Ephesians 5:33b: And the wife should respect her husband.
Respect is his primary need, his deepest desire.

I Put My Followers First

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fracturing the Fairy Tale

From the time I was a young girl I loved to read.  I learned to read rather young.  (My father was a reading teacher.)  I cannot remember many of the books that I read but I do not forget the fairy tales.  I had no idea the impact those stories would have on my life.

As a young girl, of course, I did not know that fairy tales were used to teach the reader principles and morals to depend upon in life.  But, teach me they did.  Some were helpful lessons.  I think of "Hansel and Gretel" knowing to leave a trail to return home.

I also remember stories like "The Princess and the Pea".  What a whiney little brat she was. I became disenchanted with Princesses at about that point.  I considered the many that had fallen captive to spells cast by wicked witches or slimy step-mothers.  Consciously I rebelled.  Being a Princess was not something to which I would aspire and it was obvious that I was not born to the title.

Yet, as I grew up I did consider myself a Princess of sorts.  I would be in charge someday and rule my own little corner of the kingdom called reality.  I would find a handsome prince and he would break the spell that held me captive to discontent.

Ah, but first I would have to find the frog that would be the Prince.

Does any of this sound familiar?  Did you, like me, set out to find a flawed frog because you knew you would the one woman on earth who could transform him?

"So? How's that workin' out for ya?"  

Darn those fairy tales!  I was so misguided and so misinformed that I did look for the worst possible specimens of the male gender to date and then marry.  (I do not mean Bruce)

Surely I was the kind of woman, a Princess really, who could change one man from an awkward slimy reptile to a dashing do-gooder on a white steed.  I cannot begin to tell you how badly those choices turned out.

I do not place all the blame on childhood fairy tales for my marital mistakes but I do know that they were foundational in the downfall that led to divorce.

In an effort to affect the future for the better, I would like to contribute a few fairy tales of my own to the literary world - or at least to the libraries of my posterity.  I think I understand where the changes need to be made.   Now - I would like to write fairy tales that would train up a child in the way she should go because I finally grew up and rebuilt a more sure foundation, a foundation built on Rock. 

Yesterday, I began one such fairy tale that also promotes a photograph I've entered in a contest on Brickfish.  (I mentioned it in yesterday's post.)  The fairy tale to fracture foundational fairy tales will be posted in 700 character installments - the limitation set by the Brickfish website.   The opening paragraph was posted yesterday and replaced with a new installment today.
Once upon a time the King of the Boardwalk called for thirty eligible frogs to vie for the hand of his fair daughter, the Princess. Each frog received a number to display upon their chest. "You'd think we were running a marathon," one particularly portly frog complained to his neighbor in the pool. "This is my lucky number," another exclaimed. "I just know she'll choose me." The King arrived with the Princess. The crowd cheered but the frogs grew quiet, watching above their heads as the Princess reached her hand toward the pool. Who among them would she choose? (Cast your vote, invite your friends. The story continues tomorrow.)

To help in the dismantling of bad foundations (yours, mine or theirs), can I point out the first problem with this and many fairy tales?

Since when would the Daddy of a beloved little daughter gather together the slimiest reptiles from which his daughter should choose a mate?  Now really?

I don't know about your father, but my dad wanted me to choose the most prestigious man to marry - well educated, hard worker, ambitious, and powerful.  My dad would never have taken me to skid row to choose a man.  

I've already posted the next "installment" in the photo contest for today.  In tomorrow's blog post, we'll discuss the first frog in the fairy tale pond, a would-be-prince named "Ferdinand" who is sure that he will be "Chosen".


My photo entry will be familiar to any of my readers who have browsed the collection of respect cards on Zazzle.   The greeting card from the photo and ancillary product line are also titled "Chosen".


Anonymous said...

Now I may read too much into it, but the father taking his daughter to pick a "slimy reptile", in hind sight wasn't he indeed taking his daughter to pick a frog in the hopes that said frog would blossom into a handsome prince, the man he felt was right for his daughter? Rather than take her to skid row, didn't he feel he was taking her to the "buffet" of all handsome men in the area, since indeed every frog must be a prince (according to fairy tale). I think I may have a much different take on the frog than you, rather than being a damaged shell of a man for this fine princess to pick, isn't the lesson to be learned that despite what may be on the outside, it is what is inside that counts. Because if within every frog lies a prince, than indeed it seems you have found said frog :)

Sharon Cohen said...

My Dear Anonymous ~

Methinks you may be getting ahead of my story.

For who IS the father in the story? Is he a King? Or is he just a man? These and other questions to be answered as we proceed.

Can I get an Amen?