Most people have heard the classic tale of Cinderella. The poor young girl who was made into a slave by her step-mother and step-sisters. It was made into a movie by Disney and became wildly popular. I know my daughter loved the princess movies and this one in particular.
By a wild stroke of luck, I was able to interview the real Cinderella. I don’t know why her spirit picked me to tell the story, but I won’t complain about the stroke of luck. Maybe, it’s because I have always gagged at the sticky-sweet falling in love at first glance crap in the stories. Or, maybe it’s because I got frustrated with the whole you must be beautiful or incredibly handsome to deserve love theory that seems to prevail in the stories. She just suddenly appeared in my room as I was preparing for bed last night.
I will attempt to write down the story as she dictates it. You will be surprised and amazed at how the story has changed over the years.
“First of all, my name is not Cinderella. It is Cindy Rella.” Cindy says as she makes herself comfortable on the couch. “At some point, the name changed. I guess it’s not important to most, but it is important to me. I will be brief with the story and skip the boring parts. I just want to make a few points clear.
It is true that my mother died when I was fairly young and that my father remarried shortly after. I have a strong suspicion that my father and step-mother were seeing each other before my mother died. But, I suppose that doesn’t matter now and I can’t prove a thing, so I will move on.
My father was gone a lot. I mean, almost all of the time. I have no idea where he was or what he did, but he was gone 95% of the time. Maybe things would have been different had he been there, but maybe not. He was a weak man and my step-mother ran the place. He did as he was told.
A very big misconception is that I was beautiful and my step-sisters ugly. Nothing could be further from the truth. As you can see, I am not much to look at. I’m just average. My step-mother and step-sisters were beauties. I never really cared too much about that, though, as I judge people by their actions and words more than their looks. But, again, this is not an important thing to dwell upon, so I will move on.
It is true, I was made to clean and wait on my family as if I were a slave instead of a family member. My step-mother hated me. Not because of my looks, but because I was sole heir of my father’s money. Of course, she only married my father for his money and she had no luck in persuading him to rewrite his will to leave her his fortune should he perish. That was the only thing my father ever put his foot down for. He knew I would need something to live on after he died.
I don’t know why I put up with all of it. I suppose there was little choice, things being what they were back then. Women didn’t have the choices they have now. I did my best to keep things clean and the household moving along. My step-sisters would act as if they despised me in the presence of their mother, but when she wasn’t around, we were on good speaking terms. Their meanness was just all for show. They were scared to get on her bad side. We had some good times after she went to bed.
Everything was going okay for the most part until that damn invitation to the Prince’s ball arrived. My step-mother went completely mental after that. She was so determined that one of her daughter’s would marry Prince Charming (his real names was Charles, by the way), that she turned into a real maniac. She grilled them over and over on local news and politics. She made them take dance lessons and even hired someone to come in and make sure their social skills were perfect. My step-sisters didn’t even want to go. They had no interest in a life as a princess, but what could they do?
I decided I wanted to go, too. After all, the invitation was for all females between the ages of 16 and 18. I was 17 at the time and well over the age to get married. I was determined to go.
This is where the story is very different from that Disney cartoon. I did not in any way, shape or form, have mice friends that I chatted with! That is just strange. I killed the mice I saw in our home! Why in the world would I be confiding in rodents? There also was NO fairy god mother. Where did that come from? Honestly, I wonder what the person was drinking when they decided to write my life story! I made it all happen. It was me!
I stayed up nights sewing a new dress. I made sure I got all chores done on time and kept a good attitude so my step-mother’s attention would not be on me. My step-sisters let me borrow jewelry and other accessories to go with my new dress. I did not have a carriage and horses made from mice and pumpkins! The Rella family was quite wealthy and we had a couple of carriages and a nice wagon. I used the other carriage. So, the night of the ball, I waited until everyone was gone and I got myself ready. I had one of our employees take me in the spare carriage to the ball. It was as simple as that. No magic, no Fairy God Mother, just a girl who was determined to get to the ball.
It was beautiful! Everyone was dressed their best and I did enjoy watching all of the dancing. I avoided my step-mother. The last thing I needed was for her to see me. My step-sisters saw me and we exchanged a few giggles and winks. They were wonderful. A few young men asked me to dance and I was having a great time.
It was late before the prince even made an appearance. I thought that odd, but I didn’t know much about royal procedures so I figured this must be protocol. When he was announced, the whole place quieted down and all attention was on Prince Charles. I admit, he was a dashing figure in his royal attire. I just happened to be very close to where he made his entrance so I had a great view. As he was walking by me, the girl behind me tried to push foreword to get his attention. All she succeeded in doing was to push me smack dab into the prince! I was so embarrassed and stuttered and stammered trying to utter an appropriate apology.
To my surprise, he thought the whole thing funny. He also asked me for the first dance. We danced several times during the evening. I found him easy to talk to and we enjoyed each other’s company immensely.
It’s not surprising that my step-mother saw that whole incident, and saw me dancing with the prince! I was having so much fun, I had completely forgotten about her. As the clock struck midnight, she was suddenly there and grabbing my arm. She started screaming at me to leave at once! There were threats of what was to come after we arrived home.
I didn’t normally scare easily, but I was scared then. I fled the building, running as fast as I could in the shoes I was wearing. Halfway down the huge flight of stairs outside the entry, I stopped and took off the damn shoes, dropping one in the process. I was so terrified, I didn’t notice the missing shoe until I was almost home.
Needless to say, my life was hell for a few days after that. My step-mother was furious and I paid the price of that fun night. It was worth it, though! I would do it all over again.
About a week after the ball, we were shocked to find the prince at our door. He had tracked me down! My step-mother was mad, but had to be polite and put up with the fact that he preferred me over her daughters. The prince and I spent a lot of time together after that, and yes, we did marry.
Married life can be good and it can be hard. We had our ups and downs, but all in all, I have to admit we did live happily ever after”
Cindy Rella’s spirit stopped there and appeared to be lost in her memories. I didn’t know if I should disrupt her or not. She finally shook her head as if to clear her thoughts and smiled.
“And there you have it, the real story. Please let everyone know how it really was. I was just a young, sad and lonely girl. I had a lucky break and found my one true love. It didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen. Thank you for listening.”
She waved as she slowly disappeared.
I smiled and prepared for bed. Now, that is a fairy tale I can live with.
I decided to write this because of a post I read here. It was fun!