Things I Learned About Elsa (1)
Hello, hello! You've stumbled across my journal! I commend you if you're able to read my handwriting. Um...I'm not sure what else to say. Saying all the fancy greetings and elegant pleasantries are a talent of my sister's. I'll cut to the chase.
I am Princess Anna of Arendelle. (I should have just said that in the beginning. I ramble even as I write...sorry!)
My older sister, Queen Elsa, has always been a figure of mystery. The paragon of royalty and perfection. The veil that had obscured her from the world, and kept her separate from me, was finally flung back as Arendelle opened its gates to celebrate her coronation. But it all happened so fast. I wish the veil hadn't been flung back so suddenly and violently. I could barely comprehend the whirlwind of events leading to the eternal winter. At the same time, I finally understood why she shut me out for so long. It breaks my heart still to hear my sister call herself a monster. I always thought her power over ice and snow was lovely and utterly amazing. Now that she's learning to properly control it (through love!), there's absolutely no excuse for Elsa to put herself down. I've found that the best way to reassure a sad and anxious Elsa is to give her generous amounts of sisterly love and chocolate. It's a tried-and-true method, sure to put a smile on her face.
I've been trying to get to know her better after the Great Freeze, to make up for all those lost years being lonely and divided. Unlike the way Elsa had thawed Arendelle, neither of us can just snap our fingers and boom, it instantly works out. I'll jot down my observations and discoveries in this journal. Sometimes they'll be funny. Sometimes they'll be amusing. Maybe even sad. But all of them will be interesting, no doubt.
Join me in my quest to learn more about my awesome big sister. I always love a good adventure. I hope you do, too.
So, without further ado, here are the things I learned about Elsa.
SHE WRITES WITH HER LEFT HAND.
I notice this as she was writing her letter to deport the Duke of Weselton and cut off ties to his country. I read somewhere (probably from Papa's library) that there were many negative words associated with being left-handed: clumsy, awkward, insincere, sinister, malicious, and so on. Elsa isn't any of these at all! If anything, I'm the clumsy and awkward one. (Kristoff likes to joke that I'm also sinister and malicious because I play pranks on him and Sven all the time.) Black magic is even referred to as being the "left-handed path."
All these traditional beliefs and stigmas relating to..."leftness"...can't be further from the truth when it comes to Elsa. I'm glad that Mama and Papa didn't force her to switch to writing with her right hand from an early age. It was already enough for poor Elsa to completely conceal her powers, I guess. I also read from an anatomy book (obviously meant for knowledgeable physicians and not clueless princesses like me) that use of the left hand correlates with use of the right side of the brain. I don't know all the technical details and processes behind it. But it makes sense, since Elsa is so creative and artistic. She occasionally bemoans how her hand gets smeared with ink as she writes, but otherwise she's quite happy with being left-handed. I'm happy, too.
SHE'S FLUENT IN MANY LANGUAGES.
Elsa's the queen of Arendelle. She is in no way obligated to speak the languages of her guests that attend her coronation. Still, I've seen her converse with the dignitaries in their primary languages, much to their surprise and appreciation. Elsa can speak Spanish, German, French, and Danish really well. I've found that in her written exchanges with the emperor of China, she even knows some Mandarin! She said to me that the European languages she learned derive from the same root and weren't drastically different, so it was relatively easy for her to pick up.
For a moment, I wondered how she had all the time to learn so many languages, especially for her young age. Then I realize, with a little pang of sorrow, that she did have the time. She must've dedicated herself to years of studying in order to cope with being cooped up in her room for so long. I'm so proud of Elsa being well equipped with the skills needed for ruling as a good queen. Arendelle will prosper in her hands, I'm sure of it.
In addition to the languages spoken today, Elsa can also speak and read Old Norse. During the coronation, she was probably the only one in the cathedral who knew the traditional lines uttered by the bishop. Maybe I can convince her to translate some of Papa's tomes on Norse myths and read them to me. I strongly believe that one can never be too old to outgrow storytelling.
SHE CAN FREEZE HER HAIR IN PLACE.
It's been a week since the Great Freeze and her wild, swept back hair is still...well, wild, swept back, and perfect. It hasn't changed a bit. And it's not from grease, either. Turns out that producing tiny shards of frost coating her hands lets her slick her hair back and make it stay. If that isn't cool, I don't know what is. Freezing her hair in place really comes in handy when she has to brush it out of her face as she pores over papers at her desk. She can brush it down just as easily. One time I asked her if she could freeze my hair, but she made my braids stick out like wings. Olaf laughed so hard that I swear he took on this weird shade of pink.
SHE'S ALLERGIC TO SHRIMP.
One day, Kristoff decided to treat me and Elsa to smoked salmon and shrimp. The problem wasn't his cooking. On the contrary, his culinary skills are fantastic. The problem was the nasty surprise that came along with Elsa eating the shrimp. Apparently it's a kind of allergy that develops over time and is present during adulthood, which was why Elsa had no problem eating shellfish when she was little. She wasn't so lucky this time. Her mouth started to tingle and she broke out in hives all over her body. After a frenzied bout of scratching, she dunked herself in freezing cold water to soothe her itches. She also stuffed her face full of ice cubes so the swelling in her mouth could go away. Kristoff was so embarrassed, and he worried that Elsa would hate his guts forever. I assured him that it wasn't his fault since he didn't know. When Elsa calmed down, she readily forgave him. On the condition that she'll never eat shrimp again, of course.
SHE LOVES GEOMETRY.
Polygons, lines, angles, fractals, frieze patterns, tessellations, you name it. Elsa loves it all. Half of the terms I don't even know; she had to explain them to me. She's very fond of patterns found in nature, the way they achieve order, beauty and harmony from interactions and layouts of simple shapes. Just as I gush over a good romance novel, Elsa can go on for hours and hours on treatises written by Greek mathematicians like Pythagoras and Euclid. Naturally, the hexagon is her favorite shape. She loves the idea that even though each snowflake has perfect radial symmetry, each one is still unique and no two snowflakes are the same. When Elsa isn't busy writing letters, she would draw intricate patterns all over sheets of scratch paper. Sometimes she'd let me draw silly faces in her shapes. I can't say I've decided on a favorite academic subject. But I'll always be a fan of Elsa's beautiful and wonderful creations.
SHE'S REALLY SENSITIVE TO HEAT.
Elsa can create snowflakes, icicles, howling blizzards, and even impart life to snowmen. She's immune to the cold even at its most bitter, frigid point. It all comes at a price: she's particularly susceptible to getting bright red sunburns and prone to sweating like a sinner in church. Being sensitive to heat is a source of mild stress and embarrassment for Elsa. Until recently, she had always stayed out of the sun and inside the castle. Of course, her powers help prevent the risk of heat stroke. I think it should give her all the more reason to be liberal and confident with her abilities.
SHE'S A NEAT FREAK.
Forgive my word choice. It seems like I'm saying this as if it's a bad thing, but her habit of being meticulously tidy is something I really admire. Like I've said before, Elsa is fond of order and harmony. To an obsessive-compulsive degree, I might add. She fusses over little things and strives to correct anything that disturbs that harmony.
That being said, I think I make her heart stop and blood pressure rise every time she sees my room. But I like having my dresses spread out on my bed, so I can be ready to change on a whim because I can never make up my mind. Elsa respects that, and many times she resists the urge to clean up my organized mess. Her own room is always clean and spotless; sometimes I fight my urge to rile up her arrangements a bit.
Elsa also doesn't like to mix the food on her plate; there must always be an even ratio of sauce and whatever she's eating with it. I should probably not let her catch Kristoff and Sven indulge in their carrot-sharing ritual. She might just puke.
SHE TAUGHT HERSELF NOT TO SLIP ON ICE.
Since I first saw Elsa in her lovely ice palace, I've always wondered how she never slipped on the ice floor. While wearing heels. I assume it must've been one of her many convenient, innate abilities that came along with her magical powers. With a sad shake of her head, Elsa proved my assumption wrong. She told me it was something she had learned. On that day that changed our lives forever, she had slipped on her own ice in an attempt to save me. Years of isolation, my altered memories, her suppressed powers and very being...Elsa blamed it all on one little slip. It's one thing to keep your back straight, your head up and carrying yourself like a proper lady. It's entirely another to try doing all that on ice. As a child, Elsa had slipped and fell many times in her struggle to avoid repeating that fateful day over again. It's how she lost much of her baby teeth. One time she cut her lip and almost had to get stitches, and another she nearly cracked her skull.
On the verge of tears, Elsa went on to tell me that all that suffering she went through had been for nothing, because she ended up freezing my heart. I was close to crying myself, and I insisted that what she said wasn't true. It's amazing what lengths she went to keep me safe, even if it broke her heart and put her body through great risk. Who was I to so foolishly say that she didn't know anything about true love? If anyone dared to say that my big sister wasn't capable of love, they'd be getting what I gave to Hans: a good old right hook in the face to knock some sense in to them.
OLAF WILL MELT WHEN ELSA DIES.
Don't worry, this didn't happen. (Thank God.) But I predict this would occur on the day I'd lose my only family and the snowman we made together. I've come to this unsettling thought because of what happened to Elsa when summer ended and fall began. There was a nasty bug going around Arendelle, and Elsa fell violently ill. She wouldn't stop vomiting and she suffered from a terrible fever. She felt really hot to the touch and she couldn't get out of bed. Kristoff had his ice handy, and I constantly stayed by Elsa's bedside to keep her company despite her insistent warnings to stay away from her. I wouldn't let her push me away again, even if I would end up sick too.
I was so afraid of losing her, just like how we lost Mama and Papa to that storm at sea. From the day Elsa got sick, Olaf began to have a hard time keeping himself together. His personal flurry grew thinner than usual, and he was always in danger of melting into formless liquid. On days Elsa felt at her worst, Olaf's flurry was nearly invisible, almost disappearing into thin air. It broke my heart to see the usually cheerful snowman so distressed, especially when he feared that Elsa will "melt," too. Her fear of leaving me alone again became her drive to stay alive. Just as I hated seeing her unwell, she hated seeing me upset.
With lots of rest, hot soup, careful attention from the doctors, and lots of emotional support, Elsa eventually recovered and Olaf was back to his happy-go-lucky self. Arendelle seemed to let out a big sigh of relief as news of Elsa's recovery circulated throughout the whole kingdom. When the sickness passed from the land entirely, the first thing Elsa did was throw a huge feast at the castle to celebrate. I'm not so naive to believe that Elsa will live forever. Yes, she has magical powers, but she's only human. The hard truth is that someday she will die. But I hope that day won't come anytime soon.
Our journey to grow closer and strengthen our love as sisters was just beginning.