I sat in a theater seat next to The Girl and watched wide eyed and hopeful as (Cinder)Ella found her true love. I can’t lie, I believed in that whole story book love until a few years ago. I believed in Prince Charmings and Love At First Sightings. I believed that love is everlasting and can heal all ails. I believed in big beautiful dresses and romantic moments. I believed the fairy tales spun for my enjoyment as a little girl and I carried the possibility of those tales with me for well over 30 years. Sitting there, watching ‘true love’ spill off of the screen left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Reality is far from that depiction of relationships. It saddened me a bit.
I remember the year I told the kids Santa wasn’t real. It changed Christmas forever. It just doesn’t feel the same. The magical bubble had been popped and now it feels like just another lazy t.v. watching day off from school and work. Watching Cinderella felt similar. The magical bubble of true love and fairy god-mothers and beautiful dresses and Prince Charmings had been popped. It felt just like another lazy movie watching day off from work and school.
At some point little girls began to believe in the picture Cinderella and her Prince painted. The ugly duckling, the diamond in the rough being polished by true love (which prevails all–even ugly stepmothers). The long suffering turned into happily ever after by the mere locking of eyes and the glitter of goodness. The happily ever after was left to the imagination of girls barely old enough to spell their names. They believed Cinderella and her Prince lived in a beautiful home with beautiful happy children and fortune always. Little did they know none of it was true.
The wedding with gowns and tuxes and grand parties and glasses clinking is a nod in Cinderella’s direction. The big houses filled with 2 kids (one of each gender), a dog and a cat are nods into Cinderella’s direction. But where is the debt or the sleepless nights? Where are the ‘i hate you’s’ or the ‘i’m leaving’s? Where are the dirty diapers and the lay offs? Where is the changing of the guard when the infamous ‘mid-life crisis’ hits? Where is the day when love just isn’t enough?
I sat next to The Girl a little sad for her. Relationship reality was found no where near Cinderella and her handsome (deliciously gorgeous) Prince, and should she choose to believe in the story unfolding on the silver screen it might come with a rude awakening someday. I stared at the screen hoping to naively believe in that again, but to no avail. It was no use. Relationship reality has set in and set up shop. Perhaps it is best–fairy tales belong in story books and on silver screens…not in homes filled with bills and dirty diapers.