Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl called Cinderella. She was sweet, and worked hard, and tried to play by the rules, which her father taught her, but no matter what she did, she would always get abused by her evil stepmother called Ruthless Ambition, and her two nasty and vicious stepsisters, called, One Percent and BS Media.
These two, with the help of their mother, would always find fault in Cinderella, and would always make her suffer and blame her for everything she would do. They also made her drunken father tell Cinderella, that stepmother and stepsisters actually love Cinderella, and that all their abuse is nothing but tough love needed for her own good.
Despite all this abuse and lies, Cinderella grew up a very pretty girl, and a lot of suitors began to pursue her. To avoid loosing Cinderella, Ruthless Ambition, asked her older brother, called, Uncle Bernie, to pretend to be a suitor. She was hoping that Bernie who moved on crutches and was rather tongue-tied, would prove so unappealing that Cinderella would give up on her thoughts of marriage.
She actually didn’t. She found Uncle Bernie rather nice and cuddly, but at that moment, Ruthless Ambition told her brother, who was afraid of her, to withdraw. He did, telling Cinderella that he doesn’t really like her and didn’t find her appealing. The girl was rather heart-broken, but out of the blue, another suitor appeared, who called himself a prince Charming and bragged that his castle had plenty of towers and fields where one could play golf.
Prince Charming liked every pretty girl he ever met, so it was not surprising that he was smitten by Cinderella, but more importantly, he hated the way, she was treated by her family: drunken and ineffective father, abusive step-mother, and two obnoxious sisters, who tried to charm Prince Charming, but failed, since he could easily see through their fake charms, being raised in a similar family.
So he did all he could to pursue the girl, and she finally began to appreciate his charm and his down to earth mannerisms. At that moment her family got very scared. They began to tell Cinderella that Prince Charming’s real name is Hitler; that he is vicious and stupid, that he wants to enslave and mistreat her, and then sell her to some other vicious foreign men.
Cinderella got really confused. She didn’t know what to do. Her family was the only thing she knew, and she get used to them. It was so familiar, she even got used to the daily tears that she shed after various insults and humiliations.
She was ready to give up on Prince Charming but suddenly she had a vision of her mother who came to her at night, and told her that Prince Charming would withdraw his offer after the second Tuesday of November and that Cinderella better think for herself. But she never had a moment to think.
Her vicious stepsisters presented her with a toy called iPhone, which has plenty of pictures of imaginary princes, all looking better than those in real life. So Cinderella got totally lost in her new toy, following the romantic adventures of imaginary princes, and was not ready to make a decision by the second Tuesday of November…
Vladimir Golstein is an Associate Professor of Slavic Studies, Brown University