An open letter to girls Wednesday March 22, 2006, 2 comments


Think this through carefully. Ponder it while you sit in front of the mirror brushing your hair. It shouldn’t be stretch, since it seems to be what you’re pondering anyway. Discuss it during your next pillow-fight infested sleep-over.

Talk to your mom about it. She’ll have definite opinions.

What I’m asking you to think about is this whole wedding thing. Just about every girl I’ve ever known, upon the advent of her wedding day, has said something to the effect of “I’ve been dreaming of this day since I was a little girl!” It leaves me flabbergasted. Seriously? Since you were a little girl?

So, since like, what, four, you’ve dreamed of your wedding day. Of how a tall handsome prince with tight pants, a poofy shirt, somewhat queer boots and a sword will swoop you off your feet and onto the back of his magnificent white horse? How he’ll take you off to his castle in some green forested land to meet his dottering, short, bearded, but loving and twinkly-eyed father and his round but proud mother? How the peasants will all love you and you’ll have the most perfect wedding ever!

And everyone lives happily ever after, right?

See, the problem is that’s where the Disney movie ends. It doesn’t go on to explain how after the wedding, Snow White had a few good years of traveling through the kingdom, vacationing with her friends the dwarves at a sunny waterside villa. It doesn’t show her curled around the chamber pot puking up her breakfast while pregnant with her first child, or how homely that child is when she’s born, having inherited her paternal grandfathers squint.

It doesn’t show how running the kingdom has taken its toll on the prince’s sculpted figure. Instead of an adonis, he’s more of a pear. So is Snow, for that matter. Birthing royalty ain’t no picnic sweetheart.

Snow has also decided that she needs more of an education, and her new friends in the women’s group keep telling her the prince is keeping her down. By this point, the squinty little princess, who is showing strong signs if inheriting her grandfathers beard as well, has joined her mother at the group and is showing some strong lesbian tendencies, even if she’s only fourteen. Forget the stupid poofy-sleeved dresses, this one is all about leather pants.

Rest assured she’s planning her wedding already. The only detail unplanned is whether she will be the groom or the bride.

It’s probably a good thing Snow doesn’t know the King (her husband got the job when the old man died panting in the bed of his manservant) has been tagging washerwomen and barkeeps and that one girl out in the forest who lives with her three godmothers. Not that Snow has any claim to the moral high ground. Books could be written about how, and how often, the Black Knight is taking care of her needs.

The point is, girls, that you might spend your entire life dreaming of your wedding day, but did you ever, for just a second, consider what happens afterward?

It’s just a thought, but perhaps if more childhood time was spent dreaming of marriage instead of weddings, there’d be a whole lot fewer divorces in western society. If even half the planning involved in a traditional Italian wedding were instead spent on planning a successful marriage, I am willing to bet the world would be a whole different place.

For my part, I think I’ll offer my daughter money to elope. Forego the wedding and instead plan the marriage.

And make an actual effort at happily ever after.


DugRusin Wednesday March 22, 2006

[crosses Adrian off the ‘Read Sam a Bedtime Story” list]

As much as I hate to admit it, you’re right. Too many people walk down that aisle thinking ‘the ring makes it all right.’

And don’t get me started on the pre-marriage “classes” on how to be married. It’s better than nothing, but not by much.

I suppose a good way to prepare for a marriage is to play for a bad hockey team. I have and it did. When things aren’t going well, you can either yell at each other and point fingers or suck it up and try to get better.

Or be traded to Pittsburgh. Something like that.

Jorge Thursday March 23, 2006

I don’t know if I would have wanted my parents to plan my marriage, to be honest with you.

Commenting has ended for this post, but I'd still love to hear from you.

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