Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Unrealistic relationship expectations thanks to Disney

First off, happy birthday to my buddy Liz. I dedicate this post to you birthday girl! In fact, you were the inspiration for it.

Tonight after work I went to Borders, wrestled past some tourists and grabbed the third-last widescreen edition of Enchanted. Yes, I am in my 20s and I bought a Disney half-animation film. But as "dead inside" as I may be, I am still a hopeless romantic who swoons at fairy tales. See my previous post about Jane Austen movies, that should have been a hint.

Who could resist the thought of Prince Charming riding up on a horse to rescue you or falling madly in love with someone in one glance and give up everything to be with him. And the fashion! I'm not a fairy-tale hoop skirt kind of girl but there's something about ballroom dancing in a big dress, holding up the hem as you glide around a dance floor that sounds romantic.

Yeah, then I wake up, I'm in my 20s and I have unrealistic relationship expectations because of the crap Disney put in my head as a kid. What Jaws did for the water, Disney did for relationships.

Now it's not all of Disney's fault. I'm a dreamer, I'm a romantic, so I eat this stuff up like a cat does milk. In fact, when Liz and I saw Enchanted on our "friend date" aka "frate" at Christmas, we both laughed so hard at the animation and Amy Adam's brilliant live-action interpretation that it was Liz who said Disney gives women of our generation unrealistic relationship expectations, which got me thinking, and made the mom in front of us cover her daughter's ears.

I guess I choose to be single, but as multiple other friends have commented, I have "high expectations" for a guy that I would consider dating. I don't consider having a job and no criminal record "high expectations," but part of me still looks for my own Prince Charming, who might not ride up on a horse (maybe in a cab or Vespa instead?) or rescue me from an evil witch (maybe just a woman who threatened to beat me up in front of CVS?) and maybe the ball gown isn't overly realistic either (although I am a bridesmaid in May so I have a floor-length dress) but part of me still hopes for the fairy tale, which is probably why I am still single. And part of my problem might be that as I get older, the hope stays around while the reality sorely evolves.

But maybe fairy tales aren't all bad. I have to admit, having a great voice to sing on tune at a given moment and having animal "helpers" to clean my apartment would be awesome. And if they can cook, I would be more than content with just that.

So in the end, Disney might be partially to blame, but it's still nice to indulge that side of me once in awhile. Maybe Disney didn't directly cause my singledom but it sure gave me some ideas that turned out to be a bit of a letdown in real life.
However, Enchanted did open my eyes to the hotness knows as McDreamy. I do not like him on Grey's but somehow in this he was downright ador-able!


Jenn said...

Agreed wholeheartedly. I've been saying this since I was old enough to know what heartache is. Disney gives girls a false sense of reality. There's no prince charming waiting to kiss us awake, no fairy god mothers and animals don't talk, do chores or help you get to the ball on time. Actually, there's no ball either.

I sound so cynical. And for this, I blame Disney. Eff you Ariel!

I have to say that I loved Amy Adams in Enchanted. And McDreamy...yum!

Butch said...

Puhhhlleeezzeeee...you are going to blame a movie production studio for your misunderstanding of the real world?

Do you blame the car when a drunk driver hits another car? Do you blame the gun when some crazo goes on a shooting rampage? Maybe in both scenarios, we should blame early exposure to video games and violent movies.

It's all about choices. I can be raised in the projects (more influential than a bunch of Disney movies) and with the right choices become a success.

You are single, because it is your choice. You are no Ariel, you are Sebastian. Stop being a crab. Buck up and be a tough city girl.