Authors: Meg Cabot
Tags: #Young Adult, #Romance, #Chick-Lit
Princess Diaries VI - Princess in Training
Monday, September 7, Labor Day, 10 p.m., the loft
Another school year. I know I should be excited. I know I should be thrilled at the prospect of seeing my friends again after having been on foreign soil for the past two months.
And I am. I am excited. I’m excited to see Tina and Shameeka and Ling Su and even—I can’t believe I’m saying this—Boris.
It’s just…well, it’s going to be so DIFFERENT this year, with no Michael to pick up on the way to school and sit with at lunch and have drop by before Algebra—ACK! No Algebra this year, either! Geometry! Oh, God. Well, I’ll just think about that one later. Although Mr. Gianini (FRANK. MUST REMEMBER TO CALL HIM FRANK.) says people who do badly in Algebra always do really well in Geometry. Please, please let that be true.
And okay, it’s not like Michael and I ever used to make out in front of my locker or anything, what with his lack of enthusiasm about PDA and my bodyguard and all.
But at least—because there was always a chance I could run into Michael in the hallway at any moment—I had something to look forward to at school.
And now, because Michael has graduated, there’s nothing to look forward to. Nothing.
Except for the weekends.
But how much time is Michael even going to have to spend with me on weekends? Because he’s in college now, and he has so much homework already there’s no way we can see each other on weeknights—not that, between princess obligations and my OWN homework, that was ever going to happen anyway. But still. It’s like—
God, what is WRONG with my mother? Rocky was just crying there for, like, FIFTEEN MINUTES while she did absolutely NOTHING. I went out into the living room and there she was with Mr. G, just sitting there watching Law and Order, and I was all, “Hello, your son is calling you,” and Mom, without even looking up from the TV, was like, “He’s just fussing. He’ll settle down and go to sleep in a minute.”
What kind of maternal compassion is THAT? Lilly can call me a baby-licker all she wants, but is it really any wonder I’m as maladjusted as I am if this is an example of how my mother treated me as a baby?
So then I went into Rocky’s bright yellow room and sang one of his favorite songs—“Behind Every Good Woman” by Tracy Bonham—and he calmed right down.
But did anyone thank me? No! I walked out of his room and my mom actually looked at me (only because there was a commercial) and went, very sarcastically, “Thanks, Mia. We’re trying to get him to understand that when we put him down for the night, he’s supposed to go to sleep. Now he’s going to think all he has to do is cry and someone is going to come in there and sing a song to him. I just got him over that while you were in Genovia this summer, and now we’re going to have to start all over again.”
Well, EXCUSE ME! I may be a baby-licker, but is it really such a crime to have a little compassion for my only sibling? JEESH!
Let’s see, where was I?
Oh, yeah. School. Without Michael.
Seriously, what is even the point? I mean, yeah, I know we’re supposed to be going to school to learn stuff and all of that. But learning stuff was so much more fun when there was a chance of spotting Michael by the water fountain or whatever. And now I fully have nothing like that to look forward to until Saturday and Sunday. I’m not saying that life without Michael isn’t worth living, or whatever. But I will say that when he’s around—or even when there’s just a chance that he MIGHT be around—EVERYTHING is a lot more interesting.
The only bright spot in what appears to be a school year otherwise completely devoid of them is English. Because it looks as if our teacher, Ms. Martinez, might actually be enthusiastic about the subject. At least if this note she sent around to all of us last month is any indication:
A letter to all members of Ms. Martinez’s tenth grade English class:
I hope you don’t mind receiving a note from me before the new school year even starts, but as the newest teacher on the AEHS staff, I just wanted to introduce myself, as well as get to know all of you.
My name is Karen Martinez, and I graduated with a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Yale this spring. My hobbies include Rollerblading, tae bo, visiting the many wonderful sights of New York City, and reading (of course!) literary classics such as Pride and Prejudice.
I hope to get to know each and every one of you this year, and to aid me in doing so, I’m asking each of my students to come to our first class period prepared with a short biography as well as an expository writing sample (no longer than 500 words) on what you learned during your summer vacation. As you know, life’s lessons don’t stop during the summer months just because school is not in session!
I’m sorry to be assigning homework before classes even begin, but I assure you that this will aid me in helping you to become the best writer you can be!
Thanks very much, and enjoy the rest of your summer!
Clearly Ms. Martinez is extremely dedicated to her job. It’s about time AEHS finally got some teachers who actually care about their students—Mr. G excepted, of course.
Frank, I mean.
I am especially excited because Ms. Martinez is the new advisor to the school paper, on which I am a staff member. I really feel, judging by how much Ms. Martinez and I have in common—I really liked Pride and Prejudice, especially the version with Colin Firth—and I tried rollerblading once—that I’m going to benefit greatly from her teachings. I mean, being an aspiring author and all, it’s very important that my talent is appropriately molded, and I already feel confident that Ms. Martinez is going to be the Mr. Miyagi to my Karate Kid—writing-wise. Not, you know, karate-wise.
Still, it’s hard to figure out what to say in my bio, let alone my expository writing sample on what I learned this summer. Because what am I going to write? “Hello, my name is HRH Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo? You might have heard of me, on account of there’ve been a couple movies based on my life.”
Although to tell the truth, both of those movies took a lot of liberties with the facts. It was bad enough in the first one that they made my dad dead and Grandmère all nice and everything. Now, in the latest one, I supposedly broke up with Michael! Like that’s going to happen. That was entirely projection on the part of the movie studio, I guess to make the story more exciting, or something. As if my life isn’t exciting enough without any help from Hollywood.
Although I do have a lot in common with that Aragorn guy from The Return of the King. I mean, we’ve both had the mantle of sovereignty thrust upon us. I would much rather be a normal person than heir to a throne. I kind of got the feeling that Aragorn felt the same way.
Not that I don’t love the land over which I will one day rule. It’s just that it’s really boring to have to spend the better part of your summer with your dad and your grandma when you’d LIKE to be spending it with your new baby brother, not to mention your BOYFRIEND, who is starting COLLEGE in the fall.
Not that, you know, Michael is going AWAY to college or anything; he’s only going to Columbia, which is right in Manhattan, although it’s way uptown, way farther uptown than I usually go, except for that one time we went to Sylvia’s for fried chicken and waffles.
Anyway, I wrote the following bio for Ms. Martinez while I was still in Genovia last week. I hope that when she reads it she’ll recognize in my prose the soul of a fellow lover of writing:
From the Desk of
Princess Amelia Renaldo
by Mia Thermopolis
My name is Mia Thermopolis. I’m fifteen, a Taurus, heir to the throne of the principality of Genovia (population 50,000), and my hobbies include being taught how to be a princess by my grandmother; watching TV; eating out (or ordering in); reading; working for the AEHS newspaper, The Atom; and writing poetry. My future career aspiration is to be a novelist and/or a rescue dog handler (like when there’s an earthquake, to help find people trapped under rubble).
However, I will most likely have to settle for being Princess of Genovia (POG).
That was the easy part, really. The hard part was figuring out what to say about what I learned during my summer vacation. I mean, what DID I learn, anyway? I spent most of the month of June helping Mom and Mr. G adjust to having an infant in the house—which was a very difficult transition for them, since for so many years all inhabitants of our household were entirely bipedal (not counting my cat, Fat Louie). The introduction of a family member who will eventually—perhaps even for a year or more—get around mostly by crawling, made me acutely aware of the entirely unbaby-safe environment in which we live…although it didn’t seem to bother Mom and Mr. G so much.
Which is why I had to get Michael to help me install baby plugs in all of the outlets, and baby guards on all of our lower cabinet drawers—something Mom didn’t entirely appreciate, since she now has trouble getting out the salad spinner.
She’ll thank me one day though when she realizes that it’s entirely because of me that Rocky hasn’t gotten into any devastating salad spinner accidents.
When we weren’t busy baby-proofing the loft, Michael and I didn’t do much. I mean, there’s lots of things a couple deeply in love can do in New York City during the summer: boating on the lake in Central Park, carriage rides along Fifth Avenue, visiting museums and gazing upon great works of art, attending the opera on the Great Lawn, dining at outdoor cafés in Little Italy, et cetera.
However, all of these things can get quite expensive (unless you take advantage of student rates) except that whole opera-in-the-park thing, which is free, but you have to get there at like eight in the morning to stake out your place and even then those weird opera people are all territorial and yell at you if your blanket accidentally touches theirs. And besides, everyone in operas always dies and I hate that as much as the blanket thing.
And while it’s true that I am a princess, I am still extremely limited in the funds department, because my father keeps me on an absurdly small allowance of only twenty dollars a week, in the hopes that I will not become a party girl (like certain socialites I could mention) if I don’t have a lot of disposable income to spend on things like rubber miniskirts and heroin.
And although Michael got a summer job at the Apple Store in SoHo, he is saving all of his money for a copy of Logic Platinum, the music software program, so he can continue to write songs even though his band, Skinner Box, is on hiatus while its members scatter across the nation to attend various colleges and rehab clinics. He also wants a Cinema HD, a twenty-three-inch flat-panel display screen, to go with the Power Mac G5 he’s also hoping to buy, all of which he can get with his employee discount, but which all together will still cost as much as a single Segway Human Transporter, something I’ve been lobbying for my dad to buy me for some time now to no avail.
Besides, it’s no fun to go on a carriage ride through Central Park with your boyfriend and YOUR BODYGUARD.
So mostly when we weren’t at my place installing baby guards, we spent June just hanging out at Michael’s place, since then Lars could watch ESPN or chat with the Drs. Moscovitz, when they were not with patients or at their country home in Albany, while Michael and I concentrated on what was really important: making out and playing as much Rebel Strike as was humanly possible before being cruelly separated by my father on July 1 (which was at least an improvement over the June 1 DFG—departure for Genovia—date he’d tried to foist on me originally).
Sadly, that grim day rolled around all too quickly, and I was forced to spend the latter months of the summer in Genovia, where I saved the bay (at least, if all goes as planned) from being overrun by killer algae that were dumped into the Mediterranean by the Oceanographic Museum & Aquarium in next-door Monaco (even though they deny it. Just like they deny that Princess Stephanie was driving the car when she and her mom went over that cliff. Whatever.).
Which is what I ended up writing about. For Ms. Martinez, I mean. You know, about how I surreptitiously ordered (and charged to the offices of the Genovian defense ministry) and then released ten thousand Aplysia depilans marine snails into the Bay of Genovia after reading on the Internet that they are the killer algae’s only natural enemy.
I honestly don’t know why everybody got so angry about it. The algae were strangling the sea kelp that supports hundred of species in that bay! And those snails are as toxic as the algae, so it’s not like anything down there is going to eat them and throw off the existing food chain. They’ll die off naturally as soon as their only source of nutrients—the algae—is gone. And then the bay will be back to normal. So what’s the big deal?
Seriously, it’s as if they think I didn’t consider all this before I did it. It’s almost as if people don’t realize that I am not like a normal teen, concerned solely with partying and Jackass, but am actually Gifted, as well as Talented. Well, sort of.
I left out the part in my writing sample about how everybody got so mad about the snails, though. Still, I just know Ms. Martinez is going to be impressed. I mean, I used a lot of literary allusions and everything. Maybe, with her support, I might even get to write something other than the cafeteria beat on the school paper this year! Or start a novel and get it published, just like that girl I read about in the paper who wrote that scathing tell-all about the kids in her school, and now no one will talk to her and she has to go to school online or whatever.
Well, actually, I don’t think I’d like that.
But I wouldn’t mind not having to write about buffalo bites anymore.
Oh no, Lilly is IMing me again. Doesn’t she realize it is past eleven? I need to get my sleep in order to look my best for—
Huh. I was going to say for Michael. But I won’t even be seeing him at school tomorrow.
So what do I even care about how I look?