By Nancy Cozart
The Fairy Tale World Versus The Real World
Lately, I have been thinking that the fairy tale world has some distinct advantages over the real world. In the fairy tale world, good triumphs over evil. The protagonist in the story has a happy ending.
In the real world, life is usually filled with challenges, issues, and problems. There are ups and downs. Life is not black and white, and there are many shades of grey.
By contrast, in the fairy tale world, there are vibrant colors in every scene. Music soundtracks accompany each scene with fun, catchy tunes. The protagonist usually has a lovely singing voice and her side kicks often jump in on the harmonies and melodies for each score. In the fairy tale world, there are happy, upbeat musical numbers, accompanied by choreographed dancing and singing. Life is animated and filled with vibrant colors.
In the real world, life can be lonely. Trusty canine or feline sidekicks may provide company for those who are single, divorced or widowed or living alone.
In the fairy tale world, the protagonist is usually surrounded by supportive woodland creatures, underwater crustaceans and fish, or furry critters. In the real world, our pet friends provide companionship and they are loyal friends and good listeners. By comparison, in the fairy tale world, the animal sidekicks can often sing, dance and talk. They are quite entertaining.
In the real world in my life, I am a single mom and a widow. I go to work each day in order to pay my mortgage payment, my car payment, my utility bills and all the other bills that arrive in the mail each month.
In the fairy tale world, there never seems to be any mortgage payments, car payments, utility bills, or credit card bills. There are no grocery stores, clothing stores, shopping malls, Walmarts, retail outlets or online shopping in the fairy tale world, so fairy tale protagonists are never racking up their credit cards and going into debt.
In the fairy tale world, there are no student loans to pay back. There are no furniture bills. If the protagonist in the fairy tale world lives in a home, the home is fully furnished. If the protagonist in the fairy tale world lives under the sea, there is no need for furniture. A large sea shell could be used as a multi-purpose chair, sofa, or bed.
In the fairy tale world, the protagonist never seems to struggle with weight issues. The protagonist usually looks like she is a size four. However, the fairy tale protagonists never seem to spend any time at the gym, on the treadmill, or on the elliptical. The fairy tale females never seem to have to go on a diet, either.
The characters in the fairy tale world never seem to struggle with money issues, weight issues, issues at work, issues at home, global pandemics, layoffs, unemployment, issues with finding work, issues with mortgages, debt, or any other substancial issues.
I think I would like to be an animated fairy tale character or a cartoon character when I grow up. The fairy tale world and the cartoon world seem to offer some distinct advantages over the “real world”.
If I could pick a character, I have decided my first choice would be: Snow White. I would like to be Snow White when I grow up because I think she had an ideal lifestyle. Strategically, I think Snow White played her cards really well with the hand she had been dealt.
Snow White stayed single for a long time. Unlike “Carrie Bradshaw”, she did not spend a lot of money on shoes and designer clothes. In fact, she only had one dress that she wore every day. She didn’t even have to do the laundry because she had trained her “pets” aka woodland forest animals to cook, clean, and do the laundry for her.
Despite being a single female, she was able to avoid having to go to work each day. In fact, she was able to stay at home while her woodland forest animal “pets” cleaned her home for her, free of charge. While the woodland creatures cleaned her house, she spent the day singing songs, dancing and hanging out with animals all day. She hung out with “party animals” during the day…while her roommates went to work each day to pay the bills. Snow White never had to work. As a single female, she had it made in the shade. The seven little male roommates she lived with went off to work each day, while she stayed at home with her party animal friends.
I think Snow White had the right idea. Strategically, she had it all figured out. I am not quite sure how she ended up with such an awesome gig for her living arrangements, and I don’t know why her roommates didn’t charge her any rent, but I think Snow White had a pretty awesome game plan. Her silver linings playbook seems pretty golden, to me.
I would like to be Snow White when I grow up because she had her life set up so perfectly. Instead of hanging out with people all day, she spent every day hanging out with animals. That sounds purrr-fect to me! The animals she hung out with were not only cute little critters…they were also very helpful! They did all the cleaning and all of the household chores for her. She didn’t even have to pay them.
Since she was able to convince her seven room mates to pay for the house payment, electric, utility bills and all of the other expenses, Snow White was able to live in her home free of charge. In the animated fairy tale world, Snow White was doing a happy dance while her seven room mates went off to work each day singing: “Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work I go….”.
In the real world, I’ve been singing a similar, but slightly different, song each day…. “I owe, I owe, so it’s off to work I go”. This song is not accompanied by a happy dance. Rather, it is accompanied by a cup of coffee each morning. In the fairy tale world, Jack and the Bean Stalk had magic beans. In contrast, in the real world, I have my magic beans…aka, my cup of coffee.
If I were Snow White in the fairytale world, I would just need to remember not to eat any apples. In the Snow White fairy tale, the antagonist gives Snow White a poison apple, which caused her to fall into a deep sleep.
Although the thought of getting a good night’s sleep sounds tempting, I think I would just give up apples and I would eat bananas instead. They are full of potassium, so I would be okay with substituting bananas for apples. You may think I’m bananas, but living in the fairy tale world sounds like a great idea to me.
As is typical with most fairy tales, Snow White has a happy ending. Although she is a single female for most of the story, she ends up in a monogamous relationship with a handsome prince.
One day, while she was taking a long nap outdoors, a handsome prince happens to come by on his horse. He see her lying there asleep and he decides to kiss her. When he kisses her, she wakes up from her deep sleep.
It was love at first sight…not love at first dating site. She was able to skip over all of those tedious dating sites, dating apps, dating profiles, dating algorithms, swiping to the left, swiping to the right, Match, Tinder, and all of the other dating mechanisms…. and she was able to move right into the meeting of the handsome prince, falling in love, getting married, becoming a princess and living happily every after. She didn’t even have to go on any awkward dates.
She even got to go on vacation and went horse back riding with a handsome guy in a beautiful countryside setting, to boot. She never even needed to pay a fee for a dating site. She had her sights set on a handsome prince…. and she nailed it. She got the fire started… with no Match, and no Tinder. All she had to do was put on some lipstick, brush her hair, put a ribbon in her hair, put on a dress, eat an apple, lie down outside and take a nap while working on her tan…and voila! She met the man of her dreams without having to use any dating apps and without having to go on any blind dates.
I am ready to sign up for the animated fairy tale world. Who’s with me? Where do I go to sign up?
The Little Mermaid
On second thought, maybe I might want to live in the fairy tale world as Ariel, the Little Mermaid. Ariel spent her days swimming in the ocean and hanging out with a singing crab named Sebastian.
As a crab, Sebastian was not very crabby. He was actually quite delightful, with his Reggae music and songs under the sea! I can see how life under the sea could be a really great place to be. The Reggae music is fun and entertaining, plus swimming is a really great form of exercise.
Ariel was very resourceful, frugal and budget conscious. She used a fork as a comb for her hair. Instead of shopping at the mall and racking up her credit cards, she created her own line of clothing, which basically consisted of two sea shells and a string combined to form a swimsuit top.
While Ariel spent her days under the sea, there was no need for her to dress up. In fact, she wore the same clothes every day. There was no need for Ariel to do laundry, since she swam in the water each day…which was essentially the same thing as washing her clothes. She saved a lot of money on her wardrobe by having a mermaid fish tale. She never had to buy designer pants, skirts or dresses. She was good to go with just a bikini top.
Ariel had no mortgage payments, no car payments….and basically no expenses at all. Instead of going to the grocery store or out for dinner, she had unlimited amounts of seafood available for meals, which was essentially like having an unlimited salad bar. If she felt like having seafood for dinner, there was no need to go out for dinner. She could dine in and there were several options for seafood dining under the sea.
No wonder Ariel was so thin and never gained weight. She spent her days swimming, dancing, and eating seaweed and seafood.
In comparison, in the “real world” most of us spend most of the day sitting behind a desk for 8 or more hours each day. We drive to work each day, sitting behind a wheel. We drive home each night, sitting behind the same wheel. When we get home, we are often feeling tired from working all day. In the real world, a typical evening consists of sitting at a table eating dinner, followed by eating a snack while sitting on the sofa, followed by sleeping in our beds.
In the fairy tale world, Ariel’s life seems more like a vacation: swimming, hanging out at the beach, wearing a bikini, and eating seafood for dinner.
Ariel’s life has a happy ending, too. She ends up with a handsome guy named Eric, who happens to be a prince. So, she ends up being a princess. She finally gets to use a real brush for her hair, instead of using a fork. Ariel’s rags to riches story may seem a little fishy, but I think that this “Ginger” had it all figured out!
I would be willing to trade my mundane real life for the glamorous, amorous life of the little mermaid.
Another animated fairy tale character who seemed to play her cards right was Sleeping Beauty, aka Aurora, aka Briar Rose. When Aurora was born, the fairies gathered at her cradle and bestowed gifts to her. She was gifted with beauty. Despite being beautiful and having a charmed life, Aurora was destined to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and she was subsequently destined to fall into a deep sleep. Prior to pricking her finger, Aurora had a nice life.
A handsome prince found her. When he kissed her, she woke up from her long nap. She and the prince lived happily ever after.
I would be okay with trading my real life for Aurora’s fairy tale life with the happy ending.
In summary, the fairy tale world seems to offer a lot of advantages in comparison to the real world. The fairy tale world offers romance, love at first sight, true love with a royal prince love interest, and happy endings. The protagonist rides off on a horse with a charming prince. The royal couple eventually live their lives together in a fairy tale castle.
In the fairy tale world, the characters are happy. The classic happy ending can be found at the end of every fairy tale.
In the real world, there are plot twists. There are obstacles to our happiness. We are faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. The loss of a loved one can cause us to be consumed with grief and sadness. You may feel like you will never be happy again.
In the real world, there are problems, issues and challenges. You may feel at times that your problems are overwhelming.
In the real world, the protagonist usually has a mortgage payment or rent to pay each month. You may live in an apartment, a condo or a house…..as opposed to a castle. In the real world, the protagonist usually has a car payment. She usually drives to work each day…then back home each night….as opposed to riding off into the sunset on a horse with a handsome prince.
When we are young, the books we read and the movies we saw depicted a fairy tale life that wasn’t real. As such, we may be disappointed when our lives don’t follow the classic fairy tale scripts that we saw in books and movies. Our lives may not have storybook, Hollywood or fairy tale endings.
While it would be ideal if life came with a magic wand that we could wave to turn our lives into fairy tales, the reality of the situation is that we have to work to create the best possible scenario that we can for ourselves with the cards we have been given.
Life may not offer us the fairy tale that we had hoped for. Life is full of issues, problems and challenges that we have to work to overcome. As we journey down the path called life, we inevitably encounter road blocks, obstacles and boulders that we have to deal with.
I wish I could live in the fairy tale world. I would like for my life to have a happy ending. But the fairy tale world only exists in books and movies.
The real world offers challenges, disappointments, and obstacles. As the protagonist of our own lives, we need to develop strategies to overcome these challenges. While we may not be able to live in the fairytale world, we have the power within us to overcome obstacles and achieve happiness in our lives.
Life comes equipped with mulligans. The mulligans are called “tomorrow “. If something happened in your past or your present that has created an obstacle to your pathway for happiness, you have the power within you to turn the page and start a new chapter in your book called life.
In the fairy tale world, the protagonist overcomes the obstacles in the story line and ultimately achieves happiness. The classic fairy tales have happy endings.
In the real world, we are the writers of our own books. We hold the key to our own happiness. Do not put your happiness on a shelf. Do not let your happiness collect dust. Do not wait for your happy ending to come to you. Life is short. If you put off achieving your goals until “some day” when you have more time, you may never achieve those goals. Take steps now to create your own happiness in your life. Do the things that make you happy.
If something in your life is causing you to be unhappy, take steps today to turn your life around and get back on track. Your own happiness depends on it.
You are “you-nique”. You are special. There is nobody else like you. Find a way to make your dreams come true. Nobody can do that for you. You need to search inside your soul for whatever it is that will make you happy. Make a list. What are your goals? What is standing in your way from achieving those goals.
Take one step forward every day. Take one step closer to living the happy life that you deserve. In time, you can look back and see how far you have come. Your own happiness is within your reach. You don’t have to live in the fairy tale world to achieve happiness. You have the ability to achieve happiness in your life right here and now in the real world. You have the power. You have had it all along.
Choose to believe in yourself, instead of believing in fairy tales. There is no obstacle you can’t overcome if you truly believe in yourself. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities.
If you are unhappy, turn the page. Start a new chapter in your book called life. You are the author of your own book. You have the power to overcome any obstacle. You can achieve happiness. You have had the power all along. You just need courage, strength and faith to follow your dreams and find happiness within your own life.
Although your real life may not be a fairy tale, you have the power to take one step forward every day to move closer to a happier life for yourself. Take steps now to add a silver lining of happiness into your life. You deserve to be happy. Life is too short to spend your days under a dark cloud of unhappiness. Take one step away from the darkness and one step closer to the sunshine each day. One day, you will find yourself surrounded by sunshine. You will be in a happier place. You will be able to look back and see how far you have come.
Like a caterpillar, you can emerge from a dark place, become something beautiful, spread your wings, and learn to fly.