Valentine princess, p.3

Valentine Princess, page 3

 part  #9 of  Princess Diaries Series


Valentine Princess

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  Except that this is a lie because surgery in Victorian times was almost always fatal, and if women really HAD had their eleventh and twelfth ribs removed in pursuit of an eighteen-inch waist, they’d have died on the operating table.

  I’ll admit, it WAS kind of hard to eat my veggie burger after that. I can’t wait until her self-mutilation episode is done.

  But she still has the Michael Jackson segment to finish.

  Anyway, while we were sitting there, who should come up but Judith Gershner, the girl I used to think Michael was in love with. Even though now I know they were just friends, I still feel twinges of jealousy about ol’ Judith. I mean, she is super smart.

  And her boobs are HUGE.

  “Michael, you know science fair apps are due today, right?” Judith asked him.

  And Michael practically choked on his spaghetti and meatballs and was all, “I forgot!” and Judith was like, “Well, you’d better get your application in by the end of fifth period, or you won’t qualify for regionals, and then I won’t be able to kick your butt in them,” and Michael was all, “I’m on it,” and grabbed his backpack.

  “Gotta go,” he said to me. “You can have my Yodels if you want.”

  Which was particularly nice of him because he really could have taken the Yodels with him. But he knows how much I love them.

  And okay, it isn’t a Valentine, but it’s pretty darn close.

  “He’d lose his head if it wasn’t attached to his body,” Judith said with a sigh, reaching for Michael’s abandoned garlic bread. Which I thought was kind of rude. Not that she was eating his garlic bread, but her implication that Michael isn’t very organized. Because he totally is. Well, more than me, anyway.

  “Of course the whole thing was started by Hippocrates,” we both overheard Lilly saying, “who maintained that the body’s humors could be rebalanced by bloodletting, blistering, or purging by vomiting or anal purgatives.”

  “Ewwww,” said Tina and Boris, at the same time.

  “Wow,” Judith said, impressed. “I should eat lunch with you guys more often.”

  “It’s for her TV show,” I explained.

  “Oh,” Judith said, chewing. “Groovalicious.”

  It kind of surprised me that she would just sit down and start eating Michael’s lunch like that. I mean, hello, he had BITTEN that piece of garlic bread. I don’t mind Michael’s germs, but it surprised me that Judith, who isn’t even his girlfriend, wouldn’t mind them, either.

  And then I started wondering if there was a REASON she didn’t mind them. Like, that maybe she had a crush on Michael or something. Even though supposedly she’s seeing some guy from Trinity.

  But then, you think a lot of crazy things when you’re watching some other girl eat your boyfriend’s garlic bread.

  So I was like, all conversationally, “So what are you doing for Valentine’s Day, Judith?”

  And she was all, “Valentine’s Day? Are you kidding me? Do people even celebrate that anymore?”

  And I looked pointedly around the cafeteria, the walls of which were completely plastered with pink and red hearts and doilies, courtesy of the Pep Club.

  “Oh,” Judith said, following the direction of my gaze. “Right. Well, I don’t know. I guess my boyfriend and I will grab something to eat somewhere. I don’t know.”

  “Is apathy toward Valentine’s Day inherent in the senior class, or something?” I asked. “Because Michael has sort of the same attitude about it.”

  “Well,” Judith said. “I mean, it is kind of lame. It’s like a holiday designed to make you feel bad about yourself. If you do have someone, and they don’t get you a Valentine, you feel like crap. And then if you don’t have anybody, it’s like you’re an even bigger loser. So basically, you have to get a card for everyone you know, but then it basically has no meaning, and the people who benefit most are the ones at Hallmark. Personally, I think everybody should just opt out.”

  Opt out? Opt out of Cupids holding Be Mine banners and I Choo-choo-choose You train engine Valentines and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate with gooey unidentifiable things in the middle and little candy hearts that taste like chalk but say stuff like U R Hot on them?

  Is she insane???? Is EVERYONE insane?

  Thursday, February 13, French

  Mia—Have you talked to Michael about Valentine’s Day yet???—Tina

  No. I mean, what’s the point? He really doesn’t believe in it. And Lilly says he thinks people who do are simple-minded schmos.

  That’s probably just because he’s s never had a happy one! It’s up to you to show him that Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful time, full of fun and romance!

  Yeah, I’m not so sure about that, Tina. I think I may just kind of forget the whole thing this year.

  Aw! Well, if you want to come over to watch a Valentine movie marathon all night with me and Lilly and Ling Su, you’re totally welcome to. I’m trying to get Shameeka to come, but, you know. She’s got a Valentine’s Day date.

  What movies are you guys watching?

  The best Valentine movies ever!



  (Guaranteed to cheer you up whether you have a Valentine to snuggle up with or not)

  Breakfast at Tiffany’s—Glamorpuss Holly Golightly is a beautiful party girl who doesn’t believe people—or cats—should belong to anyone. Can the cute boy in the apartment next door change all that? Favorite scene: when Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard go looking for Cat in the pouring rain.

  Funny Face—Frumpy and bookish, Jo Stockton is hardly supermodel material…but photographer Fred Astaire sees the swan beneath the ugly duckling, and soon Jo is in Paris on a whirlwind fashion shoot in which she ends up losing her heart. Favorite scene: when Audrey Hepburn gets all the new clothes!

  Sabrina—Tomboyish Sabrina fears she’ll always be just the chauffeur’s daughter to rich employer David Larrabee…until a makeover transforms her into a chic fashion plate. Favorite scene: when Audrey Hepburn tells William Holden she’s named her poodle David!

  Charade—Pretty new widow Reggie discovers that her husband has stolen a fortune, and every cad in town—including Cary Grant—thinks she knows where he’s hidden it. Favorite scene: when Audrey Hepburn points at the cleft in Cary Grant’s chin and wonders aloud, “How do you shave in there?”

  My Fair Lady—Pretty flower seller Eliza Doolittle finds herself at the center of a love triangle between the professor who’s taught her how to act like a lady and the young gentleman who’s fallen in love with her. Favorite scene: when Audrey Hepburn goes to the ball.

  Um, wow, Tina. That sounds like a pretty good marathon. But you do realize, don’t you, that all of those movies star Audrey Hepburn?

  Of course! Why shouldn’t they? She’s the greatest star who ever lived!

  Well! Good to know! And save some popcorn for me. I may just join you.

  YAY!!!! I mean, it’s not that I WANT you and Michael to break up—I don’t want you to start going out with some Leo Boy we don’t even know. You and Michael were so meant for each other—just like Justin and Britney!!!! But it will be more fun if you can come.

  Thanks, Tina. I know what you mean. Aren’t Britney and Justin just the cutest? They really are so destined for each other. Sigh.


  Oh, Michael, can’t you see

  You and me were meant to be?

  Just like Britney’s got her Justin

  For you I will always be lustin’.

  You’re the best I ever had—

  I’m your Jennifer, you’re my Brad.

  Thursday, February 13, limo on the way home from the Plaza


  Princess lessons were canceled for the day because NO ONE CAN FIND MY GRANDMOTHER!


  Well, okay, not really. I mean, I don’t think anyone is holding her for ransom. Because if they were, we’
d probably have heard from them already, begging us to please take her off their hands. I truly pity anyone who would try to kidnap Grandmère. First of all, they would probably choke to death from all the secondhand smoke. And if that didn’t finish them off, all the criticizing of their kidnapping technique would make them WISH they were dead.

  “I have never seen such slipshod handling of an automatic weapon! What’s wrong with you? Do you take no pride in your work? A monkey would make a better kidnapper than you!”

  Except that I’m pretty sure she hasn’t been kidnapped. According to her maid, Dr. Steve came to fetch her after breakfast this morning, and the two of them have been gone all day.

  But there’ve been periodic spottings: They were seen on the Today Show, being interviewed by Katie Couric about Dr. Steve’s prediction that Prince Charles will give up the throne in order to be allowed to marry Camilla Parker Bowles. And then later they showed up on Maury, where Dr. Steve correctly guessed that the real father of a girl named Tiffany’s baby was not her husband, Roy, but her husband’s son from a previous marriage, Jimmy. Dr. Steve then correctly guessed that Roy would punch Jimmy, which he promptly did.

  I wonder if I should call my dad. I mean, this is just not normal. Not the incestuous nature of Tiffany’s love life, but the whole Grandmère thing. Grandmère NEVER misses a princess lesson, if she can help it. What other joys does she have in life, besides torturing me for two or three hours? Except for smoking and swilling Sidecars, of course? Oh, and shopping?

  On the other hand, if I call Dad, he’ll just find some way to pry Grandmère away from Dr. Steve, and I’ll have princess lessons again. What am I, crazy? I don’t want to spend any more afternoons learning diplomatic protocol than I have to.

  But I kind of don’t want to just sit back and let Grandmère make a giant fool of herself over a guy. Especially a guy who might turn out to be a Svengali-David Koresh-Fundamentalist-Mormon-Rasputin type. Remember what happened to the Romanov girls! And Grandmère doesn’t wear diamonds on her corsets like they did, so the bullets won’t exactly bounce off and ricochet around the room before finally nailing her in the forehead, like they did Anastasia.

  Wow, this is, like, a real problem. I really have to think about it. Am I going to be unselfish and rat Grandmère out for her own good? Or selfish and just let her crash and burn?


  Thursday, February 13, the loft

  So I just asked Mom what she would do if a “friend” was making a really bad mistake—would she mind her own business, or tell her what she thought?

  And Mom was like, “Mia, is Lilly doing drugs? What kind of drugs? Tell me now. You know, two girls down at NYU died last weekend from doing ecstasy—”

  “Whoa. Mom. No. It’s not drugs.”

  “Oh,” Mom says, blinking. “Well, then what kind of mistake do you mean?”

  But by then I was so freaked I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. So I just told her Lilly was thinking about getting her nose pierced, and Mom was like, “Oh my God, that is so 1998,” and said she was surprised Lilly would do something so mainstream, but then observed that Lilly might actually look good with a little diamond in her nostril.

  Parents. Seriously.

  But then before I could escape to my room Mom was like, “What are you and Michael planning on doing tomorrow night for Valentine’s Day, honey?”

  And I practically burst into tears.

  I don’t know what came over me. You’d have thought I was the pregnant one.

  Anyway, I guess she heard my voice break when I said, “Nothing. Michael doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day,” since she said, all sympathetically, “Well, just because he doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to stop believing in it, too.”

  And I was like, “Yeah, but if I give him a Valentine, he’s going to think I’m a giant dork.”

  And Mom was all, “Oh, honey, Michael would never think anything you did was dorky. He adores you.”

  “Yeah, but how lame is it to give a Valentine to someone you KNOW isn’t going to give you one back?”

  “I don’t think it’s lame at all,” Mom said. “In fact, I think that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about—giving without expecting anything in return. That’s true love, if you ask me.”


  You know what? For once, I think my mom is right. I don’t care what Michael thinks—I’m giving him a Valentine. And if he laughs at me, he laughs at me.

  But at least I’ll be doing what I want for a change, instead of what everyone EXPECTS from me.

  Friday, February 14, Algebra

  I haven’t given it to him yet. I wanted to give it to him first thing this morning, in the limo. But stupid Lilly wouldn’t stop talking about how ninety percent of breast implants rupture over time, and how if you’re going to get breast implants you need to be prepared to periodically have them replaced or removed, like Pam Anderson.

  Which isn’t exactly the kind of romantic setting you want when you are about to give someone a Valentine you were up half the night making.

  Still, I’ve already gotten one Valentine—my mom got up early and made me heart-shaped pancakes! I couldn’t believe it.

  And okay, maybe it is kind of pathetic that my only Valentine so far is from my mom.

  But at least I’ve gotten one!

  And I’ve given one, too…to Lars. It’s a card I bought at Ho’s Deli when he wasn’t looking. I couldn’t resist, because it has a picture of a heart holding an automatic rifle on the front, and then when you open it, it says, Valentine…I’m gunning for you! inside.

  I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that Lars got a little teary-eyed over it. He may be six and a half feet of unadulterated, Israeli Army–trained muscle. But inside that size forty-four chest, my bodyguard is just a big softy.

  I don’t know when I’m going to give Michael his Valentine. He has a make-up Computer Club meeting today at lunch, and then I won’t see him again, unless I go over to his place after school—providing princess lessons are canceled again (I’m calling ahead this time).

  Please, please let Grandmère’s midlife crisis, or whatever this is, be continuing! (As long as she doesn’t get hurt, of course. Figuratively or literally.)

  Friday, February 14, Health and Safety

  OH MY GOD. What did he give you?


  Seriously. Just show me.

  SHUT UP!!!!!

  Come on. What is it? I want to see!!!!!

  Lilly. No. Pay attention. We are learning a very important lesson today about genital warts. I would think you, in particular, would be fascinated by this subject.


  Here. Satisfied????



  It isn’t funny!!!! He did it right in front of Michael!!!!

  Well, good. There’s nothing wrong with letting my brother know he has a little competition.

  Michael doesn’t have any competition for my affections! He knows I only like Kenny as a friend.

  Yeah, but does KENNY know that?

  I’ve only told him, like, 900,000,000 times. Oh, God, why did he DO that????

  Because he looooooves you. What did the card say? Bee my Valentine. And there’s a picture of a bee.

  MWA HA HA HA! Give me one.

  No! They’re mine!

  Oh, COME ON. You don’t even like cream-filled chocolate.

  I do, too!

  You do not. You only like the crunchy toffee ones. Come on, fork one over.

  Go get your own stalker to give you candy. Kenny’s mine.


  Ha! You’re one to talk.

  What do you mean by that?


  No, seriously. Why am I selfish?

  What are you going to do if Boris gives you a Valentine’s Day gift
? A really nice one?

  He wouldn’t dare. We already talked about it. And I told him I’m opposed to Valentine’s Day on ethical grounds.

  Yeah, well, you Moscovitzes might think you can tell people what to do. But some of us have minds of our own.

  What is THAT supposed to mean?


  You’re psycho. Almost as psycho as your grandmother. Who I saw on David Letterman last night with some creepy astrologist who was going on about how Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are going to get together. Like THAT’s ever going to happen. I mean, Tom’s WAY too old for Joey!!!!

  Okay. I seriously have to do something about Grandmère. This is getting out of control.

  Well, maybe just one more day…

  Friday, February 14, Lunch

  Tina just reminded me of something I forgot: KENNY SHOWALTER IS A LEO!!!!


  Friday, February 14, G&T

  Lunch was totally magical today!!!!

  Okay, first of all, Tina and I were in front of Lana in the lunch line again, and while we were standing there, Lana’s cell phone rang, and she answered it, and was all, “Oh, hi, Josh,” in this gross syrupy voice.

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