“Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you’re young at heart.
For it’s hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you’re young at heart.”
-Frank Sinatra, Young at Heart
Put a cork in it Frank.
I spent the weekend watching Disney movies. I love them. The songs, the stories, the characters and animals. The humor. The irony. And what’s that upon my cheek I see? As credits roll and little cartoon people rejoice… A single sparkling tear. Can’t be.
I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I love romantic comedies when the odds are stacked and love reigns supreme. When the wacky, irresponsible, and awkward meet their perfect match. That one somebody that they’ve been dreaming of that loves them all along, just the way they are.
I am one of those wacky, irresponsible and awkward people. I don’t quite fit into a circle or a square. But like in the movies, I am looking for love. Or better still, hoping that love finds me. Being misunderstood, adorably neurotic, and just a bit odd makes it that much harder to find my prince.
Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Tiana, Mulan, Nala who am I missing here? Belle? Sleeping Beauty? The Lady, that wack ass cocker spaniel that likes spaghetti? Jasmine… Whoever else. I grew up watching this nonsense. Beautiful stories, beautiful women, full of dreams with obstacles that they had to overcome, and with the help of Fairy Godmothers, Genies, Fireflies, Dwarfs, Mice, Crabs, Dragons, house hold fixtures…they got their man. Prince Charming.
Yeah… About that.
As it turns out, Fairytales are a fraud. At least that’s the way it goes for wacky, irresponsible, awkward lil ol’ me. Bippity boppity bullshit. No fairy Godmother to turn my pumpkin into a chariot, no one at the other end of my spaghetti noodle, no brave beast thats transfixed and transformed by the spell my kiss places upon his lips.
Oh! Believe me, I have had a few frogs leap on my lily pad. I’ve closed my eyes and gently kissed their slimy lips and trusted that they would magically turn into something incredible. I was so wrong. Wouldn’t you know it, they stuck their retractible tongue down my throat far enough to rip my heart out along with it.
Little girls are taught that they are princesses. That at one glance, they will meet their prince and he will know she is for him and he for her and off into the sunset they go for all eternity. The prince, the castle, the happy ending. I was that little girl once.
One summer, when I was about 8, every time I jumped into the community pool, I’d pretend to transform into a mermaid. I’d breach out of the water and stare across the pool at the little creep that I liked that summer, hoping my loving gaze would hypnotize him.I got dunked under the water, arms flailing. Congrats Walt Disney, you almost got me drowned. Someone should have warned me.
My misguided ass wandered through most of my adolescence wishing upon stars. I wanted someone to make all of my dreams come true. I wanted a ride on a magic carpet. What I did not want was to become immune to the poison apple.
I don’t know what I’m going to tell my daughter should I ever have one. I want her to feel special, adored, loved, like a princess. But I also want her to feel the way I felt growing up, unique, different, one of a kind. I want her to have hope and high expectations for being swept off her feet. I also want her to know that if things seem like they’re too good to be true, they probably are.
I try not to become a cynic. I still want to believe that I too can have a happily ever after. That somewhere out there some prince-like person is looking for someone just like me. That upon meeting, I will exceed all expectations. I want to feel like magic happened the moment we lay eyes on each other. I want to feel true love. I want to feel exactly how I want to feel forever. Perhaps because I remain young at heart.