Home > Humor, Random Musings, Stories from Childhood > Prince Charming was an Idiot (Or, What We Learn from Fairy Tales)

Prince Charming was an Idiot (Or, What We Learn from Fairy Tales)

(This is a post from an old blog. It’s one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it. Also, is it fairytales or fairy tales? I can never remember.)

I’m a hopeless, throw-caution-to-the-wind romantic. I believe in love. Worse yet, I believe in true love (or twu wuv, for those who have survived the Pit of Despair). I mean, everyone knows that false love is just so tacky. I do hope that you didn’t miss the memo on that. Regardless, a copy of it will be along shortly, with the TPS reports. Feel free to make copies, if the copier decides to cooperate. And, no, no one really knows what PC Load Letter means.

Anyway, let’s get back to the point: fairy tales mess with your mind. Almost every girl I know was raised on all those classic fairy tales and stories. Disney, of course, served most of these tales to the Masses (I’m not even going to touch the Grimm versions). While they are entertaining stories, they are a recipe for epic disaster. They have the same basic formula: boy meets girl. One of them is some sort of royalty. They fall in love quicker than you can accelerate your car. Enter the villain. This surely signals impending doom! Don’t you hear the scary music? But, no. The villain’s plans are thwarted. Boy and girl go riding off into the proverbial sunset. The End! Everything’s great, right?

Well, what do we actually know about these dashing princes (Here’s a few: Prince Charming, Prince Philip, Prince Eric, and “just” Prince, who is Snow White’s prince. And, really, what’s up with that? He doesn’t even have a NAME.)? Think about it. They have no personality. Well, that’s not exactly true. They’re heroic, right? They rush off to fight danger, braving all kinds of things, like dragons. It’s all in the name of love (somewhere, Bono is nodding his head). Let’s consider Cinderella’s Prince Charming (not to be confused with Sleeping Beauty‘s Prince Philip). Is he even charming, or is that the biggest misnomer ever?

Cinderella and Charming meet at a dance. They dance. And then what happens? She runs AWAY. Sure, it’s because her dress is going to turn back into a less flattering ensemble–not to mention the fact that her transportation is about to repossessed–but she freakin’ RUNS AWAY. And Prince Charming does what? Well, of course, he scours the kingdom for her. I mean, isn’t that what every guy would do, for a girl you met for a few hours at your parents’ house? (I could turn that into a Bridget Jones reference, involving Colin Firth and a disastrous jumper…but I won’t. *wink*)

In all honesty, if Prince Charming were a real guy, he’d probably would’ve given up. He would taken one look at your shoe, decided that he didn’t like how big your foot was, and he would’ve written you off. (We’ve all had that moment where we look for a vice, just to end things. Usually it’s because we’re scared, but that’s another story.) Charming would’ve gone back to his party to chat with his royal friends about what a FLAKE you were.

Why? Because we don’t believe in the chase, anymore. In a world where marriage doesn’t seem to last as often as we’d like, we’ve slowly stop believing in fairy tales. We’re cynical, even if we’re more optimistic than most. Even romantics are riddled with cynicism. I mean, let’s face it: it’s rather difficult to chase after someone. You have to put yourself out there. It is a lot like fighting a dragon: there’s a very real possibility that you’re going to get roasted. This goes for girls and guys, alike. (Yes, girls can chase after guys. This does not make her a slut. This doesn’t make her horribly aggressive. Going after what you want is never a bad thing; it’s refreshingly honest.)

The Disney princes, though heroic, had no real personalities. They operated in a predictable manner, because it’s a freakin’ movie. However, most people are wonderfully multidimensional. They have *gasp* personalities, quirks, and baggage. That’s probably what leads to all the difficulties we experience in relationships. But, you know, I’d really rather have all those difficulties–the fighting, the tension, the conversations, and disagreements–than not. It’s what helps us grow.

So, yes, fairy tales might not be real in the strictest sense of the word. Things don’t always end with a beautiful sunset. They won’t always work out, magically–but that doesn’t mean there isn’t real magic out there. (Is that too Hallmark-y? Well, shush. Nobody asked you. Okay, so I did, but I didn’t really mean it.) Magic is a funny thing: it’s there if you look for it, though it won’t come in the guise of singing birds and genies. If happen to stumble across a singing bird, seek immediate medical attention; you’ve either hit your head or you’ve gotten into the magic mushrooms.

Love is messy and imprecise. It will, on occasion, make you batshit crazy, out-of-your-mind loony. But love? It is magic. Love is the part of a fairy tale that is true. Sure, guys don’t dress up like knights to impress girls (unless you’re Ed and the object of your affection is Carol Vessy). And ladies don’t really get locked away in a tower surrounded by giant thorns and a DRAGON. But we all need to be rescued, sometimes. We all need that great kiss to shock us awake. (Anyone who has experienced one of those real-life Hollywood kisses knows just what I’m talking about.) We all need to be someone’s hero or heroine.

We all need just a little bit of fairy tales.

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  1. Jessica
    April 2, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I never like to pimp my blog on other people’s blogs, but a while back, I did an entry entitled “Prince Charming Just Isn’t Worth It” – http://walktotheedgeandfly.blogspot.com/2011/02/prince-charming-just-isnt-worth-it.html

    Where you focused more on the fact that no guy is going to chase you down like they do in the movies, the main point I was making was that there are many, many guys out there who are just like the Disney princes, with the exception of their less innocent intentions. There are plenty of charming, good looking guys with absolutely no intellect or personality going on behind the facade but by the time we realize that, it’s too late. It’s a slightly cynical point out view, but I’ve seen it happen so much that I’ve grown jaded at the ripe old age of twenty-two.

    • Ali
      April 2, 2011 at 9:13 am

      This blog was originally written back in 2009. It’s a repost. Thanks for linking to your entry, Jess!

      Also, you’re not jaded. You’re seasoned. Wisened, even. I think I spelled that wrong, but I haven’t had enough coffee yet. I plead insufficient caffeine. *grin*

  2. April 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    When I have time (hopefully sometime this century), I should translate “Cinderella’s Honeymoon” by one of our Russian writers for you. It’s about…well… what happens after the riding into the sunset part. It’s a lovely tale, but also a good deal sad.

    • Ali
      April 4, 2011 at 7:35 am

      Most of the (non-Disney) ones ARE sad! I look forward to reading it, whenever you have time. 🙂

  3. April 17, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    “We all need to be someone’s hero or heroine”…that I do believe! I guess my problem with fairy tales, is that we’ve been led to believe that “they lived happily ever after”…thinking there will never be pain, loneliness, or despair. Life just doesn’t work that way!!

    • Ali
      April 18, 2011 at 8:55 am

      Very true. Life doesn’t work that way! Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  4. May 14, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Grrr. I can’t stand Walt Disney and his total monopoly of childhood. When I tell stories at parties, I have to explain to children that I won’t be telling the Disney version ( and there won’t be a chipmunk in it)and that other versions of the stories do exist. Kids are astonished at this idea. Childhood has become such a moneymaking thing for the Disney corporation, it’s time we started to rewrite the script I think.

  1. April 17, 2011 at 7:42 pm
  2. April 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm

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