For many years now I have known that Disney lied to me.
It promised me thick, plaited hair, talking animal sidekicks, perfect pitch, soundtracks for my most memorable moments, and, of course, the dashing prince.
Even if he was late (Sleeping Beauty) or a bit thick (Cinderella) or a little naive (Little Mermaid), the prince was always there, he was always handsome, and there were always butterflies—both literally and metaphorically—in that moment when he finally kissed the girl.
I now know that not all men are princes. And honestly, not all women are princesses either. I’ve also learned that those butterflies, while beautiful to look at and fun to feel, are very rarely indicative of much more than heightened blood pressure, some pretty potent pheromones, or a poorly chosen lunch.
As much as my heart innately longs for that storybook romance, I’m seeing more and more what a farce that fairytale is.
Love as a Fairy Tale?
I just went on my first date in several years. It was with a guy I met online. We had been talking for a few weeks, and he seemed so genuinely nice. Already we had little inside jokes, he was affirming at all of the right moments, and I was eager to meet him, but skeptical. Skeptical enough that I spent $10 to get my eyebrows waxed and two hours to perfect my look.
After an awkward hello and a few exchanged pleasantries, unfortunately my date was suddenly feeling very under the weather—what horrible timing. What was truly unfortunate for him was that he wasn’t smart enough to feign sick before we ordered. Fifty-two minutes later, we were sliding out of our booths after stilted conversation, half-finished meals, and splitting the check (50/50, though his meal and two drinks cost far more than my portion). Needless to say, I did not get, nor want, a second date.1