Jasmine had always been our daughter’s favorite princess. And during our trip to Disneyworld this past winter, the Jasmine we met was particularly spectacular, if you know what I mean. It must be that since there is so much water in Florida, the survival of the fittest dictates that only the Jasmines with the greatest upper body buoyancy will survive.
As we stood in line waiting to see Jasmine, we caught glimpses here and there but didn’t get to see the in-depth view, so to speak, until we arrived at the front of the line. When we got there, Caroline had Jasmine sign her autograph book and then quickly assumed her place beside Jasmine for the photo.
They posed nicely for the picture. Jasmine leaned forward, giving even greater exposure. But Michael, who had the camera, didn’t move. He stood perfectly motionless while staring at Jasmine. He then sighed contentedly as if he had just achieved inner peace.
I said, “Aren’t you going to take the picture?”
“What picture?” he said softly, keeping his eyes on Jasmine.
“The one of Caroline and Jasmine.”
“A picture of Jasmine?” he said turning to me, wide-eyed.
“Well, of course,” I said impatiently.
“Oh, for heaven’s sakes, I’ll do that right now,” he said, running up close to get the shot.
I could tell he had the camera aimed a little high, so I yelled, “Try to get all of Caroline in the picture.”
“I don’t know who you mean.”
“CAROLINE, YOUR DAUGHTER.”
“Oh, yeah, right.”
We all stood there waiting. Finally I said, “What is taking you so long?”
He kept staring into the camera.
I said, “Michael, are you going to take the picture?”
He kept staring into the camera.
“MICHAEL!” I yelled.
He finally turned to me. “Did you ask me a question?”
“What was it?”
“Are you going to take a picture of Caroline and Jasmine?”
“A picture of Jasmine,” he said softly, with a faraway look in his eyes.
“Oh, for heaven’s sakes,” I said.
An attendant who was monitoring the line said to me, “Don’t worry, this happens all the time. At least your husband doesn’t mind having your daughter in the picture. A lot of times they only want Jasmine.”
She continued. “In fact, we have a lot of dads who come through the line all by themselves. They leave their wife and kids in Frontierland and then run full out over here to Adventureland for another look at Jasmine. In fact,” she said, motioning to a guy sprinting up to the end of the line, “here comes one now.”
The man rushed up to the end of the line and then leaned over, holding his knees and gasping for air.
“See what I mean?” she said to me.
I rolled my eyes and turned back to Michael. “Will you just take the picture?”
“Just one more minute,” he said impatiently.
Finally, we all heard the click.
“Thank goodness,” I said. “Now can we get out of here?
If we hurry, we can make it to the Pirates of the Caribbean before our FastPass expires.”
“You want to leave Jasmine?” he asked, astonished.
Caroline and I began walking away. After about fifty feet, I noticed Michael wasn’t with us.
I looked back and saw him leaning up against a wall. His face was glowing as if he had just returned from Mount Tabor after witnessing the transfiguration of Jesus.
Caroline ran back. “DAD!” she hollered. “WE’RE GOING NOW.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him away.
When they caught up to me, I said to him, “Do you need some oxygen?”
He looked relieved. “Do they have oxygen around here?” he asked, sitting down on a bench and wiping the sweat off his forehead.
“Oh, please,” I said sarcastically, but thinking to myself that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
After we arrived at the Pirates of the Caribbean and had been standing in line for a few minutes, Michael said, “You know, I’ve been thinking that we need a meeting place in case we get separated from one another. In case all of a sudden, you two look around and I’m not there. And I was just thinking, how about if we designate Jasmine as our meeting place?”
Well, like they say, the Magic Kingdom has something for everyone.