I started off my day, as I often do, by spending a few hours cleaning house and doing laundry. Around 12:30, after lunch, I sat down to check my Facebook feed and get caught up on my Reddit posts.
The first thing that came up on my feed hit me like a punch to the stomach. Carrie Fisher had passed away this morning and I felt tears well up in my eyes.
You see, growing up, I was (as kids often are) sometimes thrown into situations where I was told to go to play with the other kids because Mommy was trying to do this adult thing that had nothing to do with me and probably would’ve bored the pants off me.
If there were girls (and there usually were), they would often band together and want to play games that they said only girls could play. House. Dress up. And sometimes…Princess. While other girls wanted to be Snow White or Cinderella or Princess Diana, I always wanted to be Princess Leia because she was kind of a bad ass. I remember being told that Princess Leia wasn’t a REAL princess because she didn’t have a crown and she only had the one pretty dress (the white floor length robe number from Episode IV) and she got DIRTY (which was OK when Cinderella did it, but not when anybody else did apparently). And she shot GUNS. And ran around in the woods with adorably freaky little teddy bear things. Eew. AND she loved Han Solo, who definitely did NOT fit the definition of a Prince Charming.
But she was MY princess. She was tough and feminine all at the same time, when I’d been taught you could be one but not the other. Being one thing (feminine) automatically meant you couldn’t be the other thing (tough). They were simply incompatible. And that always confused me because I wanted to be BOTH. Because Princess Leia was both and she was still cool. At least to me.
After I finished reading my Facebook feed, I checked our library’s website to see if the original trilogy (I won’t even THINK about watching that bullshit that is Episodes I-III. Nope. Just not gonna do it) was on the shelf. It was..in Blu-Ray even. I got down there and snatched them off the shelf, tears in my eyes. As I was checking out, Marion (who’s been a librarian at our library for freaking ever) saw me and asked what was wrong.
“You’ve been at work all day so I assume you probably haven’t heard.” I said, a tear rolling down my face. She handed me a Kleenex and I wiped my eyes.
“No..I haven’t.” she replied, looking a bit puzzled.
“Carrie Fisher died this morning.” I told her and explained about the heart attack she’d had only a few days ago. “Goddammit. This year can just go screw itself with a flaming pineapple.” I muttered as I wiped my eyes again and Marion gave me a hug.
We have lost so many great artists, so many talented writers, singers, songwriters and actors this year it’s fucking ridiculous. I can only hope that next year isn’t nearly as bad because I don’t know that I can take another loss right now.
May whatever deity you believe in bless and comfort your family, Carrie. Thank you for being the kind of princess that proves you can be incredibly tough and incredibly feminine at the same time. Thank you for being MY kind of princess.