Ever After: My 20 year anniversary
Growing up, I had certain ideas of what love should be – and a lot of these ideas came from Disney movies. Yes, I know, I act so cynical, but deep inside I wanted romance, to be swept off my feet by a handsome knight, and to have my own Ever After. Whatever that meant – the movie usually ended at that point.
I was twelve when the Little Mermaid came out in theaters, starting the Disney Renaissance of “princess movies” that I would watch with a guy friend I hoped I’d end up with eventually since we both were good artists, and liked musicals and Disney movies and singing together, and dressing up for prom, and . . . I probably should have seen some of the signs earlier. But at the time, I thought it must be me, and that I must be some reject who would never find real love cause here I’d finished high school, and most of college, and had never had a real boyfriend.
If you want to know what I thought a romance should be like, you can just watch the movie Enchanted, specifically this scene. It makes fun of Disney tropes, but Amy Adams is so adorable you have to love her or you’ll die or something.
Then I had a whirlwind romance at what was basically a Renaissance Fair, which didn’t play directly into my fantasies at all, and he was pretty, and he thought I was pretty, and this was surely going to be Ever After. But I happened to be on vacation at the time, and so it was a long distance relationship, and we didn’t have texting but long distance phone calls. So it was on one of those when I asked him once if I was worth it. And he didn’t respond.
I was 21. And as the relationship crashed and burned over the fall of 1997, I figured I would never find love again, and boy was I angry I was cheated. Then in the spring of 1998, a friend, who was about twice my age and really as much a mentor as a friend, took me to church. I didn’t care much for it since women were told to be quiet occasionally and respect their husbands and also you had to get up way too early. Then she told me there was was this guy who asked about me, and yeah I was just that easy to convert, so sue me.
My friend happened to invite us both over to her house and set us up, and I said to heck with convention and asked him to exchange phone numbers. And I called him first, because I wanted to tell him all about my birthday. We saw Mulan on our first official date, and I talked about how much I loved it that a Disney princess finally got to kick butt like a man! Much later, when I asked him if it was okay that I was not the good church wife Susie homemaker type, he reminded me of that first date.
It finally occurred to me why I had so many first dates in conservative Texas.
He didn’t seem like a knight except for all that rusted metal he liked to play with, but he wrote me poetry (not great poetry, but poetry staring me – he has not done this since we dated), and he was kind, and a good guy, and we had fun together on our dates. Since he went to church much of the week, I knew he wasn’t out drinking and partying. He too had given up on love at the ripe age of 25, and bought his own house. In his neighborhood, all these little boys would follow us as we rode our bikes around the block. So kids loved him too.
I thought that was enough for an Ever After, but I really had no clue at the time. It wasn’t until we had years together and had experienced so much and gotten through it, that I understood just what love was, and what made a real, steadfast knight. I have depression and anxiety, which is not easy to live with- I know as I have relatives with it as well. But he has stayed through it all, and I have stayed with him and his quirks (our yard is filled with rusted car parts for one) as he yelled and I cried and we made up again and again.
Now it’s been TWENTY YEARS today, and I can answer the question “How do you know he loves you?” It’s not matching his clothes to your eyes either, sorry Amy. It is:
Repeatedly rescuing you from yourself without getting angry, like when you get lost in a city you’ve lived in or near all of your life, or you lock your keys in your car with it running in the rain in a city fifteen minutes from his work.
Reminding you why you should wait for babies, then upon finding out you are pregnant after nine months of marriage, staying calm and saying “Well, we’re having a baby” while your wife runs in circles, screaming and shouting.
And four years later, doing this all again.
Holding your hair back when you throw up from morning sickness.
Yelling about money, or how much time you do or don’t spend together, or any number of other heated arguments, storming out of the house – and coming back.
Taking the baby out with him alone, and not just because she got him “More attention than a dog!”
Going out after a long day of work and picking up your many prescriptions, and sanitary products, and even extra yeast control medication because “it was on sale”. Okay, the last part’s a little weird.
Confronting a doctor when he’s really an introvert because the doctor missed a strep throat diagnosis on your little girl.
Listening to you cry over nothing, letting you lay your head in his lap, and though he has no words or understanding of what is going on with you, just being there. And when he can’t be, encouraging a daughter to actually stay home from church to “Keep Mommy company.” I never knew he did that till later.
Giving indirect compliments to someone else like: “You should see her draw with chalk on the sidewalk like it’s pen on paper! She makes these girls with all this flowing hair and it’s amazing!”
Voting for the opposite political party but not caring about politics to the point that you smile and say “That’s one happy Democrat” after she comes home from a Bill Clinton speech. Then putting up with the same liberal politics from two daughters.
Living with three hormonal women.
Working hard for years for a low salary that slowly builds up until finally your annoying bosses that never want to work leave and you get to be the boss of annoying kids that never want to work. And never quitting.
Being proud of your wife’s many academic degrees even if they seem to do little for the family money-wise.
Staying calm and loving with each job your wife loses, because “Your most important job is being a mom, and you’re such a good mom to those girls.”
Putting up with your Disney doll collection even if they are all over the house. I mean everywhere. At least they aren’t clowns?
Taking lots of time off work to take you six hours to get expensive ECT treatment for depression, for weeks at a time, in the hope that maybe you will finally get better. Keeping you from falling out of shuttles after you have anesthesia from that treatment and are sure you can walk just fine.
So many more things I didn’t name and finally . .
Still loving her after all these years, and willing to do so for more years to come.
I love you, Mr. Alice. Here’s to another twenty years.
Ever just the same, ever a surprise: Review of the live action Beauty and the Beast
“Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast”
– “Beauty and the Beast”
*Warning Spoiler: The beast turns into a prince at the end. Sorry! Seriously, no spoilers.
Tonight I went to the pre-showing of the new live-action Beauty and the Beast. I bought my tickets early for the “Fan Event” which translated into your tickets cost more, mostly, though we got awesome drinks and popcorn buckets. At first I was thinking I got gipped, because come on, other theaters in big cities got these really pretty pins, and I got a bucket. But still, there were cushy recliners, assigned seating, and a design to the theater that ensured you would see the movie, no matter how tall or fat headed the person in front of you might be.
My husband, who believe me showed his twu luv by coming with me after I bought him a ticket, was literally the legs of the operation. He went back for the popcorn buckets and the drinks, then again back for the 3-D glasses (who knew it was 3-D?) that the stupidhead ticket guy didn’t tell us to take. The special feature was an interview with the guys working on the score (which I’m sure will be on the DVD) and the Beauty and the Beast music video (which has already been on youtube. Check it out, it’s trippin’.)
In case you are wondering about the Things, they were invited to the movie in the same theater at the same time by some friends whose mother actually shelled out for the tickets. Vile betrayers. Thing Two said she hoped that we weren’t close to each other, to which I responded “So do I. Like I want to be near teen girls giggling.” I mean, seriously, I didn’t. I was however, beside an adorable little girl wearing a Belle dress and sparkly shoes. More on her later.
When the movie started, any complaints I might have had vanished. Any other thoughts I had vanished as well. No more political stupidity, no more stress, no more worries, for a little over an hour. Just as I was during my Thing One’s starring role (she was a spoon) in the high school Beauty and the Beast musical, I was transfixed. I was pretty sure my husband was over there, but I didn’t check to see. I did not peel my eyes from the screen.
Was the movie good? Well, I suppose part of it depends on whether you liked the original movie, or Disney period. Though I feel I must point out that the guy playing Gaston is evil but extremely hot, and Emma Watson is obviously beautiful. So you know, there’s something for everybody. Well most people. There were some who, for hateful reasons you can easily discover with a quick Google click, refused to take their unfortunate children to the movie. (Hint: It’s seriously not a big deal and I doubt the kids will notice, parents.) Disney is feeling the hurt, people, I mean with sold out theaters long before the movie began, gosh I’m not sure what they will do!
I was already obsessed long before the movie came out, thanks to them announcing it like ten years early. When the merchandise came out, I completely restrained myself and did not buy a thing. I bought several things. Though not enough to break my budget, so no naysayers. I’ve had my fill of naysayers, most of them found on Disney fan boards. Go away, false fans. Because this was not just a movie. This was an incredible movie, with the ability to make me feel, at forty years old, the awe and wonder and beauty of the film I first watched at fourteen.
It’s a story that is – well not as old as time, I don’t think the dinosaurs did musicals. But close. It’s been retold millions of ways. I love all of them. The heart of the story is always the same – see beyond appearances, for beauty is found within. It is a lesson many people need to take to heart, now more than ever, as they dismiss people based on the color of their skin, the place they grew up, the religion they believe, the people they love. Belle does not fall in love with the Beast as soon as she sees him. She thinks he’s a jerk, since he acts like a jerk. But as she spends time with him, gets to know him, she sees beyond the outside, beyond her first impressions. She finds he is not so different than herself.
“Barely even friends
Then somebody bends
This movie had a lot to live up to, as the original Disney cartoon of Beauty and the Beast is a beloved classic, the only animated feature to be nominated for an Academy Award. I believe it lived up to the original, keeping close with the story, but with twists. For one thing, it briefly mentions why no one realized there was a freaking castle and royalty nearby. That had been bugging me for years! There are also so many touching moments. Like Belle and her father, and their love for each other, and ostracism from a town of people with no imagination, no vision into the future. I know people like those in this “poor provincial town” and – I cannot imagine living that way, with no stories in your head, no new ideas.
They didn’t forget the talking furniture and appliances. They are done in CGI, which some have complained is awful, because they probably come from Belle’s town and can’t see beyond pixels. Though they are very different in appearance than the Disney version, they absolutely fascinated me. Disney created an atmosphere much more conducive to 18th century France. I work in archives, so I tend to like old stuff. The costumes, the enchanted objects, the castle, the town, all of it is very true to the time period. Now some complained that Belle’s dress is too modern, and that lousy feminist Emma Watson should have worn a proper corset. First of all, Belle’s dress is more modern because she’s Belle, always looking to the future, never having to fit in, and also because Emma didn’t want the depiction of unrealistic figures. I for one didn’t even notice, probably because Emma is naturally so thin she doesn’t even need a corset.
Yet with all the beauty, the incredible special effects and imaginative sets, none of it matters if you do not love the characters. And you do love these characters. There is Gaston, the handsome idiot, harmless enough until for the first time he doesn’t get what he wants. The household objects are all lovable as well, which allow you to look past the fact that they aren’t actually on the screen. Emma talked to nothing a lot. There is the Beast, punished severely for his arrogance, filled with anger and despair, but who still has enough humanity to save Belle from a pack of wolves. And there is Belle, who could have escaped when the Beast was attacked, but her morality, her inner goodness, compels her to help nurse the Beast back to health. It starts with small acts of kindness, which lead to more of these acts, more closeness, and more understanding of both themselves and each other, for you cannot love without knowing who you are first. And, as Belle points out, you cannot love unless you are free.
“It is sweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong.”
I’ll admit it. I cried during this movie, with my hands up by my mouth. I cried on the way home. But I wasn’t depressed. They were tears of absolute joy, for this is a story I have written myself, all my life, in books that are never quite good enough, that I have never dared show to any but one friend, that I have never tried to publish, that so often, I say I never have time to work on. But the stories in my head never go away. They are there, urging me on, even as I try to ignore them. But tonight, in the little girl in the Belle dress, I saw not just my girls when they were younger, but I saw myself. The whole world ahead, every day filled with magic, with possibility. I watched as she tried to grab the flakes of gold that shot out of the screen at you. And I delighted when the credits rolled, the song played, and she danced so passionately in the aisle.
It’s time to remember that little girl, or boy, that’s inside you. It’s time to listen to the voice that speaks to you, I mean, as long as it’s not an actual voice you understand. It is simply time for us to find the beauty within ourselves and each other, to love instead of hate, to make the world a better place for the little girls dancing in the aisles, lost in dreamland.
Elsa vs. Hans: The campaign continues
With the election season underway, Hans and Elsa got prepared the typical way. With parties from campaign donors.
And of course, lots of political ads.
But that’s just preparation for the big debate. Elsa leaves a quick thank you for her supporters.
After a careful Twitter search . . .
Oh oh. Elsa better keep hold of her supporters, especially the easily persuaded. Not that there are many of those . . . yeah. So we finally hear from the campaign managers of both campaigns.
Ah, Mother Gothel? Now why would she promote Hans? What is their connection? How did she come back from the dead? Questions, questions.
Shang spoke for his candidate, Elsa.
So now they are ready for the first debate. Later their VP candidates will debate too. Hans tried to choose himself, but needed someone else. You’ll soon find out, but any guesses would be fun. Stay tuned for coverage of this ridiculous, historic event.
Elsa vs Hans: The 2016 Arendelle Presidential Race
What, another election? Don’t worry, this one will be blessedly short, which is great. It also involves fictional people, which makes it even better. Also it gives me something to do cause I’m bored.
As with all monumental decisions, it started with a Facebook post.
Hans wasted no time getting his press coverage in. On Facebook. Of course.
Rapunzel had a good idea there. Popcorn makes almost everything better. I’m stocked in it for early next month. Next came the search for campaign managers and running mates. Yes, in this election the primaries were skipped because most Disney royalty are not stupid enough to run in an election. They stayed with Facebook for candidates, because I kept losing my camera. I mean it’s more efficient. Better than Twitter anyway. #twitterisforlosers
After whacking her head against some ice a few times, Elsa tries again.
Oh, if only it were so easy, Elsa. So many questions. How DID Hans get out of prison this time? Who is helping his campaign? How many scandals will surface? Will I find my camera or just have the whole thing done on Faceboook? Shouldn’t we consider that for the next election?
Breaking News in the Olaf case
You might have thought (or hoped) that we’d forgotten about Olaf (a snowman from the Disney movie Frozen) and all the wackos who have shown up to claim Elsa’s throne, seeing as how none of them are (supposedly) real at all and we are (in theory) way too big to be playing with this stuff. Except maybe Thing Two, she’s eleven. When does the statute of limitations run out on doll playing? No matter.
Queen Elsa decided on the best course of action in this dire situation. Ask her friends on Facebook.
Hans took to his Facebook page to express his opinions.
Plenty of squabbling, but no results. Just like Congress! The Things and I made a search and found this in Thing Two’s room.
And later this image popped up on Anna’s Facebook page.
Along with this status.
Some more investigation finally turned up our wayward snowman.
A little more investigation, though . . .
Anna posted one more status.
So ends our Olaf caper for those of you who were on the edge of your seats there. Wouldn’t it be great if someone could get a shot of, I don’t know, one of our politicians advocating crazy criminal activity? And if that were to make this politician sink in the polls instead of get more popular? Wouldn’t it???
I’m gonna go play with my toys.
Snowman Violence and Disney Politics
The search for the fugitive Snowman Olaf continues. He was spotted briefly in this recliner before making his escape.
Unfortunately the snowman crime wave has led to Disney politicians tweeting.
And more tweeting
And . . . more tweeting.
Prince Hans also took this opportunity to put up the first of sure to be many campaign posters.
And just in time for Christmas. This is going to be a very long year.
Seven Dwarfs Go To The Mall or Why Snow White Should Not Be G-rated
Breaking news! The Things and I just happened to catch the Seven Dwarfs at the mall yesterday (It could happen). And they volunteered to be interviewed! Well most of them did – Grumpy had to be restrained. But it was all worth it, cause now we can let you see into the minds of the real stars of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – the dwarfs of course. What do they dig them jewels for? What the heck is wrong with Dopey? Why is Bashful, you know, Bashful? What ticks Grumpy off the most? Why are they still in the same bachelor pad after all these years? How have they adjusted to modern times? So many questions. Let’s get some answers.
Warning: This will ruin your childhood and possibly scar you for life. (Click to enlarge pictures)
The dwarfs each had special shops in mind, but were nice enough to wait. Mostly. First we spoke to Sneezy, while trying to avoid his mucus.
Next we spoke to Grumpy. Or rather he spoke to us.
Let’s check in with Sleepy while he’s still awake.
Let’s check in with old, reliable Doc.
Well, there’s that lovable Bashful.
Let’s talk to Happy. I could use some happy. But – what happened to his hands?
Okay, one last dwarf. Thank freaking Disney-goodness. Dopey. Aw, what could be wrong with Dopey, fan favorite?
Wow. Okay so I think that answered all my questions and then some, boys and girls! I need to get hold of some of that memory soap and see if I can reach my brain.
Any other Disney characters you’d like to peer into the minds of? I didn’t think so.
Disney Hunger Games: The Interviews Part Two with t2
Disclaimer to the disclaimer: The following words, opinions, and creative forms of grammar are that of Thing 2 and Thing 2 alone. Alice had nothing to do with it. She swears. Now for Thing Two:
Before we start i would just like to note: Hans is a brony but no one knew, and i have no problem with that and neither should you,bronies are NOT gay, people can like what they like and there is no one to stop you and no one should judge anyone that way, its bloody america the only way to stop someone is the bloody law and if you are a brony or like “girl things” don’t be afraid to be yourself and stand up for people, no one can tell you no….you are your own person and they are just a heartless (kingdom hearts reference!) thank you for your time
—————— ♥ T ♣ 2 ♠ —————
Welcome welcome to more interviews (with thing two!) As i continue to be young and adorable while i typedy type type on mom’s computer, Hans
continues the evil plan. Not many changes have happened, lets recap our last interviews!
Prince p and Aurora
ariel the non mermaid and stupid eric
bella belle and beast
merida and her wee little devil brothers
Hans: welcome back to the hunger games interviews! Today we will interview the following:
Snow and prince dude
Kristoff and Anna
John smith and Poco
Prince charming and Cindy
Peter pan and Tinkerbell
sora and riku
(i wish i could add sora and riku from kingdom hearts but mom would not allow it)
Hans: Ok now here is our first interview of the day, everyone welcome…… Cinderella!
well it looks like Hans is playing hook line and sinker….but anna is not taking the bait.
Up next uhh……Prince kit…charming…whatever you want to call him
now its the one and only
neverlandian….. PETER PAN!
up next……… Tinkerbell!
up now is……*drumroll*……Pocahontas!
next is the adventurer and poco’s loved husband (lets pretend the sequel NEVER happened)
now we interview prince dude!
up next following her super weird and bloody dumb husband….SNOW WHITE!
well that’s all for today folks! make sure to leave a comment to vote for who you think should win! (i still think sora and riku should TOTALLY be in the games) and no butts were harmed in the making of this post, or Hans.
stay tuned for PART 3!
*and here is a little something for people who found out who peter and tink REALLY are