I grew up believing in Happily Ever After. I believed I would grow up, get married, and that’s about it. I knew I would have a career and be rich (ummm..that hasn‘t happened either), but, of anything in this world I could attain, I wanted to be in love and have that love reciprocated.
My mother didn’t help break this fantasy, (mostly because she graduated high school and got hitched, like her mother before her). As a matter of fact, she fed the fantasy soda and candy lies like “Your prince charming is out there”, and “You’ll get married when you’re young”, and “Oh, you’ll never have to worry about being a spinster. You’re too pretty to not get married”. She never once told me love is hard. That it tends to not be what it’s all cracked up to be. And she’s not the only mother to do this irreparable damage to their little girl. Love’s not for the faint-hearted. The faint-hearted, like me, are the most vulnerable captors this unrelenting dictator called Love likes to ensnare. We’re foolish, hopeful, and resounding, always coming back for more.
So Disney. What could I possibly have against Disney?
Like every other little girl before and after me, I was enamored with Disney princesses and their Happily Ever Afters. I sat for hours watching Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Aladdin, and especially, The Little Mermaid. Oh my God, did my sister and I love The Little Mermaid. (As an adult, I still do, but the penis discreetly hidden within the towers of Ariel’s mermaid castle on the movie poster is now my top favorite reason for loving it). But let me ask you this. What theme do all these Disney movies have in common? The most unrealistic of all themes..love conquers all and men stay forever, devoted to your every whim and need. You fart and he thinks it smells like Chanel #5. (That’s probably one of the funniest things I’ve written. Chanel # 5 farts.)
Now, I recognize Walt Disney didn’t write these stories. These stories were written and poised for female ego destruction hundreds of years ago, years before he was even born. But to me, there is a distinct difference between imagination and seeing imagination unfold before your very eyes. Mr. Disney saw a money gold mine when he decided to put into moving motion “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, and in doing so, re-shaped female childhood by helping us to honestly believe that happy ever after is attainable for all. What I’m basically getting at here is Disney’s as bad as our mothers for putting that shit up there.
I remember sitting at a bar with Charlotte Grant , (Yes, another bar, we sat, and still sit, at a lot of bars), being 22 or 23, when I had this eureka moment and was able to successfully finger Disney as being solely responsible for my pathetic yearning for this “Prince Charming” disease ridden concept. I think I was asking Charlotte why was it so important for me to be in a relationship and married, when suddenly, I made the distinct connection of watching Disney’s triumphant tales of true love unfold before my eyes for years as a child and watching it shrivel and die before my eyes as an adult. Love and Marriage made sense to me because it was all I knew. I’d watched it millions of times in colorful, twirling, singing, birds tittering, bunnies hopping, bunnies talking, mice cleaning, dancing, and “I’m going to stare intently into your eyes before I kiss you” style. This harsh reality of it being a nasty bitch was an earth shattering experience for me. Disney made it look so easy, so pleasing and inviting.
Lesson # 391-It’s taken YEARS of hypnotic chanting on my part to convince myself that being single is ok. That not having a string of “Prince Uncharming’s” is actually better and healthier then dealing with the bullshit bad relationships always provide in abundance. It’s also taken a lot of female balls to admit to myself that A.) The possibility of “Prince Charming” not existing for me and B.) Marriage not being in my cards of destiny is ok too. These are realistic expectations. It is unrealistic to expect your life to unfold the same way “Sleeping Beauty’s” did. (Although you have to admit, being able to sleep for years, then Prince Phillip shows up looking like Christian Bale to kiss you on the lips and whisk you away to get married and live in his castle with your fairy lady friends would be much more exciting. Damn you Disney.)
So, my words of wisdom this week to the lonely hearted and hearts of personal destruction is please, please, please stop looking for validation in someone else. Please start getting comfortable with yourself. Drop that scumbag who treats you less that you deserve because you can’t face loneliness. Loneliness is essential to getting to know ourselves and personal growth. Here’s a biggie..remember marriage is a religious institution, and if you’re not religious, you shouldn’t be in one. Religion has never been the choice as it is now, and for centuries before, it was required because everyone was required to be religious. There is no need for marrriage if you do not practice the religious laws which govern it.
Closing note to the mom’s out there..don’t crush your little girls world and ban anything Disney princesses out of your home. She loves those damn princesses, and we all know Natalie Wood’s “Susie” on Miracle on 54th street was one boring little bitch till she found imagination. But please, if you catch your little princess dreamily soaking in the Disney princess dancing with her prince, be sure to burst that bubble promptly by laughing, pointing at the screen, and letting Little Betsy know what a crock of bull shit that is.