I Can Still Be Romanced

I was on Facebook and just idly clicking when my attention was drawn to a “headline,” or trending statement.

“Disney Princesses singing in their original language.”

Okay, I’ll bite.  I’m curious to hear the princesses singing German?  French?  Chinese?  Gaelic even?

The video starts with The Little Mermaid, singing about how she wants to be part of our world.  The song begins in English and then, within a couple of bars, switches to Danish.  Pretty cool.

Then, Mulan..”who is this girl I see?”

BEEP!

Chinese.  Even more cool

Then, Frozen and the amazing “Let It Go” which isn’t amazing when you’ve had it in your head for several months (no exaggeration).

Indira Menzel belted out an amazing song that grew old within twenty times of hearing it. And, unfortunately, because the tune and the “chorus” (come on…it’s pretty much one line) are so catchy, I can’t help but start singing it every time I tell anyone (including myself) to “let it go.”

I have literally clasped my head between my hands and groaned because the song immediately starts.

The song switched from English to Norwegian.  That kind of hurt.  The actress/singer/artist couldn’t hit the notes in the same way even though she clearly was trying.  It was rather painful.  I will not have the song stuck in my head thanks to her.  Note, I really am rather grateful.

And then, Rapunzel and the song about how “and at last I see the light.”

And everything, for a moment, is completely suspended.  Even as the song transfers to German and I can actually understand some of the words.

I’m still sitting in the movie theater with my daughter, watching the movie and feeling my spirits just lift with every lantern that slowly dances across the screen.

I love that movie.

It breaks past my jaded personality and smashes my cynicism and, for just a few moments, I am nothing more than a woman enjoying a movie made for children and falling in love with the romance of it all.

I am not a very romantic woman.

I am a hugely romantic woman.

My husband is not romantic.  I have written about this…sorry dear readers.  Regardless, I have finally come to the point that I have accepted Pat for his lack of romanticism.  For example, this weekend, he spent hours researching and working on our heater.  And, because of that, today, when we had an ugly ice storm, I stayed in my house nice, warm, and dry.

He once gave me a hydraulic log splitter so I could split wood for fires.

Sure, my dad would have been the one splitting the wood for my mom.

But I’m not married to my dad.

I’m married to my husband, whom I love no matter what.

But I still miss romance.

At the same time, I am hugely frustrated with Disney movies.  In some respects, they really do send the worst messages.

For example, in Sleeping Beauty, the princess in that movie has very few spoken lines.  She sings a lot.  About meeting a man in her dreams.  And then he actually shows up.  And they go swinging off through the forest, singing and dancing and falling in love.  And then he asks her for her name which she doesn’t tell him.  But he loves her enough to give up his entire kingdom because the person he has met is not the princess to whom he was engaged to be married.  Even though, conveniently enough, she really is the princess he is engaged to be married.  Only she’s in disguise.  She just wasn’t wearing a mustache.

But everything worked out in the end and she got her first kiss on her sixteenth birthday and all is well and his father is happy because now he’ll have grandchildren.

Yup…he was looking forward to having grandchildren.

Wait a minute…that’s a lot like Cinderella in which a woman goes off to the ball to be romanced by a man she’s never met.  And this ball was arranged because the king wanted grandchildren.  Didn’t matter that his son wasn’t interested in any of the women until Cinderella showed up.  And I’m still convinced that the prince didn’t like her.  He liked her shoes.  Notice, the Grand Duke was the person sent out to find the woman who fit the shoe.  The prince couldn’t be bothered to find the woman he apparently loved.

The Little Mermaid?  A young girl falls in love with a man she’s never met but apparently has mad dancing and piping skills.  And she’s willing to possibly ruin her father’s kingdom (oh, and the world too given how huge Ursula is) and possibly create a genocide because she loves him?

Frightening.

Beauty and the Beast?  Aladdin?

Seen them.

Own them (oh, and a bunch of other movies that I’ve written about…I’m a lovely hypocrite).

In my defense, they belong to my daughter.  I haven’t watched them numerous times, memorized the songs, danced along with the songs.  Sung them to my daughter.

Really, I’m not that bad.

And then, there’s Rapunzel. Sure, it’s creepy to see the whole Stockholm Syndrome in animation.  But, the whole…let me bare my soul to you while we get ready to drown?  Let me sing to you and heal you?

Let me hold you while you die after I have told you that you’re my newest dream?

Yeah….gets me every time.

Because, in the end, I am still a romantic.  I have covered up the romantic spirit within me with layers of cynicism and brute force.  I wear thorns and broken glass and concrete walls to protect that little nugget within me.

And every time that Rapunzel and Flynn are sitting in the boat in the harbor of the city, his hands full of flowers that have been gently pulled from her hair while she quietly picks out the reflected lights from the castle with different blossoms, my heart softens.

And then the guitar solo starts and the lanterns swing out from behind the city walls and the sky just illuminates with hope, with love, with every wish of every person who is in that little city….

And Rapunzel starts singing. About seeing the lanterns.  About achieving her dream of leaving the tower to see the lanterns and being a part of life.  And then Flynn/Eugene sings about realizing that life is more than just wealth and fame.

And then they sing together about how they see one another for who they are and what they want out of each other.  And they sing this incredibly simplistic song that is nothing more than a very lovely moment of romance and love and wistfulness and innocence.

And I’m completely caught up in it.  I’m completely saturated with the dream of this romance, of this idea that people really can just give without thought of themselves.  That together, they will take on the burdens of life and will lift their wishes, together, into the sky, like blowing on a fallen star and sending it back to heaven.

I didn’t marry my prince.  I keep on kissing him, though, not in the hopes that he will turn into a prince.  The princes I have seen are a bit whimsical and like shoes too much for my comfort.

My husband will never sing to me the way Flynn/Eugene sang to Rapunzel in a boat.  At the same time, last summer, my husband took me out in a canoe and we paddled through the tributaries and creeks feeding a local lake.

And we stripped blackberry bushes of their bounty.  We saw a doe sitting in a nest of golden sunshine and warmed pine needles.

He didn’t sing to me.  But he held the boat still so I could watch a great blue heron leap into the sky and fly away, becoming a shadow in the sky.

Disney can have its princes and princesses.  I might not have romance, but I can still be romanced.  And my beloved husband knows how to tap into that emotion just fine…

I just need to be reminded of that every now and then.

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