Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Mean Princess and the Ring

I came home and asked my siblings, what must one do to look more appreciative? What must one do to make the people around her know and feel that she is happy with them when words don't seem to be enough?

Their unanimous answer: smile.

Fake it, my mother said. Smiles, fake or not, will release endorphins. And so after you fake-smile, it becomes a real smile.

Bite a pen, my brother said. Do that Japanese smile exercise where you bite a pen horizontally so that your cheeks will get used to it. And eventually, you'll do it naturally.

Wear a ring, my sister said. Do you remember the story of the mean princess and the ring? It made me smile just thinking about it. I don't even remember the title. But I remember the story. Let me tell it to you.

There was a princess who was known to be mean and ill-tempered throughout her kingdom. She didn't like herself very much. And she felt ugly and unattractive. Then one day, an old lady came to her and said she had a spell to make her beautiful. She gave the princess a ring and told her to smile at the ring three times a day. At first, the princess didn't believe her and didn't want to do it. But her subjects urged her to try. There was no harm in trying anyway. So she did. Hidden, at first. Then she started to do it more openly. And more than three times, eventually. Then after a time, she didn't need the ring anymore. She was beautiful.

Maybe I'll wear the old woman's ring tomorrow.

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