Happily Ever After is the Start of a New Beginning
Don't Wait for the Prince
I must have been around eight years old when I learned my prince was never gonna arrive. I was in the car, alone, with my father. Five kids (eventually) in our family and very few times that we had a reliable car, I can't imagine why this was true, but it was.
I remember asking him, confident of his answer, if it was true that everyone has one true love. And, if it was true, what if my true love didn't live near me? How would I meet him? What if I am supposed to live someplace else?
Likely this was sparked by a viewing of the Wonderful World of Disney. Maybe it was Snow White. Back then she was the only dark-haired princess for Disney.
(My grandson enjoys watching movies and assigning the characters to everyone. "That's Me!!!!" he says pointing to the screen. He always chooses the fastest, the cleverest, the most heroic. He usually assigns me a supporting role. Maybe one of the villagers, or a shopkeeper. Sometimes it's a dog or a bird. When I was eight, were I like Nico is now, I would have claimed to be Snow White. "That's me!')
So now I wanted to know.
Is it true that we all have one chance? Is it true that there is someone out there, getting ready to be my prince?
Now, you never really knew what you were going to get with my Dad. He could croon a song while driving, casually flicking the ashes of his cigarette out of the vent window. Or he could proclaim that we all needed to 'shut up and sit still or I'll tear off your arm and hit you over the head with the bloody stump.'
(This had never happened, but it was as regular a thing to hear in our lives as a call to dinner. Writing it out now startles me; what a terribly graphic thing to say. Back then we just shut up... likely looking at our arms and wondering about the stump.)
So you never knew what would happen when in the car with my Dad. He could have said yes. He could have assured me that I was his little princess and my true love was doing well in school and wondering when we would meet... sometime in our 30's, which was when Dad said I could date boys.
He could have done that. But he didn't.
He told me that people don't have one true love. That people can love a lot of different people in their lives. There isn't just one person waiting for their match. In fact, there might not be a match at all. Sometimes people stayed alone their whole lives.
And he just kept driving as the pretty castle in my dreams fell apart.
Here's the thing, though.
I remembered that conversation off and on all through my life. I remembered it when Josh broke up with me just before school started. I remembered it when my friends had boyfriends. I remembered it when my husband told me he didn't love me anymore. I remembered it when I signed our divorce papers. I remembered it when the person I thought I'd found a second chance with decided to go another way. I remembered it when my first Match.com date asked me, within minutes of meeting me, both if my eyes are real and if I wanted to be cremated. (Yes, and not anytime soon.)
I also remember it, off and on, and I sit across the table from my husband. Or as I snuggle against him in the night, knowing he can siphon off the excess heat that wakes me.
Or when we crack each other up because we have the same appreciation for the absurd. Or when he sends me a text during the day. Or when he gives me a kiss and says 'What's up, Baby Duck?'
Things change. People can love more than one person in a lifetime. If the first beloved doesn't stay then let them go. And don't wait for that Prince (or Princess) to complete you. That's too great a job for anyone. Be happy in yourself.
Me? My user name on Match.com was 'A2InnerPrincess', so he knew I had expectations. Didn't scare him. He may not have been my first mate, but he is my soul mate. I wish my dad could have met this man.