This was written a few months ago. Updates forthcoming...
Disney has done my children a great disservice. While I didn’t expect Walt to teach them everything, I was kinda hoping his franchise would cover the intricacies of love and romance. My bad.
Let’s be honest here. I’m about as social as a ceiling fan and my flirting skillz are seriously subpar, so when I talked to my children about the possibility of mommy dating, it was in grand hypotheticals. Like winning the lottery, having MTV pimp my ride or getting all my laundry done in one day.
As luck would have it, Mommy is dating. And if I’m reading my children correctly, they might spontaneously combust. Apparently, they firmly believe dating is just a casual word for betrothal, and it’s only a matter of time before the wicked stepfather sends them away to boarding school. Pray tell, where did they get those active imaginations?
My daughter is especially vexed. In regards to famous Disney hookups, only Jasmine dated around. Ariel imprinted with her true love moments after surfacing, Aurora and Snow White’s first kisses were with Prince Charming, and insensible shoes brought Cinderella’s destiny to her front door. So according to Disney’s schedule, I’m either ready to take a ride on a magic carpet, have my fairy Godmother fit me with a designer gown or prick my finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. Not that any of those wouldn’t be equally exciting…
Of course, I never bought into Hollywood’s shrink-wrapped version of romance myself. I didn’t once swoon when Christian Slater told Marisa Tomei he had a baboon heart. I didn’t cheer for joy when Patrick Swayze said that no one puts Baby in a corner. Nor did I become a little faint when Eric Stoltz and Marie Stuart Masterson engaged in a practice kiss.
Okay, so I’m a sucker for it all. And when my daughter’s eyes glaze over when talking about princes, I tend to glaze with. But unfortunately, most of Disney’s romances are caste with disenchanted mommies: stepmoms, stepqueens, class A felony kidnappers. Not one of them rides a paddle boat in the moonlight while being serenaded by sea creatures. And believe me, that’s on my bucket list.
Whether or not I’ve found Mr. Charming remains to be seen, and I’ll be the first to admit the search can sometimes feel quite magical. However, the reaction of my kids has reminded me that I can never forget my true loves. Because for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, for armpit farts and public brawls, they are my happily ever after.