Fairy tales about a beautiful princess finding her perfect prince fill women of all ages with sweet satisfaction. We all want happily ever after lives with our princes, even when they lose their hair and their middles get rounder. Of course, at the same time, we women maintain the freshness and vitality of our youth.
But do you remember what it was like to experience first love, the innocence of looking into the eyes of a prince who at that moment was our knight in shining armor? I think the guys get shortchanged. They have to suffer the prospect of rejection while wooing the girl of their heart. They can’t use the tools we women have: hair color and makeup, for starters. Instead they have to take what’s been given to them, plus a white horse (or car or truck) and a fistful of courage. I feel sorry for them!
My granddaughter, who is five, told me about an incident at her preschool. She is in a class of children who missed kindergarten due to late summer and early fall birthdays. They are all fast friends. One day at lunch, my granddaughter saw one of the little boys sitting by himself.
And he had big tears running down his cheeks, Mimi, she said. He was so upset he couldn’t eat his lunch.
Why? I asked.
Because he was sitting alone. When we sat down, none of us noticed that he wasn’t with us. Her blue eyes widened, and she nodded. We made him feel better.
So what did you do?
We got everybody to go over and give him a group hug. We told him we were sorry that he ended up sitting alone.
How very nice of you, I told her. I was so proud of her.
We promised him he’d never be left out again, she said.
Shedding a few tears of my own, I thought on what she had said. For a brief moment, no doubt she had become this little guy’s princess.
Which got me to thinking. In our stories and in real life, most of the time it’s all about the princess, what she wants, what she needs. Maybe it’s time as women we think about flipping the coin, about romancing our princes. Make them feel special for the sacrifices they make. After all, (most of) the men in our lives are devoted to helping us, to making us happy, to solving our problems. To them, this is romance. The bottom line: Everybody needs a little romance. It just could be, that by focusing on our guys’ happiness, we might inspire them to respond to us more with the kinds of gestures we consider romantic.