The princess has begun to freak about the upcoming school year.
“We’ll have tests! Real tests! What if I get a B? What shall I do? Real maths tests!”
-“It doesn’t matter! It’s ok to get a B! No big deal- you don’t need to worry about it!”
But of course she worries, of course it is a big deal. And of course, when you’re planning for As, it’s not ok to get Bs. She knows I’m lying, and I know she knows.
A and B. One after the other in the alphabet, but how far apart morally and semantically! A dazzles, A is beyond reproach, A can do anything it wants. Poor B. Second best B. Not-good-enough B. Getting a B is like being born a second girl child (boys don’t count), always trying to make up for the failure of not getting an A. The distance between A and B is far more than the distance between B and C. In fact, if you don’t get A, it doesn’t really matter if you get a B or a C or D. Who cares. Either you get As, or you don’t. Either you’re a winner, or a loser. Either you’re doing something amazing, or you are not. Either your life is A quality, or it is boring. The princess, on the cusp of Grade 3, is already understanding this. Preach to us all you want, o morality teachers and Robert de Niro playing a bus driver and telling his son that to be a true hero means working hard for your fami blah blah bla blah whatever. You didn’t get an A, did you?
Life is so cruel.