They all live happily, happily, happily ever after.
The couple is happily leaving the chapel eternally tied.
As the curtain descends, there is nothing but loving and laughter.
When the fairy tale ends the heroine’s always a bride.
Ella, the girl of the cinders did the wash and the walls and the winders.
But she landed a prince who was brawny and blue-eyed and blond.
Still, I honestly doubt that she could ever have done it
without that crazy lady with the wand.
Cinderella had outside help!
Sing it Winnifred.
I’m not about to go on a rant about how musicals set up an unrealistic set of expectations for a woman, but come on, Winnie said it loud and clear.
There is a prevalent idea that, as a woman, your life isn’t going to be complete if you don’t find the man of your dreams and get married.
I certainly subscribed to that.
I have a career. It’s gone from a job to a career in the past couple years, past few months especially, and I couldn’t be happier for that. I feel fulfilled at work, feel like I can see my hard work paying off, like it makes a difference, everything on that end has continued to go up and up for the past little while and it’s great.
But when you go through a big breakup, even if you’re sure (intellectually) that it’s all for the best, and even if your friends remind you, “you can do better” or “you have so many other things to be happy about”, it’s hard to kill that nagging voice in the back of your head that says,
Well now you’ve done it. How the hell do you expect to ever get married?
Which is pretty much the same as saying,
How the hell do you ever expect to be happy?
I want to get into some happily, happily ever after.
I want to walk happily out of the chapel eternally tied.
For I know that I’ll never live happily ever after ’til after I’m a bride!
I think it can be especially hard for artists. We have a terrible habit of wearing our hearts on our sleeves, and it doesn’t help that we are always encouraged to feel more than “normal” people and to express more; you can’t really call yourself an actor if you can’t show the extremes of all of life’s emotions. Plus, let’s face it, all of us that work in the arts are a little neurotic. And that’s fine. I mean, to do a job that requires way more hours, way more emotional energy and far less pay & respect than most other jobs out there, you’ve really got to be a little insane. There’s nothing noble or brave about it, just something mildly neurotic that helps to tie all of us theatre-folk together.
As a huge musical theatre buff, I find it hard to not fall for the gospel all the great shows preach; be true, try your hardest, and you’ll find your leading man who, not only is perfect for you, but who can sing & dance too. Doesn’t matter how many obnoxious traits he may seem to have at first, eventually (that is, by the end of the show) the heroine has found her green glass love; and we’re all the heroes in our own stories, right? So when is the show ending? Where’s mine?
I’ve never been one to waste any time with anything, fall off the horse, get right back up, so I’ve been making a point of getting out, meeting new people, and not letting myself mope. Not the easiest thing to start, but once it gets going it feels great.
I was surprised by something the other night, though. I guess it was my “Dorothy” moment, the whole “looking for your heart’s desire in your own backyard” sorta thing. I’ve gone on a few dates, met some interesting people, and have been looking to (albeit, slowly) get back on the same sort of track I was on before, but a message from a friend made me realize I was looking in completely the wrong direction.
None of these guys, past or present, have written to me in the morning or at lunch to see how my day’s been going.
None of them have been there to give me a pep talk about work, or life, or whatever it is that is causing undue stress.
None of them have said thank you for any of the time, or effort, or love I’ve put into things and none of them have done much of that in return.
But who has been there literally every day for the past month?
Who’s been the one to tell me to call when I’m home safe after a date?
Fuck this marriage shit. At least for now. I’ve got a career that I love and I am working with amazing people, in particular one of my best friends who I will get to spend a week in NYC with this summer. The goal for the next month, isn’t to stop dating, stop meeting new people, or stop any of the positive stuff that I’ve been working toward this month, it’s to remember that when any of it goes wrong I’ve already got the best support out there, in a friend who has been more than any of those guys have, or really, likely ever will be. And really, what’s better than doing what you love, with who you love?
Just gotta remember that.
Then I’ll be happily happy
Yes happily happy
And thoroughly satisfied!