Once upon a time there was a princess who felt terribly lonely. Though she was surrounded by family and friends every day a dull pain would constantly distract her, growing into a stabbing of the heart late at night when alone. She cooped many years with her feelings of loneliness but after some time grew tired of baring it. Approaching her father and mother she asked for her solace to end; quite simply, to be married. Her parents were surprised, previously unaware of their daughter’s feelings. Approving of her wish they sent notice as far and wide as they could, telling all the princes of the news. The princess would travel from kingdom to kingdom until she found a prince she would be happy with. Excited her plight could finally come to an end she packed for the trip eagerly and was on her way within a week.
The first kingdom she visited was close by, less than a day’s ride from her home. There lived a prince she was familiar with. They were childhood friends in fact. The princess didn’t see the prince romantically but decided to feel out every plausible option just in case. The courting went as she expected. The two had a pleasant lunch and walked through the gardens the span of the afternoon. Though the prince did give it a good go the princess felt nothing more than friendly affection for the young man. She left early next morning to continue her search.
Months passed with little success. At one time she thought she’d fallen in love with one particularly handsome prince but soon found out they had very different opinions on tax reform. The maids told her she was far too picky—she would be wise to pick a prince of decent looks who she could stand to spend a few hours with everyday to settle on. It was the only way to ensure a secure future. The princess knew it was what was expected, but no matter how badly the pain came to her at night she could not bring herself to settle. Still she traveled, and still she found nothing. Every prince was too boring, too childish, too tall, too short, too skinny, too wide, too dumb, too smart, or just plain old too different for the princess to truly like. The pain at night in her heart grew steadily worse until she thought for sure she would die for how hard sleep came to her.
Many months passed. Unable to sleep and in a foreign land far from home she decided to walk about the small town her caravan had stopped in for the night to find a place open and serving food. She found a small tavern on a pleasant enough side street well lit and moderately populated. She sat at a table and moped about her situation with a drink. The chair across her became occupied as a smiling young man sat down. “Hello,” he started. “I saw you sitting alone and thought you might like some company. My name’s Paul.” The princess remained silent, eyeing the man.
“I suppose you’re a prince?” The princess took his hand in a delicate sort of way.
The man looked curious and shook his head. “Afraid not. I own this tavern.”
“Oh.” The princess opened her eyes wide.
“So what brings you here?”
“Ah,” she begins. “It’s a bit embarrassing actually.”
“Embarrassing isn’t necessarily bad.” He said.
“You’ll think I’m childish.” She insisted.
“Maybe. But I won’t stop talking to you because of it.”
The princess thought a moment before caving. “Alright. I’m traveling from place to place to find a husband.
“A husband?” The man raised his eyebrows.
“A man I love more like.” The princess confessed. “You see, I’ve never been in love and I’m terribly lonely because of it. I want to be married so I won’t be lonely anymore.”
“You’re right, it is childish.” The man laughed. “Let me buy you a drink.” An hour later the two were intoxicated, significantly enough to have an open discussion on romance. “I mean,” the man slurred is words. “You can’t just marry a guy because your lonely. It makes you look desperate.”
“But I am desperate.” The princess whined. “You don’t know what it’s like to lay in bed every night cold and alone.”
“Course I do,” the man corrected. “That’s what I do every night.”
“Do you?” The princess asked. “Well, you should get married too!” She exclaimed.
“I don’t know. I can’t seem to find a girl I can get along with. When you marry someone you have to spend a lot of time together, right?”
“Right.” The princess nodded her head in an exaggerated manner.
“But every girl I meet never has the time! They want to marry right away and won’t bother with a guy like me who wants to take the time of day to know: will I still like you ten years from now?”
“You know what?” The princess slurred, sitting tilted in her chair. She tried pointing to the man across from her but found there were three instead of one. “We should get married.”
“We should?” The man asked, eyes half closed.
“Yes.” The princess insisted. “We have an understanding.”
“That we do.”
“We enjoy each other’s company.”
“We’re not getting any younger.”
“So why not?”
“Why not is the question. Let us be married!” The man poured two new drinks for celebration.
“A toast to us.” The princess raised her glass.
“Here here!” They drained their drinks and spent the rest of the night planning their extravagant wedding; to take place in the tavern they first met at of course. Too bad for the happy couple words promised while drunk are often not promised at all.