Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Prince Charming you're late

At eight, I started waiting for Prince Charming. At first, my fantasy was kind of vague. He was just going to show up and make everything better. As time progress and I became more sophisticated romantically, thanks to adding Harlequin romance to the Disney mix, my fantasy become more elaborate. Prince Charming became the man who was also going to make me feel better about myself.  I would lie awake at night, imagining myself in some horrible situation, usually wounded and bleeding, only to be saved by my Prince riding up on a horse. I shared a room with my sister who told me to shut the hell up since my nightly whimpering was irritating her.

In my 20s I left the victim scenarios behind but not the longing for Prince Charming. It shifted into looking for the perfect relationship that wouldn't require any effort from me. It was all about being chosen for just breathing and having the right look.  There was always this secret thought when meeting someone new: "Are you the one?"

In my 30s, when I was pregnant and my real-life partner had abandoned me, I found returned to imagining Prince Charming swooping in to kick my ex's ass -- hard -- and then look after me financially and emotionally. Of course, he would love the child as his own.

In my 40s, I had the embarrassing realization that I had put certain adult things on hold, waiting for him. So, I got my finances in order and bought my first home at 48. Then I found myself fantasizing about a handyman showing up instead of Prince Charming. 

In my 50s I stopped watching romantic chick-flicks designed to make you feel bad about yourself.  There was not going to be any Richard to make me feel like a Pretty Woman, no tearful reunion with Tom where I could complete him, no Mr Big buying me a Manhattan condo and certainly no-one visiting me in the senior's residence to cure my Alzheimers. Kudos to Dina Goldstein for making me laugh with her brutally real series called Fallen Princesses.

While waiting for Prince Charming, I ended up having a pretty amazing life surrounded by friends who became family, family who became friends and a daughter who taught me what love really is about. Now, I celebrate Valentine's Day Mexican style as a day of friendship. Hugs to all of them!

I would be lying if I didn't admit to thinking about Prince Charming on Valentine's Day. That fucker is really late with the chocolate and roses.


  1. Brilliant! I laughed, teared up and then laughed again at the end.

    You're awesome She, and I'm proud to be a friend of yours. Happy Valentines Day!


  2. Ha ha! Excellent post. Yay for someone telling it like it is, and bravo to you for realizing you've had a great life! Anyway, I think Valentines Day is about love, not lovers. So Happy V-Day:)

  3. Well Shelagh, I needed a good laugh. Maybe you haven't found Prince Charming yet, but you have a wicked sense of humor, and your a great writer, AND you are a great mom.... Bess just farted. she's hanging around under the table, let a good hearty one g.o... Oh God, pugs stink.... I mss you! Are you still thinking of coming here for a holiday?

    Your buddy, Gabrielle

  4. I am so glad I thought to check out your blog. What a great essay! I was raised without my father at home and because of all the broken marriages, I saw around me I actually grew up assuming that i would be divorced at least once! How pragmatic is that?