so today . . . i met a princess. a real-life princess.
when i met her, i didn't know she was a princess. she wasn't wearing a tiara or a ball gown. she wasn't gliding around singing. so how would i know?!? i just thought she was a very nice, very beautiful woman whose husband was a pastor. but later today, i learned that she was a real-life samoan princess. AND her husband (the pastor) is a real-life samoan chief!
rollie is the one who told me. he said they had an arranged marriage, because a chief can't just marry anyone. and even though he lives in california, he still has tribal responsibilities that require him to return to samoa for certain events and rituals. like getting married to a princess!
as you might expect, the chief is the ultimate authority in their culture. in any samoan gathering, he is set apart from everyone else (whether he likes it or not,) and is not allowed to do anything for himself. (i sort of think i might like to be a chief!) his people expect him to give them direction, and he is used to his directions being followed.
i was thinking how difficult it must be for a chief or a princess who comes to live in america where they don't have any special status. if you have been raised with the expectation that the people around you are going to say "how high?" when you say "jump," i think it would be hard to live in a place where people are much more likely to say "make me!"
you might think they would be somewhat arrogant, being samoan royalty and all. but they weren't. they were very nice people. did it make a difference to me when i found out who they really were? yes, a little bit. i found myself thinking about what they were, not just who they were. i was maybe just a little bit starstruck. after all, i had never met a real live princess before . . . or a chief!
that is one of the things i like about living in socal--the cultural diversity. i admit that sometimes it can be frustrating, but mostly i find it interesting. where else can you go to a day full of meetings, expecting to spend the day staring at a computer screen, and come away knowing a princess by name!