Sitting in a boring classroom remembering summer vacation as a kid, life couldn’t have gone any slower. Then the hands on the clock moved, the bell rang and the rush was on! However, it wasn’t long before it evolved into an alarm clock demanding I leave for work or tend to children. Hands, which once fiddled with hair and smudged pencil lead had grown up. Years later they reflect an odd map of skin, veins and lines outlining a past, which gives me very little relief.
So where did all the fairy godmothers of happily ever after go?
I tried marriage, first too young for the almost right reason, later the wrong reason and then for reasons of the heart, striking out three times with no fairy godmother coming to bat for me. I now watch each day slide into another night, then week into month and then a home run into new years day, asking all the while is just me who wonders if the fairy tale is over or are there other aging loyal subjects to the same story feeling it too?
Cinderella was the baseline for fantasy when I grew up, Rogers and Hammerstein gave us Prince Charming singing 10 minutes ago, into the youthful eyes and crooked teeth of Leslie Ann Warren who later got veneers, and portrayed everything from a mob girlfriend to alcoholic mother with cancer, but that’s another story. I wish however, there had been subtitles back then letting us know those fragile 10 minutes had already started to tick down, and time was running out for not just Cinderella – even if she did have stars in her eyes.
Recent fairytale offerings for this youngest of generation show a Rapunzel who doesn’t just toss down long hair, but eventually saves her own Prince. There is a Brave Princess defying the stereotypes for a royal marriage, becoming a hero in her own right – with red hair no less! I think it is safe to say young girls no longer look at the hands of the same romantic clock or much less their own body clocks as they age as I once did. Instead, they are writing ever afters on their own terms. The only drawback to that is how fast the second hand will move when they aren’t looking, because it still happens fairy dust be damned.
Having raised beautiful successful daughters, delighting in the gift of grandchildren and a successful albeit too short career, I am now the generation finding myself more alarmed with the face in the mirror than the one on the wall, which is still ticking along with sweeping much older hands. Life whether we own it, share it, hide from it or enjoy it doesn’t last, which is sadly the fairy tale we should have been told.
So is there a moral to the story?
Well, a lot has progressed since that 1965 garden scene at the palace. Prince Charming eventually took a role on General Hospital expanding both his horizons and waistline. The kingdom of Society also expanded a few horizons, allowing a Prince to be saved by his fair lady without shame, many of them even coming out as Queens to raise a family without any blush on the rose or enchanted spell. Princesses were given the okay to join in battle, repair the castle and defend the honor of their family, all of which rarely required a sparkling ball gown, even though there will always be an optional fashion runway for them.
Therefore, the only morals to the story would be continued tolerance and acceptance for one another, along with a strong dose of hope for those who still want to dance in a moonlit garden, wishing for stars in their eyes. There is also still a small wish for those who dance, that they indeed eventually find each other before the clock stops ticking. I guess that would sum up the age old romantic in me, the one who wanted nothing more than to live happily ever after in a loving and secure kingdom. However, who knows time hasn’t completely run out and it’s possible there’s a second chance any minute now, which I would most kindly welcome.