I recently watched Disney’s latest fairytale, Tangled. I had no plans to see Tangled because, seriously, Rapunzel? How boring. And computer animated? That’s cheating. And, if I’m perfectly honest, I saw The Princess and the Frog and while it was enjoyable, it didn’t give me that childlike (childish?) feeling that sent me into a romantic whirlwind of dancing and singing and crying and dreaming. I thought maybe I was too old to appreciate the newer Disney movies and figured that the old classics - Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid (and all the others of my childhood) – could never be replicated and Disney was done in the ways of fairytales.
Truth be told, a lot has changed in my life. When I was a kid, I could curl up in the corner of the couch and watch Ariel, Belle and Jasmine with wide eyes and believe you met someone and that was that. Hah! Relationships have come and gone, stability has been rocked, Reese and Ryan broke up, for crying out loud! How could I possibly fall for the silly romanticism of Disney ever again? There’s no way that after things I’ve been through and seen and experienced that I could allow myself to get so giddy over a silly love story ever again. Not even a more adult story like The Notebook could get me to believe in love like I used to. Seriously, I hate The Notebook.
Then I saw Tangled and I’ve watched it five times in a week (so far) and I cannot stop dancing and singing and crying and dreaming.
And now I’m so confused. I’m in my first Big Girl relationship. He and I have been together for a year and a half and it’s all very Grown Up and Serious, with keys exchanged and food shared and there is very little time for romance and all that silliness. Honestly, I think romance is pointless. Kissing in movies makes me feel awkward. Don’t tell me I’m pretty, it’s not going to win me over. I’ll allow you to hold a door open for me but that’s about it.
So why in the world am I so crazy in love with stupid Flynn Rider?! And why do I want to rewatch all those Disney movies again and feel those stupid feelings I felt as a kid? I know it’s not real. I know it doesn’t exist. I am a logical, smart, independent woman. Am I alone in feeling like despite that, I deserve a Prince who can rescue me? Or at least a super-hot thief who goes gooey for me? Relationship treats me like a princess, that’s for sure, but I don’t need to be a princess, I just want a prince.
It’s ridiculous, right? That I am 23 and finding flaws in a relationship because it’s not Disney enough? It makes me hate myself. I feel so guilty. What about Mr. Right-Some-Of-The-Time? Is he really so bad? He’s got the attitude but not the royal wealth. Or he has the heart but not the looks. Why do I find it so hard to compromise what I once believed was perfection? And I know I’m not the only girl who does it, either. Why do we skip over the stable boys to get straight to the Knights in Shining Armour?
Is there some sort of group therapy I can join? Do I need to experience more relationships to understand how good I have it? It drives me crazy to know that I am doubting something that is so good for me and any doubts I ever had are multiplied and compounded by watching Tangled. This movie is perfect, by the way, if you hadn’t figured that out. It may not be hand-drawn, but it is classic Disney perfection. Not to be a complete advert but yeah, you need to watch it. It’s on Instant Netflix.
It’s weird because I’m sort of okay with being jaded when it comes to love. Even in this relationship, I have moments when I think it’s all a waste and it’s not as if it’s going to work out anyway. Come on, just as I’m writing this, I hear the rumor that Will and Jada are breaking up, which only makes me believe in love even less. But when I watch these stupid Disney movies, I feel so warm inside and I laugh so hard and I cry like crazy and all I want is for that to be my life. Maybe it makes me feel a little innocent again, as if I can forget everything that real life has shown me and I can curl up in the corner of the couch again and feel like princes and magic are real.
I wish it was real, but it’s not. Even at 23, I’m still trying to figure out how to accept that just because a guy isn’t a prince doesn’t mean I’m settling for, but rather, I’m settling in. Disney has completely destroyed any logic I once had. Maybe they should put a disclaimer in the beginning and end of these movies, reminding us that this is based completely on fiction and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. My generation and I are lost causes, we’re victims of the Disney Fever and we will never recover, but maybe future little girls (and boys) can avoid the frustration I’m feeling right now.
Now, can someone please lend me their Aladdin DVD? I’d go buy it but it’s in Disney’s stupid vault. Hmph.