Seeking Charming Prince, White Horse, and Sunset
By Annette Fix
I grew up watching Disney movies. Snow White. Sleeping Beauty. And the one I related to most: Cinderella. (Iâ€™m still not a big fan of chores.) The part I loved most about those storiesâ€”the ending. Happily-ever-after with a sweet prince and sunshine. What more could a California girl want?
Once the concept was firmly embedded in my impressionable, young mind, I moved on to reading teen stories about puppy-love summers in places like Nantucket, sailing into the sunset with the cute boy from the cottage next door. I devoured those stories like a fistful of candy hearts. Then came the Harlequin romance novels with the man and woman engaged in a romantic adventure, and reckless abandon of love, heaving bosoms, and throbbing manhood. Wow, I thought. So thatâ€™s what an adult relationship was really like!
The key problem I didnâ€™t realize at the time: no one was wrestling away the G.I. Joe action figures and hog-tying the boys, making them watch the same movies and read the same books. Somehow the boys missed the point that they were supposed to want the fairytale as much as I did.
Fast-forward a few years. After reading every Jackie Collins novel and watching countless episodes of General Hospital, I finally understood the true dynamic of male/female relationships. They were all based on power, deceit, betrayal, conflict, selfishness, and miscommunication.
So, I tried that for a while through my early 20s. But living a soap-opera life didnâ€™t seem nearly as fun as my naÃ¯ve days when I dreamed about living the happily-ever-after fairytale. I still wanted it to be possible. There had to be a way to be that happy. To find the prince. To ride off into the sunset with the Disney music playing in the background. All I had to do was believe, right?
Well, yes and no. I met many princes (ok, and kissed quite a few toads), but I discovered that even if the guy was a prince*, it didnâ€™t mean he was the RIGHT prince.
(*Prince = a guy who is thoughtful, generous with his heart, affectionate, and kind to dogs, old people, and waitresses.)
I realized I needed a prince who was perfect for me. So, of course, I figured Iâ€™d try online dating. Browsing Match.com was like flipping through a Sears catalog of readily available dragon-slayers.
Before I could casually toss my lace hankie to the ground for a shining knight to retrieve for me, I had to make up a profile. But what do you say about yourself to keep from sounding like youâ€™re advertising a used car on Craigslist?
If I wrote the truth, it would read: 30-something single mom and aspiring writer, working as an exotic dancer, searching for Prince Charming, and trying to find the perfect balance between my dreams and my day-to-day life as Supermom.
Everyone knows the key to deciphering personal ads is to read between the lines. What I really said was: My eggs are old. I have a child because I forgot to take Ginkgo biloba with my birth control. I donâ€™t have a career and rather than get a real job, I prefer to get half naked for strange men and pursue the unrealistic dream of receiving literary accolades as if I were David Sedaris with tits. And, by the way, Iâ€™m looking online for a great guy who can deal with my basket of emotional issues and the fact that my life revolves around my son and what I want.
That about sums me up. But I never did meet my prince online. I actually met him in the strip club where I worked. And, to this day, seven years later, he is still my prince, Iâ€™m pursuing my dreams, and weâ€™re galloping together toward the sunset of happily-ever-after.
Question for readers: Do you believe in happily-ever-after? ***
Annette Fix is a freelance editor, a publishing industry and single parenting speaker, Senior Editor of WOW! Women On Writing, and the author of The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir.
For the length of her blog tour, Annette will be giving away free digital copies of her memoir. If youâ€™d like a copy, send an email to promo[at]thebreak-updiet[dot]com, please put â€œMom~E~Centricâ€ in the subject line.
You can purchase copies of The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir online and from any independent or chain bookstore.