Monday, July 14, 2014

I Want To Be A Princess Now!

Maybe we can blame Disney for this one. But what little girl doesn't say she wants to be a princess?
Actually, not just little girls have that pipe dream.

And while I am the first person to tell you that you should absolutely always follow your dreams, approach adversity with tenacity, and strive to create your own opportunities, I question if the childhood dream of being a princess is really the one you should be going after. No matter how perfect Kate Middleton's wedding and life seems. (Seriously, can she just have one bad hair day to make me feel better?)
But the tale of the world's newest little princess isn't about a girl dreaming that someday her prince will come. It's more of a story about an over-indulgent father who literally searched the ends of the earth to get his daughter what she wants.
I thought Willy Wonka warned us about behavior like this?
Well, despite (hopefully) knowing that meeting the demands of children is really a bad idea, a father from Virginia made his daughter a princess of a patch of land in Africa he claimed by placing a flag on it for her seventh birthday. For my seventh birthday, I had a My Little Pony party. But whatever, I'm sure my dad loves me too.
As reported in The Washington Post,  Jeremiah Heaton, father of three, promised his daughter she could be a princess. So as to not be a liar, he took to google to find out how he could make this so. He began searching for "terra nullius," which is Latin for "land that belongs to no one," to find some unclaimed land. This led him to learn of Bir Tawil which is an area halfway between where the Nile crosses into Sudan and Egypt's coast along the Red Sea that has had an on-going border dispute between Sudan and Egypt leaving it to be unclaimed territory. So he headed over to Africa, with the flag that he and his kids designed, and planted it into the land to claim it. Yes, he "Columbused" it.
And in claiming the land, he is King, making his daughter, Princess, earning him a lifetime of hugs and kisses and high expectations to meet. I hope this loving fool realizes that his little princess is also going to want a pony, a Porsche, and Loubitans.
Now, in order to make this all legit, he is going to have to obtain legal recognition from the neighboring countries, the United Nations, or other groups to have actual political control of the land he is calling the "Kingdom of North Sudan." And just how will this average joe from Virginia deal in world politics? Well, don't worry, he is experienced in local politics as he ran for Congress in his state in 2012. Despite losing that election, I'm sure he'll do fine dealing with getting the Middle East on board with his Father of the Year plan. The politics in that area of the world have historically dealt with issues of land ownership so reasonably. 
This is all ridiculous. And yet, I'm now finding myself questioning why on earth it never occurred to me, in all my googling, to find some "terra nullius" to claim and declare myself royalty. There are a lot of balls I could have been attending.

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