Fairy tales are overrated. Perhaps I'm just hard to please, but the standard gorgeous prince saves helpless docile princess and makes her blissfully happy for ever more is just mind numbingly dull. The brothers Grimm ones were quite funky, but a little too dark for my taste, perhaps I was too young cos they fired my hyperactive imagination and caused some crazy nightmares. So I gave up and switched to proper books, until Princess Florizel came my way.
Its a pretty obscure book, haven't found anyone else who has read it, but its the perfect fairytale and should, I firmly believe, be read repeatedly to all little girls during their impressionable years. Florizel is all a real princess should be: fun, easygoing, full of energy, down to earth and game for anything. Too busy riding her horse and being upto all varieties of pranks to waste time on dresses and gilded mirrors. Freckles, boy short curly hair.
Theres a prince of course - handsome and only heir to the large neighbouring kingdom, nice enough guy, immensely relieved to meet Florizel who compares well to all the stick thin, self obsessed princesses that shudder at the idea of having anything other than dry toast and water for breakfast and turn pale at the thought of being in the sun.
At The Ball [the one where the prince chooses his princess, for any lacking fairytale education] Florizel tells him in her usual firm friendly way that he's quite nice but she has no interest in getting married thank you very much and would he like to do something interesting such as go on a hunt instead.
Her parents are horrified, being of the follow the fairytale template generation and lock her up in her room [with food, they have quite a good relationship going]. Her mother waits eagerly for the prince to climb the vine that she planted when her daughter was born.
Then comes my favourite part: the prince climbs into the tower and proclaims [quite chuffed] that he has come to rescue her. Florizel asks him how he got up there, and he replies that he used the vine. She then points out [in a 'speaking to idiot male' tone] that if he used it to come up, she can obviously use it to go down can she not, and she doesn't need rescuing, thanks. HAH!!! Awesomeness. He climbs down the vine alone, quite deflated, presumably feeling his little fantasy world is rather topsy turvy.
There is of course a scene with a dragon, where the prince gets trapped and Florizel out on a ride finds and rescues him, tearful scene with the parents who cant understand where their daughter is coming from and a couple more humorous twists that I cant remember anymore. The conclusion however was that Florizel and the prince decided to be firm friends and got on very well, I don't think there was anything about a Forever.
And no, she's not a lesbian :P Maybe they got together later on, if her hormones kicked in and she decided she wants to settle down, its all open ended and realistic. There is no creation of impossible expectations for a handsome knight on a white horse to make a breathtaking entrance, swish his sword a few times and solve all the princess' problems. No magical kiss which, being from the 'one true love' overrides all evil.
This is the root of the high divorce rate. Little girls and boys are encouraged to think even subconsciously that perfection exists. That there is the happily ever after where all food tastes divine, there is no stress and the weather is miraculously perfect. The scary thing is that once you've gotten to them before about 5 years of age, its ingrained in their consciousness, and they can only rationalise it to a certain extent! ARGGHH. Plus the whole extravagant wedding stuff is just an adult continuation of a children's story. Think about the adjectives that are used to describe weddings - magical, fairytale etc etc. Watched 27 dresses yesterday and everything looked so pretty, I actually contemplated thinking about wanting one for a whole tenth of a millisecond. YIKES. Of course BirdBoy got all happy taking it as a sign that I might be less of a commitment phobic someday, but I don't think so!!
I love intelligent romantic comedies with happy endings as much as the next girl, but most of the stories out there are so darn unbelievable. Wheres the fun in having an entirely peaceful life? A few fights now and again are healthy and keep things spicy - after all makeup sex is apparently the best kind and all that. I'm not a cynic, I believe in love and a boy to be happy with and laugh a lot with. But I do have an innate suspicion of this love stuff, it is so often just heavily perfumed rubbish.
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