I do believe in Prince Charming.
I found my own at the tenderly angsty age of 14.
Yes, we’ve had more than our share of ups and downs and, yes, there were times when I stupidly thought that he might not be the prince I’d dreamed of after all—but thankfully I woke the fuck up.
Because the thing is, no one is perfect.
If you’re waiting for a man to come and sweep you off of your feet and spend every second of every day thinking about you and handing you candy and flowers, then, yeah, you might wind up being disappointed.
On the other hand, though, there are plenty of truly wonderful specimens with XY chromosomes—so wake up and quit being such a judgmental bitch.
I’m talking to myself when I over-reacted to my husband’s tendency to leave wet towels from his showers on my side of the bed or to his flinging pajama pants in the corner of the room, where they then annoying sit partially covering the air conditioning vent.
And I’m talking to my best girlfriend who acted like her boyfriend should just automatically understand her irrational mood swings—and then always be accepting of them, even though they unfairly affect him.
And I’m talking to you.
Wake the fuck up.
Do you think that because a person can’t be perfect that this means that he can’t be perfect for you?
Because the less exciting news flash is that I, too, have my unattractive moments.
Like how I tend to leave the dishes sitting in the sink until I’m forced, at the very last, moment to wash them up because we ran out of wine glasses (God forbid).
Or how I pretend that my husband should have the emotions of a gifted psychic—meaning that he should intuitively and innately know what’s wrong without me having to utter an actual word.
Now I’m not suggesting that you settle either.
If you find yourself unhappy more often than contented, or if your man treats you poorly, that’s an entirely different story.
The fictional story that I’m talking about is expecting your life to be linear and in line with a Disney fairy tale.
Think of it like this:
Do you expect to meet someone your eyes catch from across a crowded room? He gets up and comes over to you, murmuring the perfect pick-up line and gently caressing your dainty hand. He then takes his time wooing you. He brings you flowers—every day. He, of course, asks you to marry him with a huge diamond ring and you, of course, say yes.
You have a brief, shining moment where you challenge and question your relationship, at which time he only further proves his undying love for you more. You get married and live happily ever after with your 2.5 kids, and life is linear—smoothly tilting in an upwards incline towards perfect harmony—with only your one slightly climactic bump in the road.
That’s a great story. It really is.
However, it usually looks more like this:
He brings you flowers, tiger lilies, hand-picked from the ditch rather than bought from the cute florist shop downtown because he’s hard-working, he’s saving money, and he knows that, anyway, this is real romance.
And you have more than one hitch in the road.
There are plenty of times when either of you could have walked away if you hadn’t consciously chosen to work through these snags together.
And he did ask you to marry him, and you did say yes.
It wasn’t a huge, gigantic diamond because he was working on his first master’s degree, but it was extremely beautiful and still pretty expensive, since he chose to sell the car he rarely used (because he rides his bike everywhere), and he purchased this little metal and gem love token with that old car money.
And you still have bumps in the road even after you’re married.
Jobs aren’t perfect, and neither are either of you, but, once again, you choose to work through the bumps together, and sometimes it feels just like that—work.
And he’s back in school, working on another master’s degree when you have your first baby together.
Your pregnancy couldn’t have been better, and the birth goes smoothly too, but parenthood is difficult.
You encounter a few extremely stressful situations, ones that you, yet again, choose to go through holding hands rather than kicking and screaming.
Still, there are times when you do scream because you’re tired.
No, you’re exhausted—because parenthood is hard.
You discover the reason why everyone thinks that they can raise children more easily than everyone else, with their illogically cocky smiles—because people would never reproduce if we knew that it was truly this tough, that it truly is harder to have sex and be a couple and just plain get some sleep after you have kids.
And you don’t know how your story will end because you’re in it.
And thank God you realized a long time ago that fairy tales are real, but that they require you to do some of the writing.
You have to add in those little scene stealing moments of kisses and passion, even when you’re tired.
You have to hang up his towel on your bed yourself, because he was busy trying to get to work on time so that he could support that girl that he long ago chose as his partner (and this, not his trying to anger you, was why it was left there in the first place).
And you have to stop and smell the roses even when there are dirty dishes in the sink—because there will always be dirty dishes in the sink and you’ll miss that sweetly exotic smell if you don’t simply make the room in your day for it.
So, yeah, there is a prince (or princess) charming out there for you.
You just have to open your eyes wide enough to see the beauty that exists in the ordinary—you have to remember that even princesses occasionally get flat tires.
“The course of true love never did run smooth.” ~ William Shakespeare
(Happy 19th anniversary, Honey.)
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Ed: B. Bemel