Princesses: Where are they now?
(Part nine: The princess and the frog / Tiana)
It is… interesting, being a princess but without the wealth to go with it. If anything, people expect more of you. She still gets a fair amount of gentle mockery from her family about putting on airs. The whites, though, are particularly flummoxed. A poor black girl and an immigrant who outrank Big Daddy socially have taken some getting used to. Tiana throws back her head and laughs at the high society who come to dine at her restaurant, while their knees fight the urge to curtsy and they sit on their hands to quell the urge to wag fingers in her face for being uppity. Naveen is less comfortable with his new status. His kingdom was small and poor enough but he was never anything but royalty there. The first time a stranger in the street called him “boy” Tiana had to drag her fuming husband down an alley and explain what lynchings were.
Business is booming though. The royal connection attracts wealthy customers like a honeypot. There’s even a craze for gumbo and jambalaya, collard greens and catfish, in the grandest mansions of the South. Last week she saw a southern belle with straggly, mousey cornrows. She shakes her head and sighs, but counts the cash.
She asked Naveen if there was a national dish back home he wanted her to learn to make. His eyes bulged and the blood left his face. “Fricassee of frogs legs” he whispered. She retched and heaved.
They never speak, now, of Maldonian cuisine.
Sarah Thomasin is a performance poet living in Sheffield. As well as saying poems out loud at every opportunity, they have had poems published in Now Then magazine, and in two English Pen collections, three Pankhearst Slim Volume anthologies (No Love Lost, Wherever You Roam, and This Body I Live In), The Sheffield Anthology (poems from the city imagined) and Poems For the Queer Revolution. They were also commissioned to create a limerick quiz about gender which appears in Kate Bornstein’s My New Gender Workbook. You can find Sarah online at www.sarahthomasin.com.