Do you have something in a Birkenstock?

9 Comments

Fairy tales miss the mark when it comes to really telling a story.  As I child, I would rush through the illustrated pages to get to the part when the Prince planted that life-renewing kiss on the Princess’ lips or the little glass slipper was delicately placed on the foot of Cinderella and they found their happily ever after.

glass slipper

 

(image credit)

At that young age I didn’t realize that the true depth of that fable should have been in the whole story and not just the ending.  Along the way the malleable minds of youth should have been introduced to the somewhat imperfect side of fairy tales to prepare us a little more for reality.  I’m all for happy endings.  I know many couples who have found theirs.  But I also know many people who have kissed a lot of frogs and are still waiting for that Disney-worthy moment before the curtain closes.

What we missed as children was the real meat of the relationships in those fairy tales.  Nothing in those woven myths gave us cause to concern ourselves with what happens after the shoe fits.  In the animated versions of those fictional accounts, the music comes to its crescendo and we are left surfing on the tsunami of perfect love.   But what if Sleeping Beauty just wanted another eight hours of sleep before she stepped back into a life she was trying to avoid?   What if Cinderella didn’t want the shoe to fit anymore but was too afraid to speak up?

We have to remember there are a lot of other shoes out there.  Just because that glass slipper fit like a glove doesn’t mean we should feel obligated to wear it and put ourselves through a great deal of discomfort in the process.  Sure, we’ve all heard the saying “if the shoe fits” but if the shoe does fit and you don’t like it, don’t be afraid to ask for another shoe.

9 thoughts on “Do you have something in a Birkenstock?

  1. I agree. We always look for the happily ever after and don’t really understand how hard it is to get there. It also makes for expectations we have from our prince that he doesn’t always understand, let alone live up to.

  2. I am marginally obsessed with this whole concept–fairy tales vs. real life and where they do or don’t overlap. I write about it a lot. A LOT. ;-). I once even toyed with the idea of doing a series of after the happily after stories. When Prince Charming loses his hair or Snow White hits menopause. Because you’re right. The real story starts after the sun sets on the castle.

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