Once upon a time, in a far away land, being of royal blood lines and born a female made you a Princess. Then along came Walt Disney and his marketing crew who turned all female characters into princesses. The vernacular of the word has slowly changed from the original to a glamour glitzy long dress pretty nails up do hair kind of person. And note I didn’t say girl because it turns out guys can be a princess type as well. At work anyone who requires special gloves becomes a “princess” but please note that this is in a joking kind of way as often their need for special gloves and gowns comes from a latex issue. Here is a picture of Princess Jordan in his special attire.
My daily life seems to provide enough “subjects” to write about that I’m rarely at a loss for a blog post. I found the topic early today with our first little patient who had on princess socks, a princess sticker on her name band and was named after a Princess. She regaled me with princess tales and it is obvious my absorption of this culture has seriously decreased since I last had a little girl in my life. There were several moments where I just nodded and looked like, I hope, I knew who the heck she was talking about. As she drifted off to sleep I told her all about the princess who stole away to be a dragon slayer instead (and thanks to Robert Munsch for the inspiration for that story).
I know nothing of what it takes to be a princess but I do have a tiara. It was in a different era and it seems like a life time ago. You had better settle back as it’s a long story and there is only one picture to show from that time period.
I have no royal blood in my veins. My family hails from an agricultural background although I do have ties to England but that’s as close as it gets. I grew up on a mixed farm and was a tomboy (I had to explain to our little princess today what that was) through and through. I participated in 4-H as most rural youth do but not in the typical cooking and sewing classes. I always had a steer which I raised, showed and then sold for meat. It wasn’t as traumatic as urban people believe it to be as you are raised with an acute awareness of where food comes from. But I digress here so back to the story at hand. There are many aspects to 4-H and one of them is the reports that you do which requires you to speak in public. It turns out that I was a bit of a natural at this.
Now one must fast forward again just a few years to the point where my brother quit school at the age of 15 to go farming with my father. We did not have a large tract of land and some modifications were going to be required. We had always milked cows and had increased the numbers over the years but now the decision was made to specialize in dairy. At that time the Saskatchewan dairy industry was not a very large community, especially in the south part of the province. My dad was well acquainted with the dairy families around the Weyburn area and knew that one of their daughters competed in a provincial competition to became the Saskatchewan Dairy Princess. This role was that of a public spokesperson for the industry and there was no “beauty pageant” aspect. It was based on your knowledge of the dairy industry plus your ability to public speak and demonstrate the actual hands on technique of milking a cow.
As you can guess from the detail above, I went to this competition and in my first year was the runner-up. The second year, in the summer of 1976, I won and so spent parts of my last year in high school popping around the province to fairs, trade shows and exhibitions. My funniest story from that year centered around attending a banquet and sitting at the head table. I was not old enough to drink and the beverage set in front of me was a glass of milk. The ironic thing here is that I did not drink milk as I had been lactose intolerant as a child (a term not used then and one that required me to drink goat’s milk but that is a whole different story). I drank milk that night surrounded by all the top dairy men in the province!
I still have the tiara. Our daughter liked to play with it when she was little. I don’t often go around telling the story of my time as the Saskatchewan Dairy Princess. I always get the joke about being a Dairy Queen and people often think it’s some sort of beauty pageant title when they see the sash and the tiara. In reflecting upon this accomplishment I should recognize that it has stood me in good stead in various other aspects of my life.