In a knife fight against Cinderella, I would win. Ditto for Sleeping Beauty and all those other fairy tale bitches. I’m meaner than all of them put together, to be sure. Plus, they’ve pissed me off. I’m 33 and alone and maybe they’re partly to blame.
See, it’s impossible to be a little girl and not grow up with the fairy tale. It’s just as impossible to not want that fairy tale, to not grow up dreaming of it, to not be disappointed when, yet again, you don’t get your happily ever after.
Me? I want it. I want the fairy tale. I want the Disney version of how this is supposed to go, ditto on that whole romantic comedy thing, too. I like the story, I guess. I like how it starts cute, and then there’s some sort of tragedy, some sort of chaos, some light suffering and that whole will they or won’t they thing, and then he rescues her – maybe from him, maybe from her, maybe from them – but he comes back and does the rescuing and then it’s happily ever after. Roll credits.
It’s the coming back part that’s my favorite, that whole rescue bit. That’s the part that gets me, that mushes my stupid heartstrings all together and makes my eyes fill up with stupid tears. He comes back. That’s how it goes, that’s how it’s always supposed to go.
In real life, I don’t think he knows that. Or he doesn’t care. He’s supposed to come back and be the hero, do the rescue thing. That’s how the script goes, that’s the way it’s written, the way it’s always written, and sure, I’m a mean bitch. Really. I can rescue myself just fine, thanks, but the thing is – I don’t want to.
I don’t want to be my own hero. I don’t want to rescue myself. I’m tired and I just don’t fucking want to. I want him to do it.
So I wait. I leave his toothbrush in the medicine cabinet, his clothes in the closet, and I wait. I tick off the days and then the weeks. I wait – bated breath and all – for him to come home, to storm the castle, to burst through the door, vanquish all our problems and sweep me off my feet. The dogs bark, I let the air out of my lungs and think, finally, but no, I’m wrong. He doesn’t come. He didn’t read the script and besides, this is real life.
Now I’m 33, twice divorced and alone and yet I find myself, after all this bullshit, still – STILL – waiting for my prince to come in and rescue me, just like he did for all those Disney bitches. And then, when I catch myself, I blame them. Because really, who is more to blame for my long-held belief in fairy tales than them? Their prince always came back. He fought dragons, overcame any and all obstacles to get back to her, to get her back, and yet here I am, still waiting.
Which is dumb. I know it’s dumb. I get that it’s dumb. I know it isn’t real. I know.
I have worked hard to be independent, to be strong, to be better than. I am self sufficient and capable of standing on my own. I own my life and I call myself a feminist and I believe in my equality and ability to match or exceed, but I still want the fairy tale. I still want him to come home, to take care of me, to wrap me up in his arms and tell me that it’s all going to be ok and that I don’t have to do this alone.
Even if I know I can protect myself, I still want him here to do it for me.
But I’m mad about it. I’m pissed, really. I am rage-driven, at best, rage-consumed, at worst. This is not the woman I raised myself to be.
So I spend a lot of time being pissed off at princesses. I blame them, for all of it. It’s their fault I can’t find my happily ever after, their fault I fucking believe in a happily ever after. I saddle them with my heart break, with my wishful thinking and I hate them most of all for the hope they have instilled in me, that idiotic hopeful feeling that maybe, just maybe he’ll rush in to save me at the last minute, to save us just in the nick of time.
He doesn’t. They don’t. The only one who will save you, is you. Which is why I keep picking myself back up. Off the floor. Off the bed I want to spend the rest of my life sleeping in. Pick up, pick up, pick up, keep going. That’s real life. Not the Disney bullshit.