“If I’m honest I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales,
and I like them best of all.”
It seems to me that vintage suitcases, Mason Jars, talking about getting a tattoo, tumblrs, and quoting Audrey Hepburn have become oh so current or "done" that perhaps they have lost some of their charm or special-ness. But I'll be persistent with this particular Audrey quote. I really agree... not just because it's the thing to do to agree with this Hollywood Classic.
I've been told far too many times that "life isn't like the movies." Relationships aren't as magical as they are on the silver screen. Love isn't fairy dust and giggles and moonlit walks in a beautiful wardrobe. We aren't princesses. Lower your expectations. Don't wait for "the movie moment." Real life isn't a fairy tale. Renditions of these phrases have spoken from preachers in a sermon, from well-meaning friends hoping that I was aware love is much more then how I write about it on my blog - it's not just cute, from anonymous commenters here and there, from the tired or the hurting who barely believe in happiness.
And I'm here to say: I just don't buy it. If anything, life is most like a movie. The beauty of a movie is that it happens in about 90 minutes, not 90 years. Movies can be nowhere near as deep or as beautiful or as painful as real life. But life is like the movies. The rise and fall of characters, the great problem with the hunt for the great solution, the unknown, the struggle, the desire... it's everywhere, from Cinderella to my highschool aged sister to 500 Days of Summer to Thumbelina to Kim Kardashian to my boyfriends mother to Pride and Prejudice to Jim and Pam, Noah and Ally, Sandra Bullock and Jesse James to 20-something couples who hired me this year.
Any one of us could take our lives to a talented writer and be a "movie." We could strain our lives to the most prominent times and come up with a decent tale of humanity. If I myself watched a movie about my life I would probably think "That did not do it justice. The movie just did not convey how bad _______ hurt or how wonderful ___________ is." No movie could quite reenact the guarantee I have that it will all be okay. No movie could express who awful it is to cry about the same exact situation for an entire day. Then an entire week. Then still be crying over the same issue a year later. Years later? Also, a movie can't show how boring most days are. How regular life is. "Normal life" looks so cute in a movie (and in a memory.) But it's usually just... boring. Then along comes something to make our life chilling or thrilling, terrifying or blissful. Our hearts sink and leap and quiver and fill. They flutter and empty and pause and yearn.
I love movies. I love stories. I love fairy tales, I love them best of all. I love them because they are like life. No fairy tale ever goes "Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess with all she ever wanted, with a pure heart and kind spirit. She fell in love at a young age, never felt any pain, and floated to heaven on a cloud at the end of her life. The end." Nor do stories go something like this: "Once upon a time there was a poor girl who was always sad. There was no reason to ever smile or have hope. Ever. She died and everyone forgot who she was."
There is always hope. There is always some reason to laugh and smile.
There is always dissapointment. There is always some unmet expectation and hurt.
In both the fairy tales and in life.
This year I spent many hours enjoying other peoples fairy tales. I spent time with Jim and Pam at Niagara Falls, with Allie when she shrugs her shoulders in the driveway and Noah knows she is home for good, with Him, with the skeptical Brittany who was relentlessly fought for by her too-kind-to-be-true policeman, with a girl who had to bake a cake to get his attention, with lovers separated by family and religious custom who made their way to each other at last. I spent time with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy huddled under a blanket beneath dark skies whispering desperately cheesy lines, with two best friends who promised they would never ever date each other, with a girl running down the stairs with a glass slipper to present to the Duke, with a man who was locked to the world and found a way to trust one patient woman for life.
Their wedding's aren't the story, it's just a part of it. Maybe a line or two. Maybe a full chapter. Only a portion. But their wedding's are real, happy, beautiful, delightful, treasured and good. They had curls in their hair, they wore gowns, they feasted, they were surrounded by a crew of happy critters, they professed and promised love, they were married.