Friday, August 7, 2009

Real Life V. Fantasy

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Did your parents read you fairy tales as a child? Did those fairy tales help to mold the way you thought about relationships? I think I was somewhat disillusioned as a child. I think subconsciously I let those fairy tales influence how I viewed the men in my life.

It took me far to long to figure out that having sex with a man didn't mean he was my knight in shinning armor. Far to long to realize that the fairy tales were full of fluffy crap that had no basis in reality.

Don't we want to guide our children through the tough reality of “life ain't fair”? I wonder if we read more fairy princess stories to little boys, would they try to be more like the handsome prince? Of course not. Because those stories set the bar to high, there are no perfect people.

So why then, do us girls let ourselves believe in the magic? Even still, why do we continue to entertain little girls with these fables? Is it really fair to them to emphasize the best thing that could happen to a princess is to meet prince charming and fall in love, living happily ever after.

This whole thing seems to me like old wives tales or urban legends. Once we figure out that those things are not fact, we tend not to continue passing them on.

As much as it's no fun for us girls, it's also not fair to the men in our lives. If we have high expectations that no man can live up to, they have no choice but to fail. They were doomed from the start.

Could this explain some of the problems long term relationships have? Can we better prepare the next generation by post scripting those stories with a bit of the truth?


Left Field Missy

17 comments:

cfoxes said...

You know, I agree with some of what you said. Fairy tales put the bar very high for our men, but holding those standards may be something that some of them what to try and achieve. In the movie "Sex and the City", Carrie is reading Lily a fairy tale. When she finishes, she turns to Lily and says, "You know that this is not how it really is, don't you?" Little Lily nods her head and says, "Again."

We want to have that hope, I think. That hope that somewhere there is that shining knight that we can always count on.

Missy said...

I never saw sex in the city. But I think she has a point. Telling our little girls that a night in shining armor is going to come for them one day is like telling them they are probably going to win the lottery. It's a nice fantasy, but not based in reality.

NOT to say there aren't great guys out there. Most guys are great. My husband being one of them. But he is not fairy tale material. Only human, and I love him just the way he is.

Southern Sage said...

I have said this many times in comments and such. It sets an unreachable expectation. I mean I'm already married, so the knights are taken. hehe.
But really people have a huge misconception about relationships and marriage. Then when they get there it aint what they expected and they blame the spouse for it not being the way they thought it would.

good post.

Missty said...

Maybe I am different or just grew up with a bit more reality.(parents had a horrible marriage)

But you do see this stuff ALL the time. I just want to say "Really"?? "You really thought men were _____" (perfect, ontime, always a gentlman, never swore,muscular, etc) Fill in the blank.

I mean, your not______, why would they be??

I think the hansome prince, and the princess stuff is right up there with Santa Clause. I LOVE the guy! He brings excitment, anticipation, etc. BUT, as I got older... I guess I realized it wasn't all true. My mom didn't have to do a disclaimer on Christmas night and say, Now you know this really isn't how it is.

Same with a "FAIRY TALE" no disclaimer at the end of the story. Umm, its a story, out of your story book, sitting on your bookshelf.

Sorry but to me these sort of expecations are just dumb. And it is just so unfortunate somehow so many women think this way. I just don't get it.

Great post.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

We to shatter my dreams Missy and Sage and Missty... you, you... Dream Shatter-ers!

OKay... I guess i will get that down payment back on the Castle I was going to buy in Scotland...

It was a little run down, but why get it ready for a PRINCE that you guys said will never come and is NOT a reality???

Sure I have a husband... I didn't have any expectations of him so he always does well for me...okay that's a lie, not ALWAYS but he's batting a 90% average of continually surprising me.

However, I still dream about a Prince Charming... I can't BELIEVE he's not real!!??!!!

I'm so very depressed and disappointed now... I need to go sulk.

Missy I get what you are saying. But I think you can give an innocent child with an imagination something to play on by reading them fairy tales... it's good for them, I think. Because eventually they DO and will grow up and read a blog post about Prince Charming NOT being real (boo hooo) and so why not let them pretend play about a perfect Prince Charming while they still can!

Cause reality will soon hit and they will know.

But I get what you are saying... it does make us girls probably have a blown out expectation of how a guy should be... and it does set guys up for failure if girls compare them to pretty much ANY guy in a romantic comedy or princess story... so I get ya! :)

Missty said...

Actually I was just visualizing "prince charming" Have you ever noticed in the books and great movies.... the guy is always in tights? Just sayin' LOL

Nah, not my type, I want them alittle more rough around the edges! lol

Southern Sage said...

Umm Ladies I never said the perfect man didn't exist. I know he does, the mirror shows him to me!!!

Missy said...

I guess Sage lives in the land of castles and princesses. And his castle has a magic mirror.

Mirror mirror on the wall...

Southern Sage said...

If you mirror doesn't say "but of course Sage is" it must be a defect!

ZenMom said...

By the time I married the ZenHusband, I'd outgrown such girlish fantasies. BUT, I most definitely ended up in bed with a lot of frogs before then, in my search for the ever-elusive Handsome Prince.

Not long ago, I lamented in my own blog that I think that pop culture - books and movies and songs and stories - has to take at least some of the blame for the unrealistic expectations so many of us have about love and sex and marriage.

Oh, and apparently Sage has to shoulder some of that blame, too. For teasing us all with his unavailable perfection. ;)

Southern Sage said...

I'm agreeing with Zen all except the part about me.

ZM I proved the perfection for 26 years sheeeeeeeeesh not adjusting for leap year that is only 9490 possible days, figuring me proving it 2-3 times per day then you are only at 30 thousand or so. Stellar I am, super man I'm not.





I tickle myself sometimes!!!

ZenMom said...

Sage, apparently you tickle others as well ... at least 9,500 times, more or less.

Such a giver. Who would ask for more?

Southern Sage said...

ask for more?
try beg, cry, throw up, pee themselves, throw themselves from high buildings, get tattoo's on their ummm yeah with my name, name their kids after me, marry guys with my same name because there is no doubt they will be shouting it nearly everytime.

Sigh

such is life I guess, hey don't feel bad for me, I deal with it, I have come to terms with it. Sigh.

ZenMom said...

And to have come through it all with such modesty in tact. A saint, I tell you. Nothing less than a saint. ;P

Southern Sage said...

We all have our burdens. I just hope that they all see the effort I put forth to bring their dreams to completion, and I hope against all things that they were able to stand living the rest of their days knowing that second best was the best they would be able to do after me. Sigh. And yes modesty is a strong suit of mine.

(you ought make it so folks can reply directly to your comments by enabling your electronic mail!!! just a thought!)

JennyMac said...

I have brothers and between them, and there great friends, there are truly great men in the world. Women without self confidence, self concept, and their own goals will NEVER be happy whether they marry a gem or an arse hole.

Susan said...

Jumping in late on this conversation, but I actually found a prince charming (after kissing and marrying too many frogs)... they exist! I swear! So Sage... you have competition!

WE BELONG