Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 273: Happily Ever After....

So I don't know how to rotate pictures on this thing... Poops. Whoever is reading this can just tilt their head to the side because I will probably not go back and fix this later. Haha

My dad bought me this book several years ago during my first and only full summer off from college spent in Vegas… We used to spend hours and hours just chilling at the Barnes and Noble and this one was sitting in the bargain bin. As a young and innocent (!!! I know! We are a dying breed!) nineteen year old girl who had never really had a boyfriend and was such a hopeless romantic, I had been intrigued from the get-go and four dollars seemed like a small price to pay for life lessons on getting my very own Happily Ever After… So my dad plunked down the money and I finished the book in about an hour (speed reader. It’s a blessing AND a curse, considering I finish books so quickly and then am sorry I didn’t slow down to enjoy it more).

Anyway. I kept that book with me after all these years. Granted, I had left it in Vegas and only reclaimed it last Christmas after I went home to pack up my parents’ house since they were selling it and moving to Korea (my parents The Adventurers!). It’s been sitting in my apartment ever since, ready to entertain me on a whim. I picked it up again last night and reread my favorite section: The Princess and The Pea. Posted here in case anyone felt like reading a bedtime story:

**************start excerpt*****************

The Princess and the Pea: Royal Pain Snags Prince By Showing True Self
There's a prince who wants to get married. He dates every princess on the planet, but no one meets his precise (if somewhat wacky) standards of "real" princessness. Back home, depressed, moping about the castle on a rainy night, he hears a knock on the door. Standing in the rain, dripping wet head to toe, is a young woman who claims to be a princess.

The king and queen take her in for the night. The queen decides to test the self-proclaimed princess to see if she is the real deal. She puts a pea under the mattress in the guest room, piling twenty mattresses on top of the pea, and twenty eiderdown comforters on top of those.

In the morning, when asked how she slept, the princess complains about a lump in her bed that kept her up all night, bruising her black-and-blue. (She doesn't, oddly enough, complain about being forced to sleep high atop a weaving tower of bedding.)

Oh, she's so sensitive as to feel a pea beneath all those mattresses! She must be a real princess! (The prince decides.) At last! And when they least expected! The Prince marries her and they live happily, if oversensitively, ever after.


The Princess and the Pea: Savvy Dater Reading

Okay, this is a ridiculous story. You don't show up, uninvited and dripping wet, at someone's castle, demanding accomodations. It's not only rude, but it also suggests a myriad of personal problems. Why are you wandering around in the rain alone in the middle of the night? Did your parents/boyfriend/cellmates kick you out? Di dyou forget to take your medicine, an omission that sent you running headlong into the rain in a psychotic fit? Are you a clever thief who relies on inclement weather and your own waifish charm as tools of entry? What dysfunction do you have?

Not only that, if the castle owners overlook the obvious warning signs and offer you respite for the night, don't spend the breakfast hour complaining about your bedroom. If you're begging for bedding, you can't expect the Ritz. Especially when you arrive without a gift for your hosts. This princess had deplorable manners.

That's my opinion, but obviously not the prince's. He had his own ideas about what makes a person a princess-- hypersensitivity to barely discernable objects, for example, rather than a sunny disposition or appropriate gratitude.

The princess showed up at the castle and claimed royal birth, despite looking like a runaway. She didn't have snapshots of her moat and drawbridge or a glittery crown on her head. But she had the confidence to know that her inner nobility would shine through, even without proof of pedigree.

The princess did not try to modify her behavior-- pretending to be easy going and pleasant, for example-- in her efforts to charm the prince. She knew that the right man would love her as she was. He would see her fussiness as a sign of fineness, her querulousness as fit for a queen.


The Princess and the Pea: Relationship Rules in Brief

** Don't censor your behavior to "land" a man. What if you get him? You're looking at a life of biting your tongue and stifling your laugh--for someone you may not even like.

** Know your inner, important qualities radiate from you, even if a flash flood has flattened your hair and liquefied your mascara, leaving streaks on your cheeks like an extra from Braveheart.

** Don't take one man't rejection as a reflection of your worth. Different traits attract different people.

** Know what you want in a person and wait for someone who has those internal qualities.


Fairy Tale Formula Rule 2:

Whoever you are, you are someone's ideal. Hold out for the person who sees you as his.

****************end excerpt*****************

Consisting of ten summaries of fairy tales and the lessons we can learn from it, it was a cute and interesting book. The lessons in it were common sense, probably, but it spelled everything out for you… This one was my favorite because while the story is not really the one I like best, the lesson is something I can relate to. I have always seen myself as someone with peculiarities: I’m low maintenance yet high maintenance; I’m social but awkward and shy; Simple yet complicated; I’m easy going yet uptight; I’m generous yet stingy; the contradictions could go on and on…. Basically, I am a whole mix of random, quirky, unpredictable things which I think would make it hard for a person to date me in the long term… This part of the book always used to remind me from time to time that I didn’t need to change for anyone. While I believe that people do change every day, I never believed that anyone should actively change who they are for someone else in a relationship. Change happens naturally, and only if you want it for yourself…

Anyway. Even though the book told me to at nineteen, I think I had to learn the lesson through experience anyway. I haven’t had all too many relationships, but the ones I had taught me a lot of lessons. Well, I am always learning (as I tried my hand at going on a few first dates). This was probably the most important one… to hold out for the person who sees you for you; who accepts you and loves you as you are. I’ve had guys like me before…until they realize I’m more complicated than they expected… once I finally fully figured that out, this lesson finally took root in me. You can’t love a person fully if you love blindly…(The phrase “Clear eyes, full hearts: Can’t lose” comes to mind. Gotta love Friday Night Lights, so inspiring! Haha)

It took me several years to figure some of this stuff out… I’ve always jumped into things without fear, filled with hope, and blindly trusted that I would land on my feet and be fine. I used to miss that part of me. As I grew older, I took more risks and learned more fear. I worried that it would take hold of me… But I’m finding that fear just made me more cautious and slowed me down… and I must say that this time around, I’m glad I took my time… :)

At some point, I thought I stopped believing in “happily ever after” with anyone but myself… Perhaps it’s supposed to be like that. Once you realize you can envision living by yourself happily, it’s when you find someone to hold your hand along the way…

….and there is my random rambling for probably the month…. :)

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

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