Not every story is a love story. Not every kiss comes with melting capabilities. But let’s not rule them out.


She is teaching me how to make wishes on hot tub bubbles in between rounds of singing “Kiss the Girl.”

You have to close your eyes and blow hard,” she says. Purple popsicle smears the edges of her mouth as she demonstrates, holding up her cupped hands full of quickly dissipating bubbles.

“What do I wish for?”

“Either a princess crown or a princess dress,” her words tote a tone of matter-of-factness.

“Well, why not a prince? Maybe I want a prince.”

“You cannot wish for a prince. You are not a princess, Hannah. You are just a babysitter.”

Ouch.

Audrey is a lover of princesses. Her heart does an enormous tap dance over Sleeping Beauty and Ariel. She has a pair of plastic pumps with the faces of each damsel adorned on the tops of them.

This summer I have gained a sense of sympathy for these princesses. In just three days of babysitting I managed to force an apple down Snow White’s throat seven times. I made Cinderella lose her slipper a good eight times. I will more than likely plop Jasmine down on a magic carpet three more times before the week finds its ending. The sympathy grows as I flip the pages of books with crippled bindings to tell Audrey the same story of Jasmine or Ariel six or seven times a day.

Each time I see her scooping up the romance, the prince and princess riding off into the sunset, the kiss that all little girls hinge their satisfaction on, and then she moves on. Onto the Next Story of the Next Princess with the Next Happy Ending.

via WeHeartIt

One day she will grow up, plastic shoes will no longer fit her and she will gain her first glimpse of a love song that does not come accompanied by squirrels and birds as the percussionists. But I pray she won’t want to write off the fairy tales forever, for lying to her and leading her on.

We only need to look a bit further into the same stories of our childhoods to realize that adversity did exist in each and every one of them. The stories were not solely about love and princes. We just chose not to pay too close attention to this at the time.

My mom and I had an argument about this the other day. And she won. Yes, that is right Mom, you won.

“We are teaching young girls that if you leave a glass slipper behind then some prince will return it, or that some guy is going to save you when you are locked up in a castle. Little girls should be embracing their own happy endings, not relying on a guy to do it for them.” Yes, that would be me turning on my Raging Feminist side at the drop of Cinderella’s name.

If you forgot Hannah, Cinderella was abused by her step mother and step sister. Snow White ran away from abuse as well, and she loved those little dwarves and they loved her.” Touche, Mom. Those princesses did their best for the circumstances they were given, what is the point of criticizing their definition of a happy ending?

I know that at the age of seven I would not want to be lulled to sleep by a storybook about a broken heart and broken dishes leftover from a fight that took place at midnight. I would never want to read about the sound of a car door, how this time the sound was different, it was the sound of Leaving. Who knows, perhaps Snow White found cheating text messages from Prince, maybe he got bored with her and wanted to try out Ariel. For all we know, Jasmine may have fallen out of love with Aladdin but she deemed it better to tell a perfect love story, the one of a street rat meets princess, than to make things messy and make people talk. I don’t know. Either way, I think I like the stories I was made to believe better than a less than magical reality to fill my bedtime story time slot.

Some might say that we are naive to accept promises of “happy ever after”s and kisses that wake us up out of deep spells. But maybe it is best that we learn to believe in this kind of fairy tale magic at a young age, so that we remember to dream. And Believe That Our Dreams Can Come True.

I sometimes must beat down the urge to tell little Audrey that she does not need a prince to make her happy. But then I think about it, maybe she will grow up and pine for a great love story. Maybe that will make her completely happy, and who I am to stop her from that?

Hey Audrey, if you remember anything beyond the fact that my favorite princess is Snow White, remember this from your babysitter when you grow up: Not every story in your life has to be a love story. And trust me, not every occurrence will resemble a fairy tale. Adversity will be important. Hardships, Hard Times and Hard Lessons Learned will be just as essential as that kiss that might one day make your little heart melt.

Just remember to be happy. Have the courage to change a situation if it needs to be changed, whether that means employing the help of a fairy godmother or finding the resilience deep down inside of yourself. If it means running, then You Should Run. If it makes you happy to fall in love, then fall, baby, fall.

Don’t go out in the world to be the next Ariel, Jasmine, or Snow White. Be Audrey. Tell the world of a love story that only Audrey can tell.

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22 thoughts on “Not every story is a love story. Not every kiss comes with melting capabilities. But let’s not rule them out.

  1. I think we all have those fairytales swirling around in our minds as little girls, the idea that a prince charming will come swooping along one day and give us our ‘happily ever after.’ But then as we get older, the fairytale changes and real life begins to work its way in – the prince isn’t Mr. Perfect anymore, but maybe someone who’s perfect for us. And then there’s so much beyond that – other, different dreams to come true, other, different goals to make happen. I look at those fairytales now and they make me realize again that we’re in charge of our own destinies. Everyone has their own ‘happily ever after’ to make into reality. We have to take the reins, no matter what course we’re steering.

    It reminds me of my all-time favorite Grey’s Anatomy quote:

    “But the thing is, it’s hard to let go of that fairy tale entirely, because almost everyone has that smallest bit of faith and hope that one day they would open their eyes and it would all come true. At the end of the day, faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don’t really expect it. It’s like one day you realize that the fairy tale is slightly different than your dream. The castle, well it may not be a castle. And it’s not so important that it’s happily ever after — just that it’s happy right now. See, once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you. And once in awhile, people may even take your breath away.”

    Here’s wishing that for Audrey and everyone! 🙂

    1. I love this quote from Grey’s. One of my favorites as well. And I think you are so right, lots of good points above me. You see, this is exactly why I love to blog- because I love to be exposed to the ways that other people look at life and love and happily ever afters. Thank you!

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  2. I think both you and your mom bring up good points in this “argument” regarding the princesses. On one hand I agree with you that the princesses always seem helpless, but your mom brings up a good point that they were put into abusive, helpless situations. It seems that the problem is two-fold here, as we very rarely see the women helping the men or helping themselves. The majority of Disney’s movies don’t have a mother figure at all, and the ones that do it is always a STEPmother who is far from nice. I think this absence of adult female characters says just as much about the roles of women as the princesses always being saved by a hero. The only exception I can think of is the Princess Diaries and I doubt any of the 8-and-under crowd would even consider that a “Disney Princess” movie.

    1. Yea ha ha, very true. Audrey only goes for those 6 princesses: Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Snow White. She really won’t even acknowledge Mulan and Tiana, although I always remind her of them. I wish we could change that up a bit.

      But you are right about the absence of strong female characters, have you seen the third Shrek, that gave me a laugh over the princesses for sure. Those creators had the right idea.

      I wait for the day where the Disney Princess falls in love with her career before the boy.. I will definitely wear plastic pumps with her face on it ha ha.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  3. I found myself reading your post and thinking of my friend’s two year old daughter, Hazel. I look at her, like you look at Audrey, hoping that she never loses her faith. That she believes in a realistic happily ever after and that dreams come true if you do.

    And I love that line: If it makes you happy to fall in love, then fall, baby, fall.

  4. I enjoyed every sentence of every paragraph. My heart truly melts with stories about children. I believe Audrey is an adorable princess, and if I were 6 or 7 years old all over a again, I’d make wishes on the hot tub bubbles for a babysitter like you. ^_^

    Great writing!

  5. I just stumbled upon your blog and read this post. You’re a fantastic writer and this message, I think, is something every girl, big or little, can relate to. It’s something so important, and yet, I think it is something to often forgotten.

    I am about to be married in two months to a man in the military. I am terrified. This post helped remind me that life isn’t a fairytale. It’s about the good AND the bad. Thank you for the reminder.

  6. Hi Hannah! I absolutely adore you. I found you through 20 something bloggers! We are so much alike its unreal- up to the point of living and dreaming of a life in NY. You are one of those unique bloggers that I can relate to and would love to meet. You are quite a rare gem !

    1. Ah! I always love coming across people that I can relate to. Such a breath of fresh hair. Do you live in New York?!? Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind words. They hit me at the right time tonight.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  7. The thing is we may have grown out of Disney films/stories and the happy endings but then if you look at most rom coms alot of them end with a Prince of some description lol.

    When I did Sociology at upper school I looked into how Fairytales affect who we are and apparently a lot of kids who are told fairy stories are better equipped to face social situations (or they are more well adjusted as my Mum put it lol) Kids who weren’t told fairy tales struggled to fit in. 😦

    Anyhoo I love a good happy ending and okay we have our rough patches but I have knight in shiny tin foil lol (he was a student when we got engaged therefore too poor to afford armour lol)

  8. I love this. I hope Audrey grows up to realize that not all love stores involve a prince and princess and that some love stories include a different kind of love that is just as important as romantic love. Waking up next to Pince Charming when he has morning breath and has been snoring all night might erase all the fairy tale romance unless you remember that when you went to sleep he was not only Prince Charming but your best friend and nothing gets better than that.

    You also have the love you have for your other friends and they become much more important to you as you get older. Fairy tales are what you make of them. Thanks for stopping by my place!

  9. A very well-written and well thought out post!

    As a man trying my best to be that prince charming, it can be difficult to appease the occasional princess I run across. Fairytales are great for escaping the real world for a time. At a young I would say they are impartive. Having your head is stuck in the clouds for too long though can create expectations that no man or woman could ever achieve.

    Edward Cullan does not exsist.

    Fairytales are about the perfect romance, written, directed, set-up, and drawn by a host of artists. The closest we can come to such a feat in the real world happens during a wedding which takes months of perfect preperation before hand.

    My point is that in the real world you have to learn to be graceful with your signifacant other. He or she isn’t always going to say those perfect lines or do those perfect things that make the heart to start fluttering.

    That being said I am a firm believer in romance. Sometimes a greater romance can be found through contenment and joy in the simple things of life: holding hands while crossing a bridge, caressing a shoulder while passing through the living room, simple jestures that when recieved with gratitude can grow a more fullfilling life than any fairytale could plan for.

    1. Touche. I am totally with you on this. Now if only you could come and sit down and talk with Audrey for a little while ha ha. She is only four so I know she will outgrow the stage of princesses in due time but it just got me thinking about a lot things.. And I love your comment about the simple things adding up to the greater romance. So good. In total and complete agreement with that one!

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