I loved Disney movies as a child.
I loved to sing along with the songs, and I adored the princesses, especially Jasmine and Belle. As a gap-toothed, messy haired eight year old, I loved that Jasmine decided she’d run away before marrying someone she didn’t want to (I just found the idea of marriage ridiculous since you know, all boys were gross and had cooties) and I loved that Belle would rather help her kooky dad with his inventions and read books all day instead of being interested in that jerk Gaston (because, yet again, all boys were gross and had cooties). I will admit, that even at eight, I was fascinated with the idea of a happily ever after, where all your dreams came true and all the wrongs were made right by true love’s first kiss. I had no idea how unrealistic that was.
I had a fairly good idea that life didn’t actually work out like it did in The Little Mermaid or Aladdin. There was no magical Genie, full of jokes and goodhearted cheer, who would make all my wildest fantasies come true. I wasn’t going to rub a lamp and become a princess or marry Jonathan Taylor Thomas. It didn’t work like that. I also wasn’t going to be attacked by a crazy lady who was half octopus. I was pretty grateful for that :P But still, I loved the idea of finding my own Prince Charming, this amazing and beautiful and perfect guy who was going to sweep me off my feet and we’d get married and have a happily ever after of our own. I figured that I’d find him eventually, and when I did, it was going to be the greatest thing ever. I’d have the big stupid house with the white picket fence and the two kids (one girl, one boy) and the dream car and the obligatory golden retriever and life would just be friggin’ grand.
Yeah…life doesn’t work like that. And if it does, Lord have I kissed enough frogs to warrant me my freaking happy ending. My son’s father was a class act who was separated from his wife and swore he was going to get divorced, and I was stupid enough at 18 to believe him. He wound up leaving me to go back to her twice, the final time being after she had a kid exactly ten months after my son was born. There have been guys who turned out to be crazy morons who may or may not have beat their past girlfriends. There have been guys who couldn’t kiss their way out of a well-lit paper bag with the exit clearly marked. There were guys who were even worse in bed. There were guys who strung me along, guys who just wanted to be friends with benefits, and guys who turned out to be racially confused drug dealers. I’m only 26, and I have to admit that I’m tired. I feel like I deserve a happily ever after.
And I kind of wish that Disney had put more effort into the realism of the “happily ever after”. Why not show what happened to Belle and the Prince after they got married? All we saw was them dancing at the end of the film. Why not show what would happen once they got comfortable and Belle realized that the Prince wasn’t going to be all sweet and romantic like he was when they first fell in love? Why not show Jasmine getting frustrated because Aladdin wouldn’t take that damn monkey outside to poop? Why not show Ariel laying in bed, wishing that Eric would get the hint that she wanted to have sex instead of him watching Pawn Stars again and falling asleep before midnight? I wish they had showed us girls that it’s not easy, that the idea of a happy ending takes work and patience and a healthy dose of rationality. Maybe then people wouldn’t give up on a relationship the first time you have a huge fight. Maybe then we wouldn’t rush into marriage and rush into divorce even more quickly than we rushed into the wedding. Maybe we wouldn’t be so preoccupied with the end game of our relationship…maybe then we’d focus on the now. I’m learning that the now is the best part of being in love with someone. When you focus on the end game all it does is stress you out and cause you to feel like crap.
My boyfriend is here on business; that’s how we met. I knew from the beginning that he was going home after he was all done here in Cleveland–home being roughly five and a half hours away. It’s not crazy far, but I’ve never been in a long-distance relationship before, and honestly, the Internet really hasn’t been much of a help in telling me all the fabulous ways for us to stay together (But really, is the Internet ever really helpful? Really.). I’ve had people tell me it’s not going to work, while others have said that it most certainly will, if you are willing to put the time and effort into it–I’m more than willing to try, but Jesus Christ, I wish that there was something that I could have referenced as a child that I could draw upon now to make me feel better once he leaves in June. Seriously, Disney, you need to come up with a modern princess who I can relate to. Right now, the only princess I’ve got is Emma from Once Upon A Time, and she doesn’t even know she’s a princess, damn it!
All I know is that I can’t be the only one who is tired of chasing after a guy who doesn’t really exist. Perhaps I’ll stumble upon Charming when the time is right. Maybe I already have :)