Tag Archives: Dating

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…

Sweet Nothings…

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young dreams…

I have never been a fan of Romance.. Oh don’t get me wrong, I can watch the 5 hour version of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy falling in love over and over again. I re-read Love Comes Softly at least twice a year. I yell at the screen right along with my daughter when the heroine of a movie makes the dumbest assumptions and re-routes her life most inconveniently. But in real life.. In MY Life? I really have no place for it.. 

Now I did have crushes and I went on more than a few dates in my teenage years.  But when I was dating, I almost treated the first date like it was an interview.  And I was good.  I could tell by the end of that date if I could ever see myself marrying the guy.. if not.. we didn’t go out again.  I never wanted the long courtships or the long phone calls or the flowery words.. and definitely didn’t want the flowers.

And then I met Chad. Oh my sweet romantic husband was SOOO wasted on me. Jewelry.. flowers… sweet cards… romantic dates.. Ha.. In fact, I sat next to him in class for close to a month before I even noticed that he sat NEXT to me EVERY day. It was another couple weeks of talking in class before met outside of class… and then a month of “hanging out” before we went out on our first date. Our first romantic date. I knew I was going to marry him after a month of dating. Yet, my sweet husband still planned the most romantic proposal.. on the pier of Lake Michigan right at sunset.. and he was all dressed up too. He planned every detail.. It would have been so perfect and so Romantic…. But…. I made us run so late that by the time we were on our way, he was SO frustrated at me.. So frustrated in fact that he ended up throwing (gently) my engagement ring at me in his truck.  After he forgave me, he took me to the Pier the next day instead.  And I cried… Great big tears of Joy and LAUGHTER.. because my romantic man kneeled down on a beach FULL of dead fish to proposal.. And he would NOT stand up until I accepted.. which (of course) I did. 

So you are probably wondering… if I didn’t find his romantic side irresistible, what drew me to him? Well he had something else I always melted for.. Laughing and long talks. And Chad had plenty of both. He has the best laugh.. So if you asked me what I liked the most about my husband?  It would be his laugh.. Even when I am really mad and he starts laughing at me?? (Apparently he thinks I am adorable when angry). Yeah… it still melts my heart.

I asked Chad once what was the FIRST thing that he liked about me.. The ONE thing that made him switch his schedule so it matched mine.  The one thing that made him want to sit next to me every day .. The one thing that had him waiting patiently for a month for me to finally notice him?  Then I waited patiently for my romantic-hearted husband to decide on which romantic thing it would be.. And he said, “I guess that you were so sturdy.” Sturdy???  Sturdy to me means like Elephant trunk legs.. like nothing short of gale force winds could knock you over. Now I know that I am not a small boned girl.. I never hoped to be called petite.. but Sturdy?? So as I laugh and say, “Gee thanks..”, he calmly corrected me, “Not sturdy in frame but sturdy in spirit.. That you were so sure of who you were and confident..”. So I guess he thought my personality could survive gale force winds.. I’ll take that.. And I suppose it could be called Romantic. But next time I tell this story to a group of friends? You bet! I will still say “Sturdy? Gee thanks honey, I love you too..” You know why? Because it always makes him laugh! And you know how much I love his laugh.