An Open Letter To Walt Disney Concerning A Certain Prince Charming
I just had another amazing visit to Disneyland. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been, but the magic never gets old. I had a total blast! So much fun, in fact, I felt compelled to write and say thank you for all the wonder and dreams and downright fun times I’ve had at Disneyland over the years.
From childhood through adolescence and well into adulthood, Disney has been a cherished part of my memories, intertwined with events that ushered me into each stage of my life. I grew up on Disney. I love it. I’m not saying I moved to Venice Beach to be near you, but I will say I am a proud card carrying annual pass holder and that’s a statement of commitment.
So why am I writing you this letter? Well, I’m glad you asked because while I did want to say thank you I also wanted to follow up on a small matter. Ok, this is awkward, but it’s actually pertaining to this order I placed a while back. You see Walt, it concerns the teeny tiny matter regarding the prince I was promised…Yea he’s late. Like 25 years late. So what I’m thinking is, “where is he?”
I’m sure it was a simple oversight on the part of you and your cast members, but you see I was quite clearly promised a prince at the end of Cinderella and I regret to inform you he has yet to be delivered. As a matter of fact, I was also assured by one Miss Snow White, a Sleeping Beauty as well as a host of other Princesses that if I was good and sweet and was kind to all animals, the universe in whatever form it saw fit, fairy godmothers, dwarves, what have you would intercede on my behalf and bring me the man of my dreams. We’d be destined to meet, fall in love and because he was the only man in all the land made just for me we would live happily ever after.
I’m deeply perplexed because it’s been frog after frog after frog Walt. What’s up with that? At no time during my visits to Disney or stories at bedtime or whimsical songs of love was there any mention that relationships require skills. At no time during the opening credits of Snow White did it ever say, NOT BASED ON A TRUE STORY!
No one ever taught me that I would need important tools like communication and compromise to help me CREATE the relationship of my dreams. Or that it wouldn’t come delivered in a handsome Prince Charming package, no assembly required. Assembly is required Walt, very much so and lots of it. If ever anything needed an instruction manual it was love and it’s nowhere to be found, which is why I’m upset and, I confess, the real reason I’m writing to you.
Disney, probably more than any other influence, has created, perpetuated and instilled the most troubling fairytale of all into little princesses and princes, who grow up carrying this myth into adulthood.
And the fairytale is this:
If we’re good and look nice and act nice and play nice then one day when we least expect it the person of our dreams will magically appear. Maybe we’ll be walking through a dark forest or riding horseback by a stream. Maybe we’ll be standing in line at a Starbucks waiting to order a triple shot non-fat latte extra foam when the girl in front of us accidentally spills hot tea down the front of our trousers. Giggles and guffaws ensue, love is found. It could happen to you. Anywhere at any time.
And when it does happen, it’ll be perfect and everything will magically work itself out because this is The One, your soul mate, your Mrs. Right, your Prince Charming.
Fighting over money?
For what is money when you have love?
Why doesn’t he just listen to you talk about your problem at work instead trying to fix it all the time?
Prince Charming would magically know to just listen.
Why can’t she read your mind and simply see that you’re overwhelmed and need time alone in the man cave? Mrs. Right has mental telepathy and can understand what you’re thinking and what you need at all times so you never have to communicate a word.
Finding the perfect person, The One, means finding your perfect happily ever after that lasts forever…and with little to no effort on your part. Ahhhhh the magic of fairytales.
But what is a fairytale really? The Free Dictionary defines ‘Tale’ as a deliberate lie, a falsehood. Harsh. I prefer Webster’s version; an exciting story that mayyyyyyy not be completely true.
Do you see where I’m going with this Walt? Perhaps, what a fairytale, in all its promise, is really saying is when you’re The One then there won’t be any real problems so who needs preparation and know how? And if for some reason down the road real problems should arise then you’re probably not The One, after all. Either way, I’m not responsible for what happens.
Such a nice idea, but this, dear Walt, is a child’s version of love, beautiful in its simplicity and magical in its innocence; a fairytale.
It pains me to say these things. I love the fairytale too because it’s so much easier, but I’m not a child anymore. Sure I get to be when I go to your parks, ride the rides and take a selfie with Mickey; my real life is magically suspended. But it’s also magical the day the Peter Pan in all of us grows up and realizes this shit takes skills!
I love you Walt for so many wonderful gifts your imagination has given me. The child in me thanks you for reminding me to dream and wish and wonder, the woman in me, however, wants her money back!
Thanks for listening. I’ll be saving your place in line at Space Mountain.