Monday, January 7, 2013

We All Want the Fairy Tale, Right?

I'm not bragging or anything, but I currently have a teenage daughter.  (You can stop laughing in ridicule any time now.)  Many days, I remind myself that despite her head-swiveling moodiness and her know-it-all attitude (when did my IQ drop suddenly?), she's still my baby and I love her.  Of course, what's not to love?  She's athletic, smart, good-hearted, spiritual, and she makes me proud--most of the time.

And, turns out, she still needs me.  Never more am I reminded that she does still need me (and secretly still loves me) than when she, totally out-of-the-blue, throws a hug around my shoulders and isn't satisfied until I've squeezed her back.  She'll usually ask me to hang out with her and watch a little TV or go shopping.  These moments are rarer now that she's older, but they still happen.

Another pastime she enjoys is watching reality shows.  So much in reality television is cringe-inducing, but one of her favorite, favorite, favorite shows is on TLC.  She loves to watch, Say Yes To the Dress.  It's a show about brides picking out their wedding dresses.  Yeah, one of those.

Now, let me say here, I never was the girl who dreamed of her wedding day, someday.  For various reasons, not the least of which is that I'm a realist (some would argue pessimist), when it comes to love, I never imagined my wedding day or my potential groom.  As it turns out, this is completely atypical as young girls go.  Yet, I've been married to my husband for sixteen years, so I obviously believe in romance and love, just not the fairy tale version.

And one evening, when my daughter and I were watching a particular episode of the show, she revealed something I never would have guessed.  This down-to-earth, future-focused young lady believed in the fairy tale.  She'd already started designing her dress in her head, knew colors and flowers, and so many other details about her "big some-day."

Who knew?  Even in today's world where my daughter knows she wants a career, she also wants the fairy tale.  She still wants a dream-come-true kind of life.  Don't we all really though?  Maybe not the Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White kind of fairy tale, but a more modern version.

I mean, even if I never fantasized about my perfect prince swooping in to rescue me from...whatever (because I knew there was no such thing as perfect, and I was in charge of my own happiness), I still had expectations for my spouse, my career, my family, my life.  It was a fairy tale of my own making though.  And just as the genre suggests, at times there's been magic and at times there's been obstacles to overcome, but the reality is--I want my little girl (who's not so little anymore) to want good things in her life.  I want her to dream big.  Just with a more modern fairy tale in mind where she's the hero of her own story.

What do you think?  Do we still want the fair tale?

Happy Reading and Writing,

Cherie Marks


  1. My teenager is much the same. She doesn't want the cuddles as much any more, but we still frequently lie in bed and gab about boys, her friends and life in general. She's a great girl, sounding very much like yours - independent, strong, and with an idea of her future. I love it when she walks up to me and says, "I need a Mom hug." Although, now she's so much taller than me that I rest my head on her shoulder, not the other way around!

  2. As for the fairy tale - I believe in magic, but I still think it's of our own making.

  3. Cinderella had a good gig... Well, after the whole evil step-mother episode. I'm all for the fairy tale, however HEA is defined.

  4. Nothing wrong with the fairy-tale ending, even if we have to swallow a few toads, sweep a few cinders from the hearth, and sacrifice a little to get it. I have a 16 year GRANDDAUGHTER (YOU can stop laughing anytime now!) whose current fantasy is to finish high school and join the flipping Air Force. Damn if that doesn't scare the hell out of her Maw Maw! Sniff sniff! Yes, I'm proud, but don't think I'm not secretly hoping she'll graduate, go to college thirty minutes down the road, marry the man of her dreams and settle down in my town and give me beautiful day, but not too soon! Sigh...