I roll into the costuming department early in the morning to pick up my costume at 7 AM as per usual. It's my second week on the job, and I'm finding it...interesting. At the very least, its distracting. From...you know.
I find my costume, my wig and my makeup kit sealed into its bag on the rack marked 'Cinderella Face Characters'. I start by putting on my wig and headband, and then my makeup. Most mornings I chat with one of the other cast members getting dressed, but today I am alone. I guess no one was up for the early grind on a Friday morning. But I happen to be a morning person.
But don't get that mixed up to mean I'm perky.
However, as I apply generous blush to the apples of my cheeks, I notice I'm not alone. A guy roughly my age with on trend nerd-chic black framed glasses and a stubbly jaw has walked in and looks at me in the mirror. I whirl around and look over. "Um, hi?" I say as he continues to stare. "Can I help you?"
"If you're Cinderella, you can. Hi," He says stepping forward with an outstretched hand. I make no move to shake it. "Ethan Daniels."
I continue to grip my blush brush, and raise a cool eyebrow. "And...? Are you some sort of Cinderella stalker or something? 'Cause you might want to wait til I'm in costume. It would serve the fantasy better, no?" I turn back to the mirror and replacing the blush brush, begin on my eyelashes with a super-lengthening mascara. The guy continues to stare. Creep.
"He-llo?" I prompt.
"I'm Prince Charming." He says simply, continuing to stare.
Way to sound like a fetishist! "Ok, that's just flat out weird." I tell him, turning around and getting up. "I'm sorry, sir, but ...you're going to have to go. SECURIT--"
"No, no. You miss understand. I'm the Prince Charming to your Cinderella. Face Character." He says putting his hands up in surrender. Too late though, because our security guard, Thomas, is already into the room. I expect him to ask what's wrong, but instead he grunts, "Hey, Ethan."
"Tom!" This 'Ethan' exclaims doing that weird handshake/bro-hug thing guys do. "How's Eve?"
"Good. 6 months along." He says, smiling for the first time since I've met him.
"Good lord! Oh, man, congrats. Anyway, nothing to worry about here. My friend just got a bit too excited. See you soon, buddy." Ethan smiles charismatically.
Thomas grunts and shuffles back out the room without so much of a glance at me. Ethan turns back to me. "So, I've introduced myself. What about you?"
"Aislinn Wyndham. Ais." My eyes are still narrowed.
"I had a neighbor named Aislinn once. We called her Ash." He strides toward the rack and picks out the signature red pants and light blue topper with the gold epaulettes that my prince will wear.
"I prefer Ais to Ash." I say, continuing my makeup.
"I'll still call you Ash." He shrugs good-naturedly. "So, I suppose I'll be back after I change. Bu We should probably get to know each other better if we're going to work together all summer."
"Sure," I shrug lazily, and he disappears from the room to the men's dressing room.
After he leaves, I finish up my makeup and start getting dressed, pulling on the stockings and body liner, then the hoop skirt, then the fluffy gown. I add the big pearl earrings and black choker, and finally the shoes. The Princess Tiana girl is in there so I chat with her a little, and by the time I'm done its 8 already and Ethan is waiting for me, dressed and clean shaven. He springs up when I walk in. "Hiya, Ash." He smiles.
"What are you, hopped up on redbull and coke? Turn the megawatt down, alright?" I grouse. He is annoyingly happy.
"Sorry." He says, but his smile doesn't falter. "So, breakfast? I'm thinking the Plaza Inn."
I give him a weird look. "What?"
"Well, we have to get to know each other if we're going to be kissing all the time," He says innocently. "And its nice there. And we'll beat the character breakfast rush if we go now."
"We can't eat in costume!" I exclaim. "Donna will have my head." Donna is the mildly scary costume master.
"Leave Donna to me, we're old friends. " He says, steering me outside. He practically drags me to Main Street, and then greets the hostess at the Plaza Inn like a family member. We're seated quickly in the back, and I'm still kind of shocked that withing a span of 10 minutes I ended up at a nice restaurant with a strange guy.
The waitress comes, and, of course, he knows her too. "Hi, Bitsy. Two orders of Mickey waffles. Extra butter and --"
"Strawberry syrup. On it, Ethan." The blonde winks, then turns and walk away.
"What would happen if I was allergic to waffles?" I asked, offended.
"You can't exactly be allergic to waffles, can you?" He smiles, rolling his eyes. "But I probably should have asked if you were allergic to, say, butter, sugar, flour, or milk. Are you?"
"Good, because you can't really have breakfast at Disneyland with normal waffles. So, introduce yourself." He folds his hands under his chin. "Who are you?"
I panic. I hate that question. It scares the living daylights out of me. "I--uh---you. I'm curious." I save myself, "How do you know everyone?"
"Disney brat." He says cheerfully. "My father's the head lawyer for the Disneyland legal department. Evan R. Daniels. 36 year vet, since he first got out of law school. I've practically lived here."
"And you're not sick of it yet? Planning to be just like daddy?" I say skeptically.
"Yes. Yes, I do." He says seriously. "Just graduated, Penn State, pre-law. I'll be attending Yale Law this fall."
"Penn?" I ask, surprised. Penn is where I'm supposed to be attending, where Rosalie is supposedly attending. I hate Penn State with every fiber of my being. "Shouldn't you be doing some law internship then?"
"I'd rather be at Disney, even if I'm stuck as a face character." He smiles, as Bitsy brings our waffles and he chows down.
"Just love this place that much, huh?"
"Yup. I do. What brings you here?"
I ponder a second, cutting into my first waffle and tasting its syrupy goodness, then answer honestly, "Escapism."
"Ahh," he smiles, "Good answer." He raises his fork with a bite of waffle in tribute to me, and I even crack a little smile. As annoying as this chirpy guy might be, he's kind of entertaining.
Interesting summer indeed.