Once upon a time, there lived a Princess. This Princess had lived her life fairly effortlessly, but she had some self esteem issues. She didn’t realize that she was basically a decent person, so she was always trying to prove her worth. She always tried to be nice to people and went out of her way to help others, but not out of a sense of altruism, but because she felt she needed to, so people would like her. She did not feel worthy on the inside- she was looking for validation from external sources.
One day the Princess met a Court Jester. He was not a nice person. Most people did not like him. He was smart, but arrogant. He was attractive, but did not take care of himself. He was quiet, but not shy. He thought everyone around him were his inferiors. He drank way too much. He did way too many drugs. Of course, the Princess thought this would be an excellent project.
The Princess saw all the bad qualities that the Jester possessed. But she kept thinking, if only he would change, he could be a great person. He has all the positive attributes one needs in the world, he just needs to change. And she kept thinking – he just needs to change, and she was the one person in the world that could make this possible.
And the Kingdom laughed. Because the Kingdom knew that people don’t change just because the Princess wants them to.
But the Princess kept on dating him. And married him. And she kept trying to change him. She made sure his clothes were always clean. She made sure he had grooming necessities. But he did not care. He still left his beautiful clothes in a pile on the floor. He still let his hair get unfashionably long.
She told him he needed to stop drinking. She would pour bottles of alcohol down the sink. He just bought more. With her money. He laughed at her and told her she was useless. But she still tried. Because if he would only stop drinking, he would have a great life. Couldn’t he see that she was going to make a great life for them?
She ignored the sight of him drunk on the toilet, sleeping against the wall. She ignored the cigarette burns on the floor of the den. Because he was going to change. Because she wanted him to change.
What the poor, sheltered Princess didn’t realize was that people don’t change if they don’t want to. She didn’t realize that the change has to come from within one’s self, that the jester was never going to change because she wanted him to. She didn’t realize how sad she had become.
The Princess had money. She had a nice car. She had made a pretty apartment and had beautiful clothes. The Princess had all the things she had ever wanted. She didn’t understand why she was so sad- because she had everything.
One night, a fairy godmother appeared in her dreams. (Another version says that it was a pea under the mattress, but we’re sticking with fairy godmother.) FG told the Princess that she needed to change. Yes- the Princess needed to change her thoughts and actions, because the Jester was NEVER going to change his. The Princess didn’t deserve to be sad and unhappy all the time. The Princess felt conflicted at first- to leave the marriage would be to admit failure- she had failed to make the Jester into a Prince. She had wasted so much time and energy on this person…..Was leaving her only option? Was walking out the door the only thing that would make the Princess happy again?
Yes. The Princess realized that yes, leaving was the only possible solution. The Princess had to pack her pretty car with her pretty clothes and her cat, and the Princess had to flea the dungeon that she had been living in. She unlocked the chains that kept her shackled to this farce of a marriage, and walked across the drawbridge to a different kingdom.
And she lived happily ever after.