We’ve weathered the princess storm fairly well, and I believe the eye of the storm has passed. Like a lover that you only truly get over once there is a new one, the princess phase fades as my daughter embarks on a new love affair with an international object of affection. This new love is a Japanese bobtail cat who is a British citizen but a creation of Japan (see Wikipedia), where she is known as Kitty White or Kitty Chan.
You, however, may know her as Hello Kitty.
Suddenly, she’s everywhere in my life. My daughter can spot Hello Kitty merch from seven aisles away. We needed a new bathing suit, so she begged for a HK one. There is literally no subject to which Sadie doesn’t work in a HK reference. “Sadie, what do you want for dinner?” “A Hello Kitty quesadilla,” she says. In return I say, “What in the Hell(o Kitty) are you talking about?”
It appears that my female offspring has inherited my inclination toward the obsessive and the compulsive. (Actually, my male offspring has too, which means I have to figure out how to make HK and Spiderman dinners.) When it was time to engage in some recreational face-painting at my daughter’s preschool, she bee-lined for the “artist” who promised to transform her into Hello Kitty. I was actually all for that because my personal favorite feature of HK is that she does not have a mouth. “Sadie, you can’t talk if you don’t have a mouth. Also? No whining or crying or screaming.”
Initially, I embraced all things HK—in part because of the sheer relief of being away from the overly-cleavaged Belle, Ariel, Tiana, and What’s-Her-Names. It was also nostalgic. I remember when I begged my mother for some HK erasers and pencils back in 1979. HK had only arrived in the US in 1976, so she wasn’t plastered on every damn thing a child could touch yet. I had to scrounge for HK trinkets.
I have explained the deprivation I grew up with to Sadie. “When I was a little girl, there were no HK Band-aids or midriff tops.” Under my breath, I may have said, “HK wasn’t such a slut back then.”
It’s not that I miss the princesses, because at least I don’t have to contend with HK’s heaving bosom. I also can’t credibly object to the consumerism because your friend Outlaw Mama likes to shop it up. My objection to HK is that she wasn’t there for me when I needed her, but now my daughter can have breakfast on HK plates, take her HK water bottle in her HK backback to school and then come home and waste some HK band-aids on some imaginary boo-boos and then sink into her HK pajamas and cuddle under her HK blanket.
How is that fair?