Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Drama of Happily Ever After

Once upon a time in a far away land there lived a charming girl who good natured and everyone in the villeage loved her. One day she met a prince wandering in the forest and they fell head over heels in love. The girl, however, felt guilty because she harboured a secret. She was born as a half human and half wolf, a beautiful girl during the day and by night a mighty she-wolf. It was only by the hand of true love can she control her “gift” and live a fulfilling life.  Days and months passed, the couple fell deeper and deeper into love. The deeper she fell in love, the more guilt she had. Until one day, she told him her secret. 
We are taught at a young age what it means to love through fairy tales. The conception that love will come from a dazzling prince who will sweep you off your feet and live happily ever after is in fact a misconception. Those types of stories are too good to be true, don’t you think?
In retrospect, these fairy tales reflect some realistic truths about relationships, life, and love.
First, it reinforces the reality that marrying rich is good advice.
In the Disney fairy tales, and even in the original stories by the Grimm Brothers, one thing is for sure, it showed a class difference between two star crossed lovers. Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Alladin are some examples where the girl (or in Alladin’s case, the guy) had to go through drastic means to become financially stable. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does paint a story that mirrors the general view society has towards marriage and relationships.
Second, be wary of the crazy mother in law or step mother
Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of all?
O Lady Queen, though fair ye be, Snow White is farrier far to see
In the Snow White fairy tell, Snow White and her Prince faced a crazy step mother with image issues, combined with her temper and flair for dramatics, make her a very deadly villain.
In the story, Cinderella, the evil step mother had attention issues and a superiority complex. To compound her bitch attitude, she had two equally bitchy daughters because the apple never falls to far from the tree.
Cinderella and Snow White are stories where the mother figure plays a rather important role in determining the happiness of a relationship. Instead, what do these stories teach us as young children? They teach us to “hope for happiness” to “hope for a brand new day” and to “always do unto others as you would like others to do unto you.” However, the obvious underlying realistic and practical lessons in these stories should be to always make a good first impression with the “mother” because that will ultimately determine the level misery of your relationship.
The last challenge is we are conditioned to believe in “happily ever after”
After the story ends, what do we believe will happen? Think about it, “Happily Ever After” implies the Prince and Princess lead a perfect life, drama free because they already got over the hurdle of the evil witch, the bitchy step bother, and every curse and poison in the book.
However, with time and old age we learn “Happily Ever After” is far and few between. A pessimist once said, Life does not always have happy endings, and it will take medication, unreturned phone calls, heart break, and some therapy to ultimately get there.
Personally, I believe we need to change “Happily Ever After” to “And they lived happily as they could possibly be after.”
A pessimist, however, offers a few other realistic alternatives to “Happily Ever After” to consider
a.   And with all the alimony, she finally bought the castle she always dreamed of
b.   And he never found out the child wasn’t his
c.    And she never had any idea that he was actually gay
d.   And they stayed together because of the kids

In the end you should make your own story but maybe one day when you have children or grand children, try to give them a reality dose of the world to make them realize that “happily ever after” is not something that happens is something you have to work hard for. As they always say, If you’re not willing to take the pain, then don’t get in the game.
So to continue the fairy tale we started before. Upon hearing the news of the young girl’s secret, the Prince ran off scared for his life that one day he will be ripped from limb to limb in their marriage bed. The girl cried, got over it, and then chased him for dinner. – And she lived happily ever after.

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