Friday, September 24, 2010

Disney has doomed us all.

Fairytales, from the way I've been exposed to them, don't come in many different packages. They start off with a little girl who either has daddy issues, step-mother issues, an evil magical spell cast upon her, or just plain bratty-princess syndrome. They start off with a little girl who usually wants for nothing, but wishes for everything. They start off with a beautiful, young, tortured soul.

As the story progresses, the little princess runs from her problems, sweeping them under the rug until there comes a point when they're staring her in the face and she has no where to turn but to a handsome prince, or a fairy godmother, or maybe a pack of friendly animals. She never saves her own ass. Instead, it's saved for her-- by some guy who she will ride off into the sunset with to get married, have really attractive babies, and then begin another generation of want-for-nothing-wish-for-everything(s).

Life isn't a cookie cutter though. It's not molded into an early onset issue that can be magically healed with one kiss or a magic fairy waving her wand. Life is brutal, it's harsh, yet it's magical in its own ways. Very few people experience trauma, struggle with money, or have an absent parent from a young age. But those that do don't go about finding their fairytale in a systematic way. There is no Pythagorean Theorem that tells them which step to take next. Sure there are some pretty pivotal steps a person has to take in their lifetime; go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, and obviously pay taxes. But how they go about those steps, if they even want to take them all, is entirely up to them.

A pregnancy can occur in high school. Drop out or keep going? Keep the baby or terminate? These aren't things Cinderella had to deal with.

An absent parent can surface in college. Take the easy way out and ignore them? Be the bigger person and forgive easily? Okay, maybe a few of the Disney princesses had to confront poor parenting skills. Good thing for my generation that we don't have to worry about the "you must be married to a prince" rule...or the whole arranged marriage setup.

Life is messy though. Very very messy. And we don't always get what we want. I may not come from nothing in the full sense of the phrase, but I certainly don't find myself wishing for everything. I have hopes and aspirations, of course, but the reality is that not every wish you make comes true. Not every prayer you utter will have a positive outcome. And not every person will want the same things you do. One thing I have to face as a non-Disney princess is the concept of compromise. And boy does it suck sometimes.

I wish I was still young enough to be convinced that coming from nothing means you can wish for everything...and have a pretty good shot at getting it all in the perfect order.

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