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This week I wrote some interview answers for a book blog and two of the questions stuck in my mind. Firstly, ‘Does Prince Charming exist?’ My answer – ‘Absolutely not. This is why we turn to books’. Second question ‘What are your pet peeves?’ My answer – ‘When my husband doesn’t hang up the bath mat’. Aside from feeling a little guilty about airing my husband’s imperfections in public, I came to thinking, whilst putting away the washing, that the two answers are inextricably linked. Of course Prince Charming doesn’t exist, because he doesn’t have to concern himself with the subtle complexities of the modern domestic dwelling, meaning he doesn’t have the opportunity (although of course neither would he have the inclination) to do any of those things that rile us about the common man.
He has servants at the Fairy Castle to hang up the bathmat, that was probably hand stitched from some kind of rare cotton, to take the rubbish out, probably in rustic wicker baskets (they clearly don’t have plastic bin bags in Fairly Land, or any other kind of plastic packaging come to think of it) to a picturesque compost heap on the edge of a kitchen garden with beautiful raised beds and enchanting glass houses. And heaven forbid he should have to put the loo seat down himself - although come to think of it, I’m not sure Prince Charmings have to take comfort breaks at all, or if they do, you certainly should never speak of such things, a bit like the Queen, well, they’re almost from the same family, so I suppose that’s only right.
Anyway, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of wonderful men out there who have a number of the characteristics one would associate with a Prince Charming, however, unfortunately, the reality of real life is that it has a horrible tendency to blot perfection. So for all those girls out there, especially the ones in their late teens who are still clinging on to the blissful dream, where some rich, good looking, privately educated, preferably royal, successful, sporty, dance ready, polite, considerate man, who is besotted with you, is one day just going to waltz into your life, clad you in silks and tiaras and whisk you down the aisle, just keep reading the books. And whatever you do, at all costs, avoid Clapham High Street after about 11 o'clock on a Saturday night.