It was a beautiful Saturday morning in the Mushroom Kingdom. Sparrows flew across the bright, blue sky as the sun warmed the bricks in the courtyard where Princess Peach was sitting, enjoying a tall glass of fresh juice. What a lovely day. Just what she had been longing for, a day with no stressful events or royal duties, a day where she could wake up slowly, throw on her fluffy pink bathrobe, and enjoy the morning sun.
"Princess?" Toadsworth called, emerging from behind a particularly large and fragrant gardenia bush. "Ah, Your Highness, there you are. I see you haven't dressed yet, have you forgotten about today's outing with your dear cousin?"
Peach smiled. "No, I haven't forgotten, I only thought I might enjoy a peaceful morning and get a little sun. Do you have the time?"
Of course, Peach had not forgotten. She had been looking forward to a girls' day out with Daisy for weeks.
"Of course I do, dear girl, it is presently 10:43 AM; the Princess of Sarasa Land is expected to arrive promptly at noon."
"I guess I had better begin getting ready then! Hm, what do you suppose I should wear?" Peach asked as she turned to go inside the castle.
"Ah." Toadsworth stalled, appraising her questioning face in attempt to decide if Peach was actually requesting assistance or was merely making conversation. "At this point, Your Highness, I must concede that I know next to nothing about women's fashions. However, I do trust that whatever decision you make, you will look simply fetching, as always." With a bow, Toadsworth exited.
Princess Peach opened the doors to her tall, wooden wardrobe and declared loudly to herself "Today, I shall wear -- pink!" She picked out a light summery gown in a soft pink and her most comfortable heels, and then turned on her shower. As the water heated and she stepped in, she thought fondly about her cousin, Daisy. Nearly three months had passed since Daisy had come to visit from her eastern island kingdom and Peach was very excited to see her again. Ooh, coconut shampoo, I love my maids!
After a while, Peach emerged from her shower, dried and styled her hair, and applied just a hint of makeup. She walked down the stairs looking dewy, feeling refreshed, and smelling lightly of coconut. She heard joyful conversation in the dining room; it seemed her uncle and Daisy had already arrived.
"Peachy!" Daisy rushed her cousin to pick her up in an exuberant embrace, eliciting a small sigh from the King of Sarasa Land, who was all too aware of his daughter's unladylike mannerisms. "Oh Peachy, I missed you so much! It's been forever, how have you been? Oh, we're going to have so much fun today, I can't wait!"
In stark contrast to Peach, Daisy always wore her heart on her sleeve and was extremely excitable, often prone to bouts of rapid-fire speech. Growing up with Daisy, Peach had become accustomed to her colloquialisms, but it was always such a shock to see exactly how much mischief her uncle would let Daisy get away with. Daisy's extreme belief in freedom of expression was a large part of what made being with her so enjoyable.
Peach smiled brightly. "I've been doing well and I've really missed you too. I'm so glad you were able to make it though, because I could really use your help."
"Oh yeah? What's the deal?"
Peach explained, "My annual charity soiree is supposed to be in three weeks and I've been too busy to pick out a dress or do anything yet."
"Oh wow, that is really important! Alright then, leave it to me, we'll find you something that looks super fabulous." Daisy turned to her father who was busy talking jovially to his brother, the King of the Mushroom Kingdom.
"Dad?" No response.
"Dad." Still no response.
"Daaad! Can we leave yet? Peachy and I are gonna need all the time we can get!"
The King of Sarasa Land turned around to face his impatient daughter and waved his hand in defeat. "Daisy, my sweetheart, you know you may do whatever you please but could you please, please, just for one day, act like a princess and ask me properly?"
Peach giggled in the background as Daisy scrunched up her face and stuck out her tongue before straightening up and reciting in a mockingly proper voice, "Dearest Father, King of the fair and great kingdom of Sarasa Land. May I be permitted to escort my dearest cousin, the most esteemed and lovely Princess Peach, to the nearest shopping facility so that we may partake in the stimulation of the Mushroom Kingdom's economy at the expense of Sarasa Land's treasury? We would so very much like to purchase all those great many things that fill out hearts with rapture and joy, which knows no bounds."
The King of Sarasa Land gave a mighty shrug and a small sigh. "So long as it makes you happy, my dearest and only daughter."
The carriage slowed to a stop at the bustling, newly opened Mushroom Mall. Don Pianta, who owned and operated the mall, was the head of the Pianta mob in Rogueport and mastermind of several business endeavors, including the hugely successful Coconut Mall on Delfino Island. Two Mushroom guards saluted as the princesses exited the carriage. Security, naturally, was a little tighter than normal to ensure the safety of the princesses.
Daisy thought aloud, "So, let's see, today we're going to need to find you a dress, some shoes, maybe some jewelry, or some new makeup?"
A guard graciously opened the tall, glass double doors as they approached.
"Thank you," Peach said kindly. Once inside, Peach looked around dreamily, taking in all of the sights and sounds. There were rows of elegant, upscale stores, each one boasting displays of clothing and shoes that were even more fabulously fashionable than the next. Surrounding them were various groups of trendy Toad girls carrying large shopping bags and texting all of their friends on this season's hottest "it" phones. Peach smiled slightly self-consciously; those girls were not much younger than she was. Perhaps if she did not have so many royal duties she could be doing something similar. She turned to Daisy. "Well, I guess we've got a lot to do. Where should we go first?"
"I feel like we should go find your dress first, I mean, that's the most important thing. I'm thinking you should go for something totally bold and couture, you know, mix it up a little!"
"Maybe, but I'd still like the dress to be very elegant and very classy because the charity soiree is also one of my most important political events. There will be several representatives from various kingdoms and I would like to make a good impression. I was thinking I might get something from Vera T. She designs some of the finest gowns in all the Mushroom Kingdom."
"Oh please, not that stuffy old place! Vera T. wouldn't know fashion if it slapped her old wrinkled face with a Kremling handbag. Look, Peach, Chantoad's is over there!" Daisy exclaimed, pushing Peach toward a store. The front entrance was flocked with violet curtains and spotlights, as if it were the entrance to a runway or a red carpet. "You're still young and beautiful! I don't think it's fair that you should have to be so conservative all the time, so how about something with a little panache?"
"Hello, welcome to Chantoad's." The waif-like Toad at the register greeted them apathetically without taking her perfectly lined, glittery eyes off her fashion magazine. "Our senior stylist will be with you in one moment."
"Oh, wow Daisy," Peach looked around at the art-deco mannequins wearing all manners of outrageous fashions, "I'm not sure this place is for me."
"Hello!" sang the flamboyant senior stylist as he sauntered over to the princesses, his pink, silk shirt ruffling. "Oh, my! Daisy, lovely to see you, as always, and you've finally brought me your cousin. Oh, what a treat, I've waited so long for this! My, oh my, she's even lovelier in real life! Her shape is just perfect for these gowns, it's like she was born to wear them!"
Peach smiled, but before she could open her mouth to thank the Toad, he continued, "But darling, let's get real here, it's time for a change. I mean, the dress you're wearing is lovely, oh my yes," he giggled, "for someone twice your age and half your status." He thrust a bundle of green silk into Peach's arms as she stood, completely stunned. "Well, what are you waiting for, my darling? Get thee into the dressing room, my intuition is never wrong, your destiny awaits!"
Moments later, Peach pulled back the violet curtains of the dressing room, scanning the room for the senior stylist who, she was relieved to find, was busy "helping" another client.
"Oh Peachy, that dress looks amazing on you!"
"Hm, I do like the cut, but I really don't know about this color. Maybe it'd look better in, I don't know, maybe blue, yellow, or uh -- pink." Peach spun in front of a tri-paneled mirror admiring herself. The dress was certainly very pretty, the vivid green silk shimmered in the light, and the off-the-shoulder neckline was especially pretty with a golden double leaf brooch, the Chantoad logo, in the middle.
"No way, don't even start, that color is fantastic on you! Besides, no offense, but don't you get tired of that same old shade of pink?"
"Not at all, I love pink, it's my favorite color!" Peach smiled and tactfully decided to overlook Daisy's affinity for what Peach considered "the same old shade of yellow."
"Listen, you're getting that dress in green, because I want you to. It's good to step out of your comfort zone occasionally, have your daily dose of change. Anyways, something about that color just makes me smile." Daisy fluttered her long eyelashes.
Peach giggled. She was obviously referring to Luigi and his favored color.
"So what about you, Peach? Is anyone making you smile? Anybody special?" Daisy asked teasingly as Peach turned to go back into the dressing room.
Caught off guard, she stammered, "I--I don't know, to be honest." Peach was thankful that Daisy could not see her blushing from behind the curtain. "I've, well, I've really been so busy lately that I'm afraid I've completely neglected my feelings about those sorts of things."
"Oh please," Daisy rolled her pretty, blue eyes. "I don't buy that, not for one second. What about Mario?" she asked bluntly.
Peach poked her head out of the curtains. "Mario? Well, he is a very sweet and noble man."
As of now, Peach and Mario were little more than friends, despite some very prevalent rumors.
"To be honest, I really like him, I enjoy being around him, and I feel a lot of affection for him. It's just…" Daisy looked puzzled and Peach continued, "even though he comes around pretty often, I don't really know him that well, and I'm not sure I could see myself, you know, developing a further relationship with him. I mean, if we ever got married or anything, I don't know what I'd…" Peach blushed deeply at that thought of a wedding night with Mario.
Upon realizing what Peach was saying, Daisy burst out into a fit of laughter.
"Oh, please stop Daisy, it's really not funny!" Peach pleaded.
Daisy giggled. "I'm sorry, but yeah, I can definitely see what you mean. You know what though; I think I know just the thing to make your heart flutter!"
Peach stepped out of the dressing room in her regular dress. "You do?" she asked curiously.
"Yeah, if you can't find a guy to make you happy, you can just do what you want and make yourself happy. How about it?"
Peach giggled. "Sounds like a plan."
"Speaking of making yourself happy, look at that fabulous ring over there! You should totally get it; it's so you!"
Peach looked over the ring; it was quite impressive. It had a large, round-cut pink diamond with unusual sparkle and fire and a masterfully crafted gold base. The only thing more astonishing than the ring itself was its price tag. Imported from some land Peach had never heard of, the ring commanded a small fortune, even for her.
"Hm, I'm not sure if I'm ready to take your theory that far! Toadsworth was just speaking to me about the importance of being fiscally responsible. Somehow, I doubt my people would think highly of such luxury, even for a princess. It really is very beautiful though, isn't it?" asked Peach with a tinge of regret.
"Sure is! Well, we'll just put it down on your wish list then, right? Ah, you're always so nice and considerate, Peachy." Daisy sighed thoughtfully. "I'm sure there are tons of guys who have huge crushes on you and you don't even know! Let's hurry up and pay so we can hit Starbeans, I'm just dying for a latte!"