Thursday, March 18, 2010

So easy to say

Garden detritus from last year

When I think about what I was told as a little girl, I was sold such a bill of goods. We all are, with the princesses and the frogs and the pumpkins and the stagecoaches and frilly dresses. I remember learning to read with Cinderella, the old-fashioned version of the story where she gets to go to three different balls in three different dresses. I loved that song: “So this is love, nah-nah-nah,” when she dances by the fountain in the Disney version.

And it’s all a crock. There aren’t any princes or fairy-tale endings. I mean this in a good way. It’s a good thing there aren’t fairy-tale endings. Who wants that? What does Cinderella actually do in her boring old castle? Wasn’t life a lot cooler when she had little rat friends who helped her sew dresses?

Someone made the point recently that that marriage wouldn’t have had a happy ending anyway. Do you think that the prince’s fuzzed-over mother and father, the King and Queen, would have been oh-so-jumping-for-joy that their precious baby boy was marrying a girl from the other side of the tracks? Anyone think there might have been some in-law issues there? Heck, yeah. Not to mention the evil stepmother, who doesn’t just disappear into the ether. Don’t you bet she and her hellacious daughters would have been sticking their nose in at the palace every second day, spying for cute cousins or aging earls?

It’s just funny. We think at some point there’s going to be this shiny, glorious moment, where all of a sudden we’re in this gorgeous gown, and then we ride off into the sunset, and everything’s beautiful and perfect forever. But it’s just not true. Instead we age. We change. We learn that love is something entirely different than what we thought it was at first. We learn that we have to talk to our partners and that they can’t read our minds, and that fairy godmothers don’t always show up and give us brand new cars made of garden vegetables. We learn that life requires almost endless repetition and hard work. That most of life is about establishing good habits, not those glorious moments of bliss.


Marie said...

Obviously, you didn't know these issues were all addressed in Cinderellas 2 and 3. Here is a summary of Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True encompasses three short stories; first, after Cinderella (voice of Jennifer Hale) marries Prince Charming (voice of Christopher Daniel Barnes), she finds it difficult to reconcile her new station in life with the simple ways she's known in the past. Secondly, the friendly mouse Jacques (voice of Rob Paulsen) wishes he could be a human being -- but after the Fairy Godmother (voice of Russi Taylor) makes it so, he discovers it's a lot tougher than he imagined. And finally, Cinderella takes pity on her stepsister, Anastasia (voice of Tress MacNeille), and teaches her how to smile in the hopes she can find a love of her own. Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True also includes a new song by Brooke Allison, "Put It Together." ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Amazing, right?? And click here for a trailer for number 3:

Melissa said...

But where are the in-law issues, I ask you???? Where the passive-aggressive resentment? Where the part where Cinderella has to reconcile herself to her own aging and sagging body?