Dressed in yellow,
went upstairs to kiss her fellow.
Made a mistake,
and kissed a snake,
how many doctors did it take?
I can remember doing this cute little jump rope song on the front porch as a little girl. It was all so innocent back then. If only I knew then, what I know now…
It would be a long time before I’d know anything about snakes (the wrong men) and the many mistakes I’d make when I started dating them.
Fast forward about 35 years…
So, I took my daughter to see the Cinderella movie today. I’ll admit, I would have gone, even if she had said she didn’t want to watch it. Growing up, Cinderella was always my favorite fairytale. Not just because of her rags-to-riches story, but because the underdog, the one everybody underestimated, won the prize (the Prince)and her happiness, in the end. And even though I know better now, that it just doesn’t happen like that in real life, I still like to imagine that there is a such thing as happily ever after…if only just in movies.
As a little girl, I often imagined when I’d meet my Prince- a man who would take one look at me, and fall madly in love with me. In my mind, it would be love at first sight, then we’d run off and get married and live in marital bliss- just like in the the fairytales. Unfortunately, I learned that it just doesn’t happen that way.
Just like that little jump rope song I sang as a kid, I’ve kissed more snakes, or frogs, or douchebags…whatever you wish to call them, than I care to think about. With a bottle of wine (or maybe two) I could literally talk for hours about the many mistakes I’ve made when it comes to the men I’ve dated. I’ve also learned that life is definitely NOT a fairytale. The honeymoon usually ends after a few months, then the magic wears off and you’re faced with the ugly truth.
My daughter was mesmerized with the movie magic and the romance. She gasped in awe when the fairy godmother whipped out her wand and did her magic- transforming Cinderella from an ordinary peasant girl, to a princess; and while I simply smiled at her, because I didn’t want to spoil it for her, I soooo wanted to tell her the truth- that not all men turn out to be Prince’s, and that even if she manages to find a half-decent man, there is no promise of them running off, getting married, and living happily ever after. At age 10, she’d never understand if I had told her that 50% of all marriages, end in divorce…some, before they even reach their five year anniversary. I know, because I’m one of those couples. My husband and I aren’t headed for divorce court (YET) but I can definitely see how it happens. The magic has long since worn off, the romance has faded, and I feel like the only thing I got out of this whole thing was an (adult) child to take care of. Yes, I love him, but I know one thing, if I ever get divorced, I absolutely will NEVER get married again; that’s for damn sure. I will never understand how some people get married two and three times. I even have an aunt who says she’s looking for husband #6. WTH??? My nerves are shot after one. Who knows, maybe the sixth time will be the charm…
I really think some people are in love with the IDEA of being in love and getting married. I get it, when you first meet someone, it’s all goggly eyes, soft kisses, and HOT, passionate sex (sometimes). A lot of women have the notion that getting married will only guarantee them a lifetime supply of all of the things I just mentioned. We plan these beautiful, sometimes completely over-the-top weddings (because let’s face it, a lot of women really only want that wedding that’s she’s always dreamed of having, not necessarily the man) then within a few years, we start getting to know the REAL man we married…and it ain’t always pretty. Those romantic gazes into his eyes, become side-eye’s and eye-rolls, because he’s gotten on your last nerve; the soft kisses start happening less often, and I won’t even get on the sex issue. Okay,yes I will. Sex (in some cases) becomes boring, predictable, and the equivalent of going to the OB/GYN for a pap smear- like, you know you have to do it, but you just don’t like it.
I’ve kissed quite a few snakes in my lifetime, made my mistakes, and I’m still learning. But how do you tell your adolescent daughter, that what she saw on that movie screen will probably never happen in the real world? I honestly hope that she doesn’t experience even half the things that I have, but from listening to my single girlfriends,who are constantly complaining about the lack of men who have even a shred of potential to be a possible mate, it looks like things won’t get any better any time soon. I don’t want to ruin it for her, but as a mother who’s been around the block a few times, I don’t want her to grow up having this notion that love happens like the powers that be at Disney, make it seem. Because that’s a bunch of bull_____!!!!
How many snakes have you messed around and kissed? Are you willing to keep kissing them, hoping that one day, you’ll finally find ‘the one’? Or have you, like many women, said, “F**k this…I’ll be happily single for the rest of my life, because this love b.s., is for the birds.” Now, when I hear women happily talking about she’s getting married, I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying, enjoy the fairytale while it lasts. And I know not ALL marriages end badly or in divorce, but the numbers and statistics don’t lie. One in two marriages will end in divorce, and that’s just cold hard facts. I think people’s tolerance levels aren’t what they used to be. I truly admire older married couples…the one’s who celebrate 50 year wedding anniversaries. Now, that’s a fairytale…to be married for fifty years. Chile, I admire it, but I don’t see that happening. Would be nice if it did, but nowadays, as soon as the thrill is gone, so is the relationship. And if you were staying together based on LUST and not LOVE, as many people are, you’re doomed from the start, because unlike the cliche goes, it takes more than good sex to make a relationship work. Don’t believe the hype. You can be putting it down in the bedroom, good enough to curl his toes, but most men’s eyes still wander..and the rest of his body will soon follow, if he’s not strong enough to resist temptation…and most men aren’t.
If happily ever after is what you’re looking for, I suggest you stock up on Disney movies, or romance novels, because those are the only places where that exists, unfortunately.
*DISCLAIMER* I am not a dream-killer or a man-basher. I know there are a few good men out there (very few) so don’t be discouraged, ladies. I simply call things the way I see them.