Monday, May 7, 2012

Letting Go of Happily Ever After and Embracing Happy Now

Like most young girls, I was enthralled with romantic fairy tales. Who wouldn't want to have Prince Charming to show up with that glass slipper that would undoubtedly fit just right? Or maybe have him ride up on his noble steed and wake you from some mysterious illness with true love's kiss? These ideas of romantic bliss are drilled into little girl's heads from very early on. There's nothing wrong with fairy tales, they are entertaining and fun and they make great Disney movies.

While I outgrew my princess obsession, I didn't quite give up on Prince Charming. Why would I? Every movie I loved assured me he existed. Of course as I grew up, my ideal prince changed too. So while I didn't expect him to show up at my door with a glass slipper, or rescue me from some isolated tower. I was pretty sure my high school  crush would serenade me with his boombox outside my window like in "Say Anything", or maybe I'd ride off on the back of his lawn mower into the sunset like "Can't Buy Me Love". I kept waiting. I was usually disappointed. When I got a a little bit older, I figured maybe he'd climb up my fire escape (as soon as I managed to get one) with a rose and some obscure opera playing on a limo's system like "Pretty Woman". Of course my prince would declare his love and renounce his throne on a public train like "Coming to America". Or at the very least sweep me off my feet and carry me away from some mundane job, like "An Officer and a Gentlemen" even if he just took me to lunch!

Somehow with all this in my head, I still managed to fall in love with my husband. But I still didn't really give up on my ideal Prince Charming. I was always waiting for that silver screen moment, secretly, silently hoping for that perfect tear jerking scene, where he says or does the perfect thing, in the perfect setting, ideally while   I have perfect hair. I mean decades of movies have very clearly portrayed what love and romance are supposed to look like but somehow nobody told my hubby his lines! I can't tell you how many anniversaries, birthdays and especially Valentine's days were ruined by my quiet (or maybe not so quiet) disappointment in my hubby's lack of Hollywood-like romance. I mean hadn't the man ever seen a movie???

I spent so much time resenting the lack of movie style romantic moments that. I was missing the real life romance in my marriage all around me. Romance isn't always a Hallmark card or candle-lit dinners. It's what makes you feel loved, cherished and special. Maybe he doesn't write me poetry, but he changes the lyrics in songs to my name.And sings them, loudly. He rarely surprises me with flowers, but he surprises me with Swedish Fish all the time (Seriously those things are like crack to me I eat a few bags a week). He has not challenged anyone to duel but he killed a pretty nasty looking spider while I stood on the bed shrieking in fear. He hasn't yet climbed that fire escape with the rose in his teeth, but he regular climbs on the roof for the kid's lost toys. How could I have ever doubted it? He's my perfect leading man.

Prince Charming, eat your heart out.


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