Friday, June 17, 2005

Fairy Tales

While I was growing up, I lived in a home that was made beautiful by the hard work and industry of my dedicated parents. They took a broken down old 1876 house, restored it to it’s former splendor and filled it will love and laughter. Of course, we had our trials and tribulations, but that isn’t the point of this post. I’ll pass over those things at this time and get on to the point.

In this beautiful home of ours, there was a formal living room with a grand fireplace. It was planked with built-in oak bookshelves on either side. Recessed windows sat above the shelves to allow light in from the ivy-covered porch on the other side. As children, we were only allowed to play board games and read in this room. No horseplay! No goofing off! No acting like hooligans!

As the oldest of the K . . . berg brood, I would often read aloud to my brother and sisters. We would sit near the fireplace on big over-stuffed
floor pillows that our Mom had made, and huddle around the chosen book. (I know … you’re thinking Saturday Evening Post. But really, I just don’t want to get into the creepy uncle and the mental illness shit right now). Anyway, my favorite books were the fairy tale stories. I loved all the handsome heroes and beautiful princesses, horrible beasts and scary dragons, elaborate castles and little forest cottages; and mostly I loved the happy endings.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve some to realize that fairy tales are all make-believe. The magic of our lives is the magic that we create, and the fantasy is within the power
of our imagination. Unfortunately, in letting go of these stories, I also lost sight of with wisdom that I might have learned about Love.

In many of these stories, the Love and devotion of the princess is bestowed on only the most worthy of the heroes. He must pass a test by being brave, patient and clever. He does this because he believes that the prize is worth the risk and effort. Recently, a very kind and gentle friend reminded me that my Love is valuable. It made me sad to think that I’ve suffered a great deal because I’ve not held it in such high regard. Perhaps that’s why some of the people I’ve given it to have also been careless with it. Maybe I need to take a lesson from these Fairy Tales and let my future heroes earn my Love. This Love of mine is good stuff. It’s really worth the effort.

Recommended Reading for adults and children of both genders: THE MAID OF THE NORTH: Feminist Folk Tales From Around The World, by Ethel Johnston Phelps.

14 Comments:

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Blazngfyre said...

Not sure if I agree with the Fairy Tale deal. To me, they teach girls that we need to be rescued, and that we're not capable of taking care of ourselves. We have to have some hero save us.

But I enjoy your perspective on them so much better!

You ARE precious Hot Chik, and so is the love you choose to bestow.

 
At 2:32 PM, Blogger Chick said...

I have a living room filled with overstuffed pillows...it's one of my favorite rooms in my house.

Your love is your gift...give it freely...but only if it is appreciated...& given back to you.

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger theresa said...

Blaze - Your point is well taken. I completely agree. That's why I referenced the book at the end of the post. However, when I abandoned Fairy Tales because of their focus on stereotyped gender formulas, I missed the lesson that I illuminated in this post.

I really love THE MAID OF THE NORTH. I give it to a lot of kids, both boys and girls, so they learn that girls are the clever, strong, brave heroes of stories too!

Chick - Can I come to your living room to read? It sounds wonderfully comfy, and the company would be the BEST!!!

I don't intend to become stingy with my Love. In fact, one of my friends laughed when I suggested that as a solution to avoiding pain. He said it wasn't possible. However, I hope to have a bit more caution and consider my self-preservation with would-be lovers.

 
At 1:43 PM, Blogger DLAK said...

I hope its cool for an yucky guy to be here, I just wanted to tell you your insight is interesting your blog is very good. I think most men see themselves as a saving hero. And they see most women as someone that needs to be saved and whose life will be better because of their influance. Passive women perpetuate the myth as do the movies, music and tv. It is time for women to get some balls and stop acting like dopes just so they dont look like a bitch. Go ahead and be a bitch if that what it takes they will get over it and when they do they will respect you even if they dont show it. To me there is no bigger turn on in the world then an intelligent, independant women.
PS: Theresa, I love your glasses. If my comment is stupid please excuse me,

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger Jay said...

I take something else from fairy tales. That only the impossibly perfect man is worthy of the princess's love. That she will become a cranky bitch if there's a single pea under 37 featherbeds.

And with all that "They were married the very next day" and "They Lived Happily Ever After".

Bullshit. It seems to presume that they're both perfect for each other and they coasted through life.

Maybe I'll re-write the fairy tales. "They struggled through life, but by sharing their lives, balancing each other's strengths and weaknesses, and never taking each other for granted they lived a good life with an abundance of happiness".

 
At 7:02 PM, Blogger R. U. Serious said...

This is an amazing change of pace from your last post.

Damned If I Know

 
At 1:24 AM, Blogger Larry Jones said...

So, are you out slaying dragons, kissing frogs or dancing with princes?

You are special, and deserve the best.

 
At 2:05 AM, Blogger theresa said...

DLAK - Most guys I know aren't yucky, and you don't seem like the yucky variety either. Welcome!

I agree that a lot of men take on the role of hero. Both men and women are taught to take on certain roles with one another. My own mother told me that I should act less independent and more vulnerable because men would like me better that way.

 
At 2:16 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Jay - Maybe in my story, there's a perfect guy for me ... he doesn't have to be perfect for everyone. And, maybe the best part of the story is the stuff that happens between "Once upon a time" and "Happily ever after".

Larry - You're an absolute prince! ... and I'd much rather kiss you than a bunch of frogs ... and, never fear ... I've negotiate a peaceful plan with the dragon.

 
At 2:18 AM, Blogger theresa said...

r.u. - Welcome to the rollercoaster ride. Hang on and keep your arms and legs insode the car

 
At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is your new post? Share and share some more. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm...well....hot damn....holy shit.......oh yeah........

 
At 5:09 PM, Blogger Jay said...

There is no perfect guy. There is no perfect woman.
There is no perfect prince, princess, relationship, job, family, or friend.

You find one that seems to be a good fit. Then you both have to work and work and work to make it work out. If it goes downhill but you both decide to fix it you do.

There is no soul mate. There are mates that are good for your soul.

Introspective Jay

 
At 11:50 PM, Blogger Maverick said...

Good point. Sometimes, I wonder with all the things we do how high in regard we hold ourselves. But, really, what was that Princess and the Pea story about?

Spitting in a Wishing Well

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger kelebek }{ said...

I missed theresa!! Pretty please with a cherry on top post!
kelebek }{

 

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