I planned on falling in love when I was seven because, by that age, I considered myself to be a princess and I knew that princesses were exclusively in the business of falling in love and singing to birds.
I also considered myself to be a virtuoso, but that delusion sort of melted away by the time I turned 10, yet the expectation of falling in love- earlier rather than later- stuck with me until I did fall in love and it wasn’t with a boy.
I became enamored with success in any form. I didn’t have romantic fantasies about people, but instead about owning multi-million dollar enterprises or publishing innumerable books; I dreamed about this magazine.
That in and of itself, losing the love-dream, turned love-expectation, took a while. A majority of my life was spent waiting for some sort of magical eye-contact that would thrust me into a magical, love-induced stupor. I waited and was royally pissed off when it never happened.
Beyond being angry, I was hurt. I felt as though I had done something wrong. Despite the reality that most of my counterparts weren’t in love- or were only pretending to be- I still saw myself as the odd one out. This too took a while for me to overcome; a while for me to recognize that I had been buying into this unrealistic expectation of what life is supposed to be. I mean, I really thought the whole point of this shindig was to find a hot husband. No, I mean, I really thought this. And, in retrospect, I don’t really blame myself. Look at what the media feeds us: these Disney chicks are getting hitched at 16. As far as Walt is concerned, we’re all behind.
Here’s the thing. Princesses are not malignant characters. The idea of love is not a bad one and neither the idea of falling in love. This is not a character judgement on love and fairytales but instead a reality check on their behalf.
We are not here to fall in love. It can be aspect of life but not the aspect. I feel as though this conclusion makes life a bit easier. It’ll definitely help with the over sexualization people put themselves through, but with that, it makes the world infinitely larger. When every person of your preferred sex that you lay eyes on is no longer a candidate in the running of “Who Wants to be My Spouse,” there’s a lot more to see.
Now as it pertains to princesses, I’m definitely biased because I still totally identify with them. Have no doubt, I still buy into the princess mentality. Princesses are very busy with the affairs of their kingdom. They are well mannered and tenacious. Princesses are problem solvers. They were all of these things before they fell in love and they would still be the same had they never met Prince Charming. Wife is not synonymous with Princess, in the same way that happiness is not synonymous with love.
I wish those years and prolonged moments I spent wishing to fall in love had been directed and channeled towards feeding my curiosity. I wish I had explored myself more as opposed to trying to fit into what a princess bride was supposed to be. I wish someone had issued the caveat, warning me that these are just fairytales, a bit earlier.