Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Real Tale of Sleeping Beauty

[The following is a reposting of a profile I once had on an online dating site. A Handsome (and Polyamorous) Prince has arrived on the scene since this was originally posted in 2006. I do not plan to live happily ever after, washing up and keeping house in his castle. We are pretty much content with each other's company and we take turns staying in his castle and in my cottage in the forest as often as we can.]

Everyone knows the fairy tale about Sleeping Beauty, right? The lovely princess who fell afoul of some nasty old crone, fairy or witch or whatever she was. The princess fell asleep and waited, patiently we presume, for some persistent prince to overcome all obstacles and wake her with his kiss.

Like all fairy tales, this one is based on a true story; like all fairy tales, it is so exaggerated that the kernel of truth inside is just about invisible. Let me tell you how it really was.

First off, the princess: she was not blonde, blue eyed and beautiful beyond description. That was just the Press Release from the Palace Public Relations Department. PR departments gotta do what PR departments gotta do, to justify their existence. The real princess was reasonably attractive, with red hair, green eyes and freckles. (Lots of freckles.) So right off we need to change the title of the story to: The Tale of the Sleeping Reasonably Attractive Person.

But there is more. She wasn’t asleep for one hundred years. That is just downright silly. Nobody can sleep for one hundred years. Well, no person; cats seem to be able to manage a reasonable facsimile, but I digress. The princess, lets call her RA for convenience sake, was only dozing and sort of oblivious to things in general. And it only lasted about thirty years, which seemed like a hundred to her family, but still, only about thirty years. New title change again: The Tale of Dozing and Sort of Oblivious Reasonably Attractive [Princess].

Oops. More facts getting in the way of a good story: she wasn’t a Royal princess at all. Her father wasn’t a hereditary monarch, nor was her mother, nor was any ancestor as far back as anyone can trace. As with all first born daughters, she was her Daddy’s Little Princess, of course. But that is as far as it goes, and when the other daughters were born that designation was diluted a couple of times over. Our story’s title changes again: The Tale of Dozing and Sort of Oblivious Reasonably Attractive Eldest Daughter. [You can see why the PR Department was tearing its hair out and came up with the shorter title, now can’t you?]

Title squared away, we can get down to the nitty gritty of the tale now. Fairy tale version: big to do at the christening party with [Disney version] fairy godmothers in a snit or [traditional version] some ugly old crone in the woods in a snit. In the true story, little RA had a nice godmother who not only wasn’t a fairy or ugly old crone, she didn’t believe in fairies and was young and reasonably attractive herself. There is no record of her ever having, or being in, a snit to this day. No snit, no curse, right? The christening party is out of the picture. It did make a nice visual that the PR Department wanted to play up, but it just didn’t happen.

If there was no snit, and there was no curse, what caused the one hundred year sleep, you ask? Weren’t you paying attention?? It wasn't sleep and the time frame was thirty years!

Here is where the prince came into the picture. Don’t ask how the PR Department managed to spin this into the story you are familiar with, but here is how it really went down. Again, he was Moderately Attractive rather than Handsome. And he was a Prince only in that he was the first born son and they usually are. Or think they are, once their grandmothers get finished with them. Handsome Prince morphs into Moderately Attractive First Born Son. It doesn’t scan as well, but it is closer to the truth.

There was a Kiss involved. Whew, you say, at last some truth to the story. Well, it was a kiss, not a Kiss, and actually there were quite a few involved. All the kisses didn’t add up to a KISS though, so don’t get too excited. The accumulation of kisses, along with some sweet talking, and a goodly amount of material goods and travel and other enticements did add up to a Kiss Equivalent.

And it was that Kiss Equivalent from the Moderately Attractive First Born Son that caused the Reasonably Attractive Eldest Daughter to Doze and be Sort of Oblivious for thirty years (give or take, fairy tales do seem to enjoy using round numbers).

Now, I suppose you wonder if the Happily Ever After ever happened either. It seems to have, but not in the true Fairy Tale manner. One day the Dozing and Sort of Oblivious Reasonably Attractive Eldest Daughter looked around at the Moderately Attractive First Born Son and at all the Kiss Equivalents and realized that it was all a Fairy Tale. All the time the Prince-equivalent had been insisting she stay locked in the castle; had been alienating her from her friends; had screamed and pouted and accused her of looking at other princes; he had been banging Bimbos from Boston to Bangkok, and back again.

The latest Bimbo wanted to move into the castle, so the Princess-equivalent took her son and went off to live in a Cottage-in-the-Forest Equivalent and has been pretty much content ever since.

Me, I’ll settle for Pretty Much Content Ever Since over Happily Ever After any day. You?

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