And Still She Believed in Fairy Tales.

Once upon a time….

there was a little girl growing up in small town Saskatchewan. She grew up watching and believing in fairy tales. Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” was a favourite, as were ballets such as “The Magic Flute”. She daydreamed that someday her prince would come.

She was a bit of an awkward child. Small in her preteens; with a long body, short legs and wavy hair that insisted on sticking up everywhere when not in braids. She had buck teeth before she was graced with braces around age 11 or 12, and was afflicted with glasses.  Her fashion sense was quirky and she took pride in putting all her hair ties in her hair at once, or having mismatched socks. She was popular in school despite all of that until she hit grade eight. Then she was mercilessly bullied until graduation.

And still she believed in fairy tales and that her prince would come.

She lusted and longed for many people during school, none of whom gave her the slightest attention. She did not even want to hold hands with her first boyfriend in grade school. She was incredibly shy and, besides, not that attracted to him.

The bullying took its toll. She began to long for any human companionship. Her best friend moved and she began to hang out with the stoners and misfits. The misfits were anyone that did not fit in to the mould “prep”, “nerd”, or “jock”. It was the Marilyn Manson fans. It was the skaters. It was the stoners. It was the Fiona Apple and Nirvana fans. It was the Emo kids (but before that term existed!). She longed for one or two of the misfit crew to notice her and sweep her off her feet. They didn’t.

Finally someone did notice her! They “dated” awhile but it was a love triangle worthy of a teen soap opera and ended tragically. He was her first and she pined after him hopelessly.  She replaced the hope of romance with food and morose semi-hopeful movies such as Stealing Beauty and True Romance. She listened to Nirvana, Fiona Apple and  Tori Amos songs endlessly. She got fat and pimply.

And still she believed in fairy tales and that her prince would come.

She dated assholes if they asked her, unable to say no because she felt hopeless, ugly and kind. She is still hard pressed to say no to a favour. She dated all of them as a favour and so she wouldn’t be alone. No one lasted over two weeks. She was attracted to none of them.

And still she believed in fairy tales and that her prince would come.

University was hopeless. A sea of losers and users. Any she was interested in did not reciprocate. She dated a couple of guys she wasn’t attracted to and it ended quickly. One even phoned her, broke up with her over the phone and asked out her roommate in the same call! She longed to be in love like she had been with her first. But the feeling just wasn’t there with the guys who were interested in her and the ones that held promise did not know she was alive. She survived University, and graduated.

And still she believed in fairy tales and that her prince would come.

She moved to Calgary, fell in love with someone as hopeless as her first and fell in to a soap opera situation again! Sigh. History repeats itself. He fell off the grid and she revisited anorexia.

And still she believed in fairy tales and that her prince would come.

(She had visited a psychic in Japan with her friend as translator. He predicted the Calgary love would end, she would date someone who would not be the one for her, but around age 27-29 she would find “her prince”. She laughed and dismissed it. Her Calgary love disappeared soon after).

The little girl full of hope is dying inside the grown woman. She begins to envision a future where she dies alone in a small apartment; cats licking at her face, the reek of litter box and cat food permeating the entire room and covering up the smell of death until the landlord investigates and finds her half decayed. At this low point she meets someone who makes her laugh and is interested. He is nerdy and too skinny and she is not attracted to him physically. But when he asks if he can move to Vancouver with her from Saskatoon and start a life together she says yes. She is too afraid of being alone at this point.When he gives her a ring and wants to marry she says yes. Better than being eaten by cats.

Maybe this is her prince in disguise and love will grow from this situation?

He ends up being as despicable as the rest, or worst. They end it. She moves back to Calgary and still believes in love. She actively looks for it in every guy willing to date her and fails to find the one. She dates a few jerks and lost boys. One makes her feel particularly used and she gives up.

She has spent so much time looking for her prince that she has forgotten who she is. She will find herself again and selfishly pursue her own interests instead of spending 110% on her energy trying to please others.

She still believes her prince is out there, but is no longer willing to admit that any more.

She decides that just before her friend invites her to join the girls on Saturday to celebrate Halloween weekend.

She doesn’t know if she believes her prince will come and has decided she doesn’t care anymore. No, really.

They have big plans to go out early and go to a swanky bar across town. Early comes and goes. The money needed to go to said bar has dwindled over the week and by Saturday her friend and her can barely afford the cab ride there. Her friend and her take stock. Do they have the money to get there and have fun once there? Is it early enough to even get a  cab there and back easily? No and no. Local bar with live band it is! Last minute changes to plans. They dress up and drink the rest of the wine and go. They walk there and set themselves up to people watch as people walk in.

And later that night, after many glasses of white wine, in comes two men also in costumes. Her friend has been playing a “guess who that is” game with her. They have seen Joan Jett, the Cowardly Lion, Elvis…now in comes

“Gilligan!” shouts her friend.

“No”, the girl slurs, “It’s Hunter S Thompson.”

Blank stare.

“The famous journalist? Political Activist? Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?” Sigh. “Johnny Depp played him?”

“OOOOHHHHH. …. No, It’s Gilligan. Your turn to get our wine”

The girl from Saskatchewan who has always believed in fairy tales goes up to the bar and accidentally cuts in line. She turns to apologize and it’s “Hunter S Thompson”. She apologizes and he accepts. They talk and she compliments his costume and then invites him and his friend to come and talk to them.

They come to talk and after a short moment of conversation she thinks, “Oh no, this is my type. And I enjoy being around him which wrecks my idea of being alone for a few months”. She wants to walk away and stick to her self vow to be alone and selfishly pursue her own interests. But she can’t somehow. She could blame the drink but  that would be a lie. He kisses her and she is somehow; even over the pounding music of the bar, the hum of conversation and the blur of drunkenness, she is somehow sure that this is the last person she will kiss. That makes her uneasy and she isn’t sure how she should feel about it. Two dates in her fears are quelled. He is the one. She has never felt so comfortable and sure of something in her life. There is no fear that he won’t call or will cheat on her. She feels like they were made for each other for now and always.

And now that little girl who believed in fairy tales knows that they are true because her life has proven it. He is her prince. They are married and have two beautiful children. Every time their love has been tested or bad times have come along they have gotten stronger as a couple and her belief in fairy tales has strengthened.

The prince and princess.

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