Elsa is my boss

I start a new job on Monday.  Another new adventure. I’m very excited about it.  A little nervous, sure.  But more excited than nervous.  It’s with Olson Communications, a public relations firm based in Scottsdale.

The first day kind of feels like you’re the new kid in school.  I quietly hope people will want to sit by me, or give me friendly tips on how to use the instant messaging system.  Perhaps share a snack.  That kind of thing.

While interviewing, one of my new coworkers joked about the regimented way I have had to work from home as a freelancer for all these years, noting that I’ve been managing “three unruly employees” since 2009.  Funny.  And true.

Freelancing, or working as a contractor, means managing yourself.  And, I have.  But, ever since Christmas, I’ve definitely had a boss.  Her name is Elsa.  As in, the snow queen from Frozen.  That Elsa.

Based on her popularity, I’m guessing I’m not alone.

The day we took our family to see Frozen (opening day at Disneyland — not because we were excited to see it, but because we were excited to sit down for two hours), I had no way to know how Elsa of Arendelle would affect my life or that of the greater consumer.  Holy snowballs.  The girl’s got some reach.  For real.

Exhibit A: My four-year-old walked up to me while I was writing this…right now…and asked to “dress like Elsa.”

But since Elsa dresses are a modern urban legend, I offer an old, blue Tiana dress and a braid.  Close enough.  She feels like Elsa.


A caricature of Lulu, done as Elsa, at her request.
A caricature of Lulu, done as Elsa, at her request.


The Elsa Effect.  It’s a powerful thing.

My first glimpse of it came, by no surprise, at Target.  I popped in to buy Frozen the day it was released.  As a footnote, I’m so not that person.  We don’t see movies on opening day, and we most certainly don’t buy DVDs the day they come out.  We just did this one time.  And, we were in the majority.

Everyone in line in front of me and behind me at Target that day had a copy of Frozen.  And, there were probably eight people total in line with me when I did my head count.  Everyone on the next register had a copy, too.  The woman in front of me had two copies.  An acquaintance of mine saw me walk in and asked if I was there to buy Frozen.  It was a frenzy.

And it was just the tip of the iceberg.

Lulu is on her second set of Anna and Elsa Polly Pocket dolls.  The first set she “lost” at the gym.  Upon searching for replacements, I learned that people are selling them, new-with-tags, on eBay and Craigslist for four and five times what I paid for them in the store.  Ridiculous.  Dolls that usually go for about eight bucks were selling for upwards of 40 bucks a pop.  I declined.  And, nearly hyperventilated the day I found them in Wal-Mart with Lulu asleep on my shoulder.

You can’t find a full-size Elsa Barbie — anywhere.  YouTube has any number — and by that I mean an obscene quantity — of Frozen and Elsa-related videos.  Weird ones.  And, I know, because Lulu watches them (with supervision).

There’s a million parodies and lip-sync’s to Let It Go, obviously.  But there are also videos of Anna and Elsa dancing to “What Does A Fox Say?” and “Gangnam Style.”  Then there’s the creepy ones, where adults act out and voice vignettes using Elsa and Anna Barbies and Polly Pockets.  Grown-ups.  I’m not joking.  YouTube it.  It’s just weird.

It doesn’t look like the Elsa intensity is dying down at all, either.  On vacation last week, I overheard a group of teenagers say that the line to meet Anna and Elsa at Disneyland was four hours long.  No fast passes for those ladies, either.  I’m told moms are calling their local Disney Stores in search of Elsa dresses, learning when the shipments will arrive, and getting to the stores when they open to buy the dresses the day they hit the rack.  Given the competition, I better learn how to sew an Elsa dress in two different sizes for Halloween.

I just don’t recall any other princess, or queen as it were, generating such a frenzy.  I’ve done Ariel.  And, Tiana and Rapunzel.  And, the girls dressed up as them, but they’ve never wanted to BE them.  That’s the difference.   Lulu names every one of her stuffed animals Elsa.  She wears a $30 custom knit Elsa hat (which I LOVE) just about everywhere, even after I said it couldn’t leave the house (a battle I quickly learned I’d lose).  The child who wouldn’t let me brush her hair, now requires a french braid in it every day…just like Elsa.

Lulu, in an Elsa nightgown, wearing the one and only Elsa hat.  (even when it's 110 degree outside...).
Lulu, in an Elsa nightgown, wearing the one and only Elsa hat. (even when it’s 110 degree outside…).

And here Elsa was the sister without the romance.  She didn’t have the handsome prince.  She didn’t go to great lengths to get a prince to love her, and she didn’t need a prince to show her the way.  She just handled it.  She was a strong, independent woman.  Amen, Disney.  TCB, baby.

But could a four-year-old pick up on that bit of female empowerment?  Doubt it.  All I know is, I can’t quit Elsa.  Not until we get the dress.