A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Weight: 1 lb
Method of Disposal: Leaving in Downtown Decatur
My rebellion against my assigned gender began when I was very young. The limitations and the rules about what I could and could not do as a girl where excessively frustrating to me. I called bullshit, and I was usually right to do so, but there were some times where I might have overcompensated. I was right in kindergarten to tear off my shirt despite my teachers’ protests and annoyance. We were changing our shirts, and the line for the girl’s restroom was ridiculous. The boys were just changing in the classroom and so would I, damn it. My temper tantrum over wanting to be a boy scout and not a brownie was semi-reasonable, but I probably would have had more fun if I had just rolled with it. Or if someone had explained to me that Brownies do more than bake desserts. That was information I needed. I might have been too busy bitching to hear that explanation from my mom.
It was no different when my parents handed my A Little Princess. I was aggravated. I hated princesses. I hated the girl’s bonnet and fur trimmed coat on the cover. I hated the doll the girl held in some of the pictures. Did my parents know me at all? Turns out, as per usual, they knew (know) me better than I knew (know) myself. I fell in love with the book. It was magical. And the girl was not a feeble-minded, weak, girl-child. She had some tomboy in her, like myself.
This is the exact copy I was given all those years ago. It still has an old bookmark, a $3.00 bill I made for my imaginary town, Snow Town, where I lived as a penguin with my wife who was also a penguin. My name was Tux and hers was Peppy. Magical. It will be hard to let this one go.