Why Looking for Prince Charming is a Waste of Time

Every little girl over the past 60 years has grown up with Disney's princesses and their "Prince Charmings", and whether we realize it or not, it has informed our choices as women. As children we read the stories, watched the movies, and put on the costumes not even considering and messages we were receiving. And our parents, being of another era/grateful to have found something to occupy us for a time, never suspected that these simple stories would step their daughters up for disappointment.

Snow White

While Snow White is a touching tale of evil stepmothers, childhood abandonment, and witchcraft, it is also offers us many valuable life lessons. Chapter One: Fathers, no matter how devoted, are dimwitted twits whose libido we cause suffering for their daughters. Chapter Two: No man, no matter how depraved, can harm a sweet innocent girl. Chapter Three: Trust strangers. Chapter Four: Don't trust strangers offering food. Chapter Five: If you suddenly awake to a boy kissing you - marry him.

And what have generations of girls learned from these lessons? To blame their fathers for childhood hardship, distrust stepmothers, trust older men, trust strange men, and fall in love with the first boy who shows you any attention.

Cinderella

Cinderella follows the same formula as Snow White, but with the added lessons of, distrusting stepsisters, believing in magic, oh and you aren't crazy if animals talk to you. On the plus side the standards for men a elevated slightly. In this tale Prince Charming has to travel the kingdom, with his entourage, assessing toe jam, bunions, hammer toes and foot fungus to determine which young lady fits the glass slipper.

This leaves one to conclude, in addition to Snow White's lessons, that if you say you are talking to an animal when you are really talking to yourself you aren't crazy, it is very important to get regular pedicures (i can't really fault this lesson), if you like a boy run away if you stalks you it is true love.

Sleeping Beauty

First let me admit to having held this tale apart for many years based on the fact that the prince (who was actually given a name) had to "earn" the princess' love. Shameful, I know.

The lessons of this tale: Chapter One - if you are going to invite some of your neighbors, you had better invite them all. You never know who might gate crash and go postal. Oh, and manual labor will kill you. Chapter Two - Magic will get you in trouble, ravens are bad, boys like a girls who can sing, and arranged marriages can really cramp your style. Chapter Three - Your parents mistakes will haunt you. Any boy who breaks out of prison, steals a couple priceless weapons, fights a satanic cult leader and then sneaks into your room to make out with you is a keeper. And finally, mom and dad really did know best.

The flaw in all of this is that while we might each have one true love, it is unlikely that we will live in the same city as them, much less meet them in the flesh. Our world is to large and holds too many possibilities to fixate on "one true love". We should be seeking love in whatever form, whatever shape, at whatever time, in whatever place it presents itself. Having such fairy-tale expectations leaves us too myopic to appreciate all the world has to offer us, and leads us to disappointment at not finding what we think love is supposed to be and/or to forcing men into a role they weren't made for.

The illusions of youth must be replaced by the informed dreams of adulthood. Were a guy to walk up to me out of the blue and kiss me my knee would no doubt find his groin. Should a man wander around town asking everyone about me I would definitely get a restraining order. And as for the prison escapee, I'd be on the phone to America's Most Wanted faster than you can say John Walsh. I would much rather spend my days with an intelligent, law abiding, well mannered guy than any of these "Prince Charmings". Oh and it would help if he has good credit, because mine is terrible!