Friday, March 19, 2010

happily ever after

I just thought of something at random. Obviously, therefore, I share it with the internet. I was explaining to my husband via email that when he gets a job in the right place (soon), I will forge his name to an offer letter for the next house that comes up for sale in my town. (Can you think of a better real-estate related plan? I didn't think so.) And that we would then live there happily ever after.

My brain works in odd bits. I shall explain. Having typed those words, first I thought, 'Happily-ever-after sounds good. Ideal, even. Or idyllic. But do I believe that? Isn't the house sort of a consolation prize, or, at least, my manner of shopping for it is sort of second-best - not choosing one for the sake of the kiddos, 'cause they never showed up?'

'Well, that's true. I don't really view the rest of our lives as ideal. I sort of think of them as being as good as they can be with what we've got, which, while clearly always the goal, is not what I was hoping for on some important points. So, I see there always being some sort of sadness or emptiness. But I could still love my house...'

'So, let's get to the bottom of this. What do the fairy tales indicate about the meaning of happily-ever-after? Does one imagine Cinderalla, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, or Snow White necessarily having a houseful of children in short order?'

'No. I never imagined that, even when I was a child. I don't really think that you're meant to. In fact I can't entirely imagine any of those women as mothers. I see them as adored wives, whisked away from suffering to live with the loves of their lives, no longer suffering poverty or cruelty, and blissfully happy because of it. Palaces and white horses optional; pretty dresses essential.'

I'm not sure I could creditably claim that my life falls much short of that measure, except for my unaccountable decisions occasionally to wear something other than pretty dresses, or to be other than blissful due to some grievance - such as childlessness - that I could ignore and still live a life that holds up pretty well in fairy tales. I don't recall any of those women being attorneys, but then they weren't specific on those points, and anyway one oughtn't to put such frightening ideas in bedtime stories for children.*

So yeah, I'm buying that house when it comes on the market. Happy St. Joseph's day, all! And if you haven't said the novena(s), you might still send up one quick prayer that the foster father of Jesus bless your home, your marriage, and your husband, and watch over your family.
*To all you sticklers out there: yes, I know Sleeping Beauty actually has her heart cut out in the original, and doesn't live happily ever after or, indeed, any other way. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, clearly, you don't know enough Germans.


  1. I love those German fairy tales. Our Oma reads them to the children and they love the bloody originals much more than the whitewashed Disney stories. The sickos.

  2. I just wanted to say I love your randomness! and I had no idea about Sleeping Beauty! That's like the Princess Bride.. In the original they get all get murderd at the end.. so sad..

  3. You know, the great thing about fairy tales is that they did not spell out what the “happily ever after” was. Your imagination could figure out what that meant and for each of us, it meant different things. All you knew was the girl had a great guy with her and together they were going to find happiness.

    You’ve found your fairyland and I’m hoping THE castle opens up soon.

    You ruined Sleeping Beauty for me :) I was living in blissful ignorance.

  4. I second Suzie Q - I look forward to your randomness and like the variety! Also, I had no idea that happened to Sleeping Beauty, obviously my knowledge of classic literature is lacking. I hope you have a great week!