice in the open air, the eagle flew over and flung the sandal in the king's lap. The king was stirred by the beautiful shape of the sandal, and the strange circumstances, so he sent men out into the country to find the woman who wore the sandal. When she was found she was brought to the king and became his wife.
Over the years there were many variations of the Cinderella theme, many involving slippers, wicked stepmothers, sisters or stepsisters, a poor, virtuous, unfairly treated younger sister and a brave, handsome prince.
There is no limit to other tales relating to princes and princesses. One of the most imaginative is where the princess befriends a frog and gives it a kiss, which magically transforms the frog into a handsome prince. There are many variations of that theme as well. A popular expression related to that story is, "You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your handsome prince." In another frog story, the girl princess kisses a frog and becomes a frog herself. And of course, many girls with stars in their eyes have married handsome young men and discovered they don't have a prince but a frog for a husband.
The stories usually start with a girl in humble circumstances. In the case of Cinderella, since they probably didn't have toilets in those days, she didn't clean the toilets, but she did get stuck scrubbing the floors. Kate Middleton probably never cleaned toilets or scrubbed floors either, but she has a humble background -- although her parents are millionaires, she is considered "a commoner." By one definition, in England a commoner is anybody who has ever held a regular job. Middleton worked for a British clothing company, Jigsaw Junior, and worked for her father's company, Party Pieces, so she has actually held a real job. But has she ever experienced actual sweat? Well yes, she played field hockey in college so she probably has worn a few sweaty jerseys.
There are scores of romantic movies made every year. Many of them are considered to be of more interest to women than to men, and are called "chick flicks" -- but if we're honest, we all have to admit to having some interest in romance. After all, the prom season is upon us. We have sons, daughters, we've experienced boyfriends, girlfriends, weddings and the whole bundle. So our best wishes for the royal couple go out: that little brother Harry will behave at the wedding, that the wedding goes off without a serious hitch, with no lost slippers, no frogs, enough wine for all the guests -- and that they live happily ever after.