The Fairy Tale Phenomenon

I was an awkward teen, donning braces and glasses and toting around a few extra pounds.  In my bed, in the dark quiet of the night, I’d pretend to be a princess in need of rescue as I lay there surrounded by the gauzy white netting that hung down from the ceiling.  I’d pucker my lips to the air in sweet anticipation of the fine young gentleman that would rescue me from the ordinary.  Then along came Rick Springfield and I had a face to go with my rescuer.  I’d rush home from school to catch his turn on General Hospital as the handsome doe eyed Dr. Noah Drake.  I rushed to the store and bought “Jessie’s Girl” on a 45 and found myself listening to the B side song – “Carry Me Away”.  Fitting for a 14 year old unsure of herself.  Why yes Mr. Springfield, please carry me away.  I’m also “sick of all this shit that I feel.  Show me something real.”  When I’d go with my mother to the grocery store, I’d make a bee line to the magazine rack so that I could peruse the teen idol magazines for a glimpse of my future knight in shining armor.  I’d imagine him swooping into the halls of my high school and whisking me away from the drudgery of my young life.

Of course, it never happened.  What did happen is I went about life as usual.  Then back in 2009, my friend Kitson and I went to a Rick Springfield concert.  Then we went to another in 2010.  Next thing I know, we’re on a cruise ship in 2011 for a fully immersed Rick Springfield experience where we met Jane and Marcia (A. K. A. Ninja friend).  So in 2012, Marcia and I landed in Las Vegas to take part in a lunch with our one and only rock idol.  This past week, Marcia, Jane and I did it again – attending a local concert with the guy who wished that he had Jessie’s Girl.

On the ride back from the concert, Marcia and I commented on the fact that it just wasn’t the same.  We had reached the pinnacle of our fan-dom.  Reflecting back over a handful of conversations I’ve recently had with my fellow ovary bearing friends, I started to see a pattern.  Those of us damaged by our pasts, haunted by the dream of that fairy tale but having to walk through ordinary lives – we tend to read too deeply into the silent moments of our relationships.  The delay in responding to a text.  The phone that doesn’t ring.  The distant gaze as we sit next to them.  Churning up inside of us the thought that we really aren’t as special to them as we want to be. That there is someone else more exciting to them.  So we start to picture ourselves being rescued yet again.  Wondering when Rick Springfield will roll up on our doorstep and show us just how beautiful we are.  But it doesn’t happen.  So the magic fades.

But it doesn’t have to.  We can be our own rock star.  We can idolize ourselves.  It is time to cast aside our glass slipper, to climb out of our own tower, to spit out that poisonous apple.  I’ve earned the right to believe in a fairy tale of my own making.  To find my own fans that stand by me every day.  To don my own armor and ride into the battle against my own worse enemy – myself.  It is the only way to truly live happily ever after.