“Natalie! Natalie,” my mother called.
I sighed, lifting my head from resting against my silky, luxurious pillows. I stroked my pet tiger and impatiently wondered how many times I had to tell her that I’d left my old name and identity behind. I lowered my head back down to rest. I closed my eyes, basking in the glow of my princess-ness.
With a heavy sigh, I heaved myself up from my comfortable pile of softness and trudged toward the urgent sound of my mother’s voice. I turned the corner and pushed aside the beaded curtain, and my imaginary palace filled with exotic plants, pet tiger and lush colors draped over every surface dissolved around me. I was standing in our kitchen where my mother was looking at me. I stomped into the room, hands on my hips and glared at her defiantly.
“My name isn’t Natalie anymore. What did I tell you?!”
She rolled her eyes and sighed.
“Sorry. I forgot. Jasmine?”
I stared at her some more.
My expression softened and I dropped my hands back to my sides.
“Yes?” I asked sweetly.
“What do you want for lunch?”
I had just seen the Disney movie Aladdin, and I was a girl obsessed, determined only to answer to the name Princess Jasmine.
I gave her my lunch demands like a good princess and retreated back to the solitude of my fantasy world. I pushed aside the beaded curtain and was once again immersed into the world of Princess Jasmine waiting for my Aladdin to come rescue me from my miserable, pent-up life. My bed served as my throne of pillows, my pet cat Ed transformed into my friendly tiger and confidante Raja. I wallowed and pined and lamented to “Raja” how terrible life as a princess was.
My demand that my family address me only as Princess Jasmine would soon be overthrown by my new insistence that my family call me Mary Anne – in homage to my favorite character in the Baby Sitter’s Club. But for now, I was happy lounging about fantasizing about far-off places and being whisked away on adventures on a magic carpet ride. A girl’s gotta have a dream, right?