Once upon a time, the Princess asked the Queen to read her homework essay. The Queen read all three pages and pronounced it royally sufficient.
“Just sufficient?” the Princess asked.
“No. It was good.” the queen responded.
“Good or very good?”
“Very good. You answered the questions given. Your thesis was strong. Your choice of evidence was excellent. Maybe there were one of two sentences that could be tighter, but over all- a very good essay.”
The Queen scrolls down the essay and locates the slightly wordy sentences. The Princess quickly readjusts them.
“Now is it good?” the princess asks.
“It was good before. Now it’s better.”
“I thought you said it was great?”
“It’s great. It’s outstanding. It’s the best paper ever on this question. Your teacher will be extolling the virtues of this paper for years to come.”
“You’re just saying that because you’re my Mom.”
The next day we find the Queen at the not so regally located tennis courts where the Princess and her teammates play their home matches. The Princess and her doubles partner have just lost a really tough match, 10-8. The princess approaches the Queen.
“Nice match” the Queen says.
“We lost.” the Princess responds.
“I know. But it was close.”
“What could we have done better?”
“You made some bonehead moves.” the Queen says.
“No man’s land. You guys sort of moved in.” (for those who do not know/play tennis- no man’s land is the area between the service line and the base line- you really don’t want to be stuck there as the opponent is returning the ball- almost impossible to recover a shot when you are there)
“We weren’t there that much.”
“My God – you could be nice to me. All you ever do is criticize me. You’re my mom. You’re supposed to tell me I’m great.”
The Queen walked away shaking her head. She would never understand teenagers. Scratch that. She didn’t want to understand teenagers. And she walked off to the not so regal subway to go home to prepare the royal banquet.
They still lived happily ever after…..