I'm not a big fan of fairy tales. Mainly, I'm not a fan of the Disney fairy tales. I don't like passive women who meekly accept whatever atrocious position they're in, waiting and pining for the day that a man will come along and save them. I don't like those kinds of women in the stories I read; I don't like them in real life. I'm not passive. I don't expect others to hand me my dreams. My mind doesn't work that way.
Which is why my Cinderella moment has nothing to do with glass slippers and carriages whisking me away to balls. No, the moment came while I was sweating over the soap scum in my tub, scrubbing in those awkward angles that are not comfortable kneeling or bending over. It was at this moment, when Comet covered my hands and straggles of hair were tickling my nose and the pink mold was making a valiant sally against my second charge that I thought of Cinderella.
I wondered, for the first time, if the entire of the fairy tale is actually told within the limits of the story. As in, no happily ever after. Perhaps shortly after the curtains close and the spine is shut and the rosy glow of the honeymoon is over Cinderella finds herself right back where she was before, only now she's scrubbing floors in her own home instead of her stepmothers. Perhaps the only thing that changed was location.
Right, right, I know there was love and marriage, so she's got a sex life now and a glow in her heart, but when she's bent over a porcelain surface, is that what she's thinking about?
It was a thought made bleaker by my tired arms. Now I'm happy to have a shiny bathroom. Still, my take on fairy tales remains the same. Save the white knights for someone else. I'd rather have a man come along who wanted to work at my side, even if we stayed at my stepmother's house. Someone who would support my dreams, not expect me to change my life to fit his and be ecstatic about it. Actually, that's what I have, so maybe I've achieved my own fairy tale. And I never had to have a wicked stepmother, either.