I grew up reading Fairy Tales (… and admit that I occasionally still do. There are some SUPER potential plots in there!) They made me feel warm and excited about my romantic future. You know, about the Prince I’d once meet… perhaps dressed in pauper’s clothing. The way he’d rescue me from a car accident, or professional suicide, or perhaps be my defendant in court (I was going to be a lawyer,) naturally completely innocent of a horrendous charge, from which I would heroically save him –or vice versa. He would be tall and dark (still my preferences) with beautiful blue or green or chocolate eyes, which would speak love to me from across the room. Naturally, after the drama was over, we would get married in a huge ceremony that would leave even the bishop in tears (no measly local pastor would do) and live in glorious happiness ever after.
As I grew up, I wasn’t daunted by the fact that Players had begun to infest society, and that Divorce was no longer a scandal, but rather a piece of paper hundreds of spouses were signing casually during a spare moment. It didn’t worry me that, as I progressed from class to class and grade to grade, graduation to graduation, more and more of my fellow students came from broken or breaking homes, some of them suffering cruelly under terrible emotional stability. MY story was set in stone. Even as I studied, my confidence was set in the fact that my Prince (a few years older than me) was also studying, graduating –and looking for me. While in the Fairy Tales, he might have been in his Palace, restlessly ordering portrait after portrait of potential brides from all four corners of the Earth, and increasingly despairing as they arrived, my modern Prince was carefully dating, and with each disappointment, he was forming a better and clearer picture of the person he really wanted in his mind and heart –a portrait of me.
By the time I came to a marriageable age, and we met, he’d know immediately that I was the One for him, and woo me in ways that would embarrass me pleasurably , suffuse my friends in envy, and make my family proud. When I finally said ‘Yes’ (the Fairy Tales rules dictate that you don’t accept right away –there must be a period of pining for the Prince) it would be one evening after dinner, which we would have had under the stars, somewhere in Italy, where I would have gone on a Art History trip, and he’d found out and followed me. As the huge ring (sapphires and diamonds) was reverently slipped on, violins would play a crescendo, suddenly, out of nowhere, the restaurant owner would break out champagne on the House, and all the other patrons would be brought to tears by the sealing KISS of True Love…
I was NOT insane, I knew. I had read accounts of Wallis Simpson and her Prince, of Grace Kelly and hers, and even knew that a recent English King had Gone Against Tradition and fought for and got a Commoner wife. I mean, even Eliza Dolittle had found a man to love her. These things DID happen, and so I clung to my dream despite various negative accounts from my friends about their own romantic lives, both in High School and University. THEY were chasing common ‘boys’. For the longest time, I was happy to be a virgin and unencumbered by ‘I think Simon’s going to dump me’s and ‘Ted likes Rita more than me’s and ‘Sven won’t F-ING COMMIT!!!’s. MY Prince was well on his way, and since Life (and Love) is what happens to you while you’re doing other things, I was happy to do them. I studied and danced and got a job, and went on day trips to the beach, and bought and tried makeup, and had long academic debates and watched movies, and read… My Prince was coming.
A few short years later, I was Carrie from Sex and the City, except without a SHRED of romanticism left in me. I’d never liked flowers, but now I hated the sight of them. I bought boxes of chocolate for myself, and felt no shame in it. I dumped date after date, to the point were I couldn’t even fake any concern when they were hurt –they were not HIM, and I blamed them for confusing me into thinking that they were, and wasting my time. I got lonely and dated so as not to be alone, but was hardly invested in having any potential relationship, and was quite equal to ending it suddenly, when boredom reached a maximum –once by text (for which I feel ashamed, because there is NO excuse for bad manners.) I also once dumped a man who was wooing me… because he wrote me a poem. He was clearly living in La-la land. A few years later, another man who was wooing me, whom I really liked and was considering getting into a relationship with… sent me 400 roses at work. FOUR HUNDRED. That was the end of that. (I KNOW. I’m crazy.)
I was on a rapid spiral of deteriorating belief in Romance, and becoming more focused on Reality. And Reality dictates that the perfect man should be intelligent, hard-working, honest, steadfast and committed. How many of THESE I’ve met you are free to guess, a clue being the very existence of this blog. Weddings began to make me cringe as my cynicism grew, to the point where, now, the only wedding I want is the EXACT one conducted between Derek Shepherd and Meredith Grey, in Grey’s Anatomy (not the post-it one, the Real one, at the courthouse. “No fuss, no muss.” Perfect. It took all of 20 seconds.) Incidentally, my current Prospect completely disagrees, and is talking EVENING PROGRAMS. (No, I won’t put an end to it because of that. I’ve grown up –some.)
Point is… it’s sad. Hardly any girls are growing up with romantic ideals, and somehow, they’re GOOD for you. It’s lovely to have hope and faith that your Prince is coming –somewhere deep in me, I guess I still believe… which is why I’m still on the lookout. I don’t WANT to be bitter and twisted in my old age. I want to be before a fire, huddled up next to my charmingly shriveling husband of 200 years, chatting softly about our great-great-great-GREAT-grandchildren’s progress in school, and wondering at ‘how the world has changed.’
He’s OUT there. I have to believe it. If you’re Single, you do too!