The story of Cinderella was practically required watching in childhood: most of us grew up envying her of the animated mice and birds that helped her with chores (seriously, I had to do the dishes by myself…MYSELF!). We all watched in amazement as Cinderella and the Prince were united in seemingly endless love…despite never really speaking to one another or getting to actually know each other.
But, what Walt and the rest of the conspirators at Disney didn’t tell us was what happened when the credits rolled…after Cinderella and her Prince rode off on their chariot into the beaming sunset. Did they really live happily ever after or did they have a relationship filled with ups and downs just like the rest of us?
If Disney is true to Disney, they definitely rode off into the sunset and lived happily ever after: there were no fights, no disagreements, and no sickness or death (occasionally, one of the characters fretted about no longer being drawn, but even that quickly passed).
But, if Disney is true to real life, their relationship wasn’t always as sunny as the animators planned. Instead, one of the three scenarios likely happened:
The Prince Begins to Hate the Fairy Godmother: The Prince isn’t used to strong women in his life: Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother's (his Fairy Godmother-in-law) interference begins rubbing him the wrong way. Over time, the Prince tires of the Fairy Godmother’s advice; he resents her always taking Cinderella’s side…and don’t even get him started on all of the freaking Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Booing.
The Prince brings his concerns to Cinderella: he’s tempted to give her an ultimatum but he knows that the Fairy Godmother is family and that will put Cinderella in an impossible predicament. So, instead, he asks Cinderella to ask the F.G. to butt out. This puts stress on Cinderella; she doesn’t want to be in the middle of things. She tells the Prince and her Godmother that they alone need to work on their differences – she isn’t going to play favorites.
It is Discovered that the Prince has a Serious Foot Fetish: In the tale of Cinderella, the glass slipper that falls off her foot is the only clue the Prince has to her identity: he searches all over the kingdom for the foot that fits the slipper. After the movie ends, however, we learn that the Prince has a foot fetish…a serious foot fetish.
It starts off with him simply asking Cinderella to wear the glass slipper in bed, but the glass slipper suddenly becomes not enough. Stilettos, leather boots, even Converse Hi-tops aren’t enough to sate him. Finally, he begins looking elsewhere: one day, Cinderella (ignoring the “if the pumpkin’s a rockin’ don’t come a knockin’” warning) finds him in the chariot with a foot model. She threatens divorce and he swears that it’ll never happen again. They end up in marriage counseling, while he also partakes in individual psychotherapy. He occasionally fantasizes about a three-some with Big Foot, but, overall, things are better.
Cinderella Becomes a Vindictive Bitch: We all know that Cinderella’s stepmother and evil step-sisters treated her like complete dirt; they treated her like a maid instead of family. Cinderella never appears to mind: she is exceptionally nice to them despite the awful ways they disrespected her. But, this eventually begins to change.
A year or so after marrying the Prince, Cinderella begins to let her fortunate circumstances go to her head: she tells everyone that step-sister number one has Herpes; she takes out a hit on her stepmother; and she sells all of step-sister number two’s belongings on Craigslist (she wasn’t happy with the Ebay fees). Cinderella becomes so vindictive that the Prince doesn’t even recognize her anymore: she is a far cry from the wonderful woman he wed.
This takes a toll on their marriage: the Prince becomes distant, then angry, then apathetic. Cinderella isn’t sure what his problem is: she bitches about him to Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Finally, Cinderella takes a long look in the mirror mirror on the wall and realizes it’s her, not him. She eventually understands that, if she wants to save her marriage, she needs to work on herself.
Obviously, the above is all conjecture….since Cinderella is, ya know, fictional and all. But, the point is that no relationship – not even those we see in the movies – are ever perfect. Each relationship requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to change yourself, instead of merely pointing fingers at the other person.
This is particularly true in regards to a breakup: a breakup doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the tale. Instead, it means you must adapt and change and work hard to fix your relationship. You must work on "you" before you work on "us."
Once you do this, you may truly find the relationship Disney all wants us to believe exists: you may just find your happily ever after.
To learn more about how to survive a breakup, click here.