I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
I Want The Fairy Tale…
In the movie Pretty Woman, Edward asks Vivian what it is that she wants. He has offered her money and an apartment and occasional visits when he is in town. While some would think that is a pretty sweet deal, she turns him down with a response “I want the fairy tale”. Well don’t we all?
If one would take a look at my life I seriously doubt it would be considered a fairy tale. However, I like to think it is; you see I believe that we have the power to create our own fairy tale. We each have the power to define what our own fairy tale should be. When I first met my husband nearly 25 years ago I was 19 years old and was certain up to that point that I was destined to be alone. I had dated, had my heart broken and like most young girls that age was searching for my Prince Charming who would sweep me off my feet, shower me with sparkly things, put a big shiny ring on my finger and ride off into the sunset to a life of babies, puppy dogs, beautiful house and bliss. Guess what…my fairy tale didn’t turn out that way and I am so thankful that it didn’t.
Recently I had the privilege of spending time with my nieces and a young friend of theirs listening to a conversation about boys. As my niece poured through pictures of young “hot” guys that she had stored on her phone I thought back at my own experiences and the fact that my Prince Charming showed up in a navy blue 1984 Pontiac T1000 that whistled. Having dated for just five months before he slipped a ring on my finger and asked me to marry him as I stood at the stove stirring a pot of green beans, I felt that I was living a dream. There were no carriage rides, moonlight walks on the beach or dances under the stars, but for me it couldn’t have been any better than the way it was. It was our fairy tale. Our wedding day came and as I walked down the aisle of that little country church I knew that Cinderella had nothing on me. My dreams had come true; we said “I do”, ate a piece of cake and hit the road toward our future.
In today’s world we are constantly surrounded by images of what society says happy ever after should be. I wonder if that is a contributing factor in the high divorce rate we have in our country. Do we have such a skewed image of what married life should be that when the image gets a little blurred we hit the road, file for divorce and immediately start looking for love again? There are valid reasons for divorce, I believe, but I also believe that too many people run away when the fairy tale image fades. I would never encourage anyone male or female to stay in an abusive marriage or one that involved infidelity. However, somehow our generation has lost the sense of commitment, dedication and work (yes work) when it comes to marriage and family. Certain that I am not going to win any popularity awards with this post I won’t apologize for how I feel or for what I say.
When I was a young girl in school I had one friend whose parents were divorced. Nowadays single parents, blended families, child support, custody battles, division of property and child sharing is more of the norm than two parent families who are living their own created fairy tales. But where are our examples? Looking at all of the Hollywood drama with folks like Kim Kardashian who was married for just a few days after her celebrated fairy tale wedding and is now expecting a baby with someone to whom she is not married. Shame on us for highlighting these people’s lives and allowing our children to think that this kind of life is glamorous and acceptable. I believe we need to highlight the lives of people like my parents, my in-laws, and yes even mine and my husbands. My parents have been married for 53 years, my in-laws were married for 49 years before they were parted by death and my grandparents were married for 57 years (I think) before cancer stole my grandmother from him. My husband and I have been married 23 years. None of us have lived what Disney would consider a fairy tale but with dedication, determination and commitment, we have managed to endure and survive. I remember spending the night with my grandparents as a young girl and listening to my grandparents as they prepared for bed. The house was dark and quiet and as I listened intently in the silence I heard my grandmother slip into bed and whisper “I love you old man”. He replied, “Yes, old lady, I love you too”. That stolen moment in time has always been an example for me to know that even in hard times and struggles, love remains the focus of what marriage is all about.
As the new year begins I challenge you to define what your own fairy tale should be taking into consideration that physical appearances change in time and carriage rides in the park under the stars will more than likely turn into late night trips to the drug store for medicine, diapers or the occasional feminine hygiene product in a 22 year old Toyota pickup.
Life is to be lived realistically; embrace the reality of your life and create your own fairy tale knowing that it’s your story and only you can define your happy ever after.
Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.