Where is Cinderella now?

100_0706The story of Cinderella was originally written as a scary story to tell children.. to make them behave. Then Disney came along and took all the scary parts outs. They shaped that same scary story into a beautiful fairy tale that little girls fantasize about.

The Disney version of Cinderella is such a great story of Faith. A fine example of how Hope can come from the least expected places. Because one would definitely think that a close neighbor would have noticed Cinderella’s suffering before the Prince would have. And I could see where Cinderella, herself, would doubt help was coming at all.. if her neighbors didn’t try to help when they noticed she had gone from cherished daughter to the unpaid help.

But the story of Cinderella, this Disney one, has started to take on a different meaning for me recently. A different tone.. if you will…

What changed?

Well.. I have a daughter.. (a teenaged daughter)… One that could spring into dating at any moment.. without any warning. THAT in itself would be a little terrifying.. IF I didn’t have Faith in my daughter.. as well as Faith in God to guide her…

But the story of Cinderella has unseen dangers..

You see? Cinderella meets her Prince Charming.. when she isn’t dressed as herself.. but when she is dolled up and wearing beautiful clothes… THEN they meet at a magically fancy dance and fall in love at first sight… AND THEN he rescues her and they marry immediately.

You don’t see any danger??

If you look at it from a little girl’s point of view? This says “I need to be beautiful AND dress beautifully in order to meet my Prince Charming.” BUT here? HERE I will pause… Even though I have a ton to say on this.. it isn’t the story I want to tell today…

Today I would like to point out the real danger. That danger shows itself at the end of the tale..

With the words, “Happily EVER After.” If the narrator had said, “And they rode through all of Life’s obstacles together,” or “And THEN they helped each other deal with their issues for the next 50 years,” ? THEN this story wouldn’t be scary at all.  I would love it.

Let them enjoy the fairy tale you say? Ok I did.. I read this story to my daughter for years… I quoted this Happily Ever After for years….

But now the Honey moon is over… Cinderella and Prince Charming have unpacked their baggage and are trying to fit it into their castle…

“Cinderella didn’t have any baggage, she was too poor,” you are saying? I am referring to the baggage we all carry around with us.. the issues we have.. the weaknesses .. the temptations… Telling girls that there aren’t any issues.. that you will just be happy forever after you meet the right prince? That is dangerous…

What issues could a nice girl like Cinderella have?

A young girl who doesn’t remember her Mother because she died too young? A girl who’s father married a manipulative woman… and then promptly abandoned her to that woman’s care (through his untimely death)? A childhood of hard work? A life with verbal abuse? Not to mention she talks to animals…

Yes.. Cinderella has baggage.

Ok.. ok.. so you agree that Cinderella may need some TLC.. but the Prince.. he grew up in a castle right? How could he possibly have issues?

Everyone has issues.. they are all different but everyone has issues..

I guarantee you within a few years of that fairy tale wedding..  that other glass slipper will most likely hit the wall and shatter.. Whether it is because Cinderella is sick of Charming always telling her what to do… or whether it’s Charming getting angry that Cinderella is constantly cleaning the castle instead of paying attention to him… or because Charming is always on the road and Cinderella feels abandoned… OR.. Charming no longer thinks that it’s adorable that his young wife plays with mice? I MEAN.. what WILL the neighbors think?

Alright .. BUT IF THEY LOVE EACH OTHER… then none of that should matter…

Right?!?

I agree.. it shouldn’t matter!!! If Charming and Cinderella love each other? Then they should get married ..baggage and all!!! They should even help each other carry those heavy bags..

But often that isn’t the case … Often I hear of “love at first sight” turning into… “Well I didn’t know he did that..”… or “I thought he would grow out of that,” or “she stopped taking care of herself,” OR… “I thought she wouldn’t need those mice anymore once she had me.”

So I started telling my daughter about the real life of Cinderella.. the story of AFTER she became Mrs. Charming. I don’t tell her that they would have been better off if they had not met at a Ball.. I don’t tell her that there is no such thing as love at first sight… and I don’t tell her they should not have ever married…

What I do tell her?

I tell her that if Cinderella goes into that fairy tale marriage knowing that there will be issues? If she spends time talking to her prince instead of just dancing the nights away.. if she expects him to not be perfect? Then she can still expect a happy ending…

… and maybe… JUST maybe they won’t still have that baggage to pass along to Charmella and Prince Cinder.

So when I am reading Cinderella to my future grandkids? Should I change the words from “Happily Ever After” to “And then they walked hand in hand through life battling, whatEVER life threw at them, together”…? Ha.. maybe not… it doesn’t exactly have the same poetic effect…

…but I do think I will continue to tell them Cinderella’s sequel…

5 thoughts on “Where is Cinderella now?”

  1. Have you seen the movie “Ever After” version ? This addresses some of these issues you incite -fully brought up, where Cinderella and Prince Charming actually meet and get to know and “fall in love” with each other before the ball. A very “charming movie . Our granddaughters all love this movie staring Drew Barrymore.

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  2. I believe some people view Cinderella as a story of two complete strangers falling in love at a ball that just happened to be when the Prince needed to marry do I think that the Prince just chose Cinderella because she was the best dancer or had the prettiest dress? NO! I think that the prince felt some connection to her but was this love? Maybe not at first I think that the story that is told in most versions or in the movies speeds things up. When I was little watching Cinderella I always thought that the story skipped ahead from when the prince found her to when they got married I felt that weeks had gone by where they got to know each other with long strolls though the gardens or bearfoot walks on the beach. Maybe that’s because that’s how I was always taught relationships worked or maybe its because that’s what actually happened. Now after this you’re going to ask “why don’t you believe in love at first sight ?” And the answer is I believe in a connection at first sight but love is a feeling that reaches below the surface below sight you can’t just look at someone and fall i n love with THEM maybe their face or apperence but you can’t just love a person who you just see because like I said love reaches further then meets the eye

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