The Princess Diaries by Joy Fahey (3)
Day 3 – How to be a Princess
Have you ever heard of the ‘shop keeper’s mentality’ the shop keeper is only nice to you because they want your custom and want you to come back and buy from them. It’s lip service niceness. Sometimes as the customer we might consider that the shop keeper really likes us and cares about us, well they might like us but usually it’s because we are ‘nice’ customers and spend money in their shop! Actually I can think of quite a few ‘lip service’ relationships and not only in shops when I put my mind to it, a bit unnerving actually!
Anyway I was beginning to get this feeling from the Princess that she was just being nice to me as I had something she wanted, she was paying me well for it, but beyond that she was indifferent, I just served a purpose.
I mean really what was I expecting? She’s a Princess for heaven sake! How could I possibly think she’s going to say ‘Hi Joy so good to meet you, let’s be friends, do you fancy going for a coffee next week?’ Get a grip woman!! Well stranger things have happened!
So back to reality! Observing how a Princess lives, thinks, feels is extremely different from a person who is not a Princess, which is mostly the rest of us, barring a few ‘would be’ ones, who can be spotted a mile away!
My observation of this unique and interesting woman showed up in a number of ways. Firstly she never asked me any questions about myself. The only questions asked were those about the art. I found that if I asked her about her life in Riyadh, her family or her religion she would talk very passionately about it. But she would never return a question to me. It was always a one-way street.
I have experienced ‘one way street’ conversations or relationships before, but usually from a man! Sorry I digress…!
It was fine once I cottoned on; I accepted that actually I was only there to teach her art nothing else was of any consequence to her. However it was intriguing as it was so blatant.
Let me give you an example. Today we were in mid sentence at a crucial part of her painting, she’d handed me the paint brush and said ‘You finish it’ and then disappeared for half an hour.
On other occasions she’d sometimes, without saying anything, just wonder off into the villa. I’m left standing there, mouth open and then gobsmacked wondering what to do!
This happened often over the 2 weeks and most times she’d come back, and my suspicion was she’d go for a cigarette as I could smell it when she returned, which in itself was quite surprising.
However sometimes she wouldn’t come back at all! I’d be waiting an hour or so until finally I’d find the butler and ask him where she was. ‘Oh she’s gone for a rest and will see you tomorrow!’ ‘Oh, OK, I better go then’ ‘Yes Madam’ and he show me out!
How extraordinary, but maybe that was her attitude to everything and she believed it was OK to have that attitude as she was a Princess.
It does feel somewhat disempowering to say the least, I mean what can you do, march into her room and say ‘hey, what’s happening, I’ve been waiting for you for an hour?’ Don’t think that would go down too well! I mean what would you do?
I decided that I would just go with the flow, I thought it was very weird, I felt a bit disorientated but I had to get my head round it.
She’s a Princess; she has everything you could possibly want from a materialistic point of view. My main observation, despite the fact that she had all this financial freedom, the servants, ‘the everything’ you can possibly imagine stuff, she never seemed happy. Sadness hid behind her eyes and her reference to finding ‘freedom’ in her painting would come up in nearly every conversation.
Talking of which her painting was beginning to reveal so many fascinating things, 2 horses heads, a steep mountain path winding through colours and shapes, it was really very beautiful. She was delighted with what was occurring as was I. When it’s finished I’ll show you!
I was inspired to do some painting myself when I got home. I needed to find some new reality in my mind, change my feeling of being a total alien in this bizarre situation and get a grip of being OK. I’ll show you that too when I’ve finished it!
The reason for the Princesses sadness and wanting freedom would have to wait for now.
‘Where Art and Life Meet’
Written and published by: Joy Fahey
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