Thursday, July 14, 2011

Unrealistic Expectations

"I need some place simple where we can live, and something only you can give- and that's faith, and trust, and peace while we're alive."
Better Days- The GooGoo Dolls

I blame Disney, really. They gave me unrealistic expectations about love.

See, I'm the girl here. I'm supposed to be the helpless maiden who waits around, and the one day, at the heart of peril, the guy of my dreams finds me, sweeps me off my feet, and we live very comfortably ever after in his palace/large castle/gorgeous mansion. All I have to do is be sweet and kind and wonderful and he will see me as an unmistakeable princess and want to be with me.

The Disney theory left all the work up to the boys- find the princess. Rescue her. Fall in love with her. Provide for her so that all she has to do is be sweet for the rest of her life. But don't over spoil her, because she will grow to hate you. Don't be too late, because she'll die waiting. Learn to be your best now, because she's a princess, and she wants a prince. Frogs are only okay if you plan on changing from the first kiss.

Seriously, is it a wonder little boys don't watch princess movies? 

I am a young woman living close to a big city. I have met a lot of guys. Among them were a few princes- none of which I would have wanted to be with. They wanted a girl with a pretty face and a good look who would serve as arm candy. They wanted a wife who was willing to spend her time in the limelight and dressed up. She doesn't get to be creative. She doesn't get to have her own passions. She's a princess- there are certain rules she has to follow. 

I don't follow those rules- I am not that kind of princess.

The more I think about love lately, the more I wonder if the princess role isn't just an overrated scheme. I  don't want a prince to come get me out of the peril of my life- I can do that myself, thank you. I don't need him to come find me and sweep me away. I want him instead to come find me and discuss art, and books, and music, and hopes and dreams. I want a prince who will make me laugh, and feel sorry if he makes me cry, and will work with me. 

I have a habit of referring to my future mate as a partner- a habit that drives my friends crazy. The term is merely to explain that I don't want the kind of man who does all the work- I want someone I can work head to head with, so that we both can be the best we can be. Forget the palace, I want something small and easy to clean. No maids, no cooks. Just a roof and a carpet and a bed- and maybe some kind of transportation that we can jump into and forget the world for a while. 

Just a life together built on trust, hope, and friendship. It's the kind of relationship that many people only find once in a lifetime... but the beauty of marriage is that it only has to happen once. 

Theres a section in proverbs that lays out the good wife- it ends the book. It is written by King Solomon, a man who married many women, and it describes his ideal princess. It says this:

 10A wife of noble character who can find? 
   She is worth far more than rubies. 
11 Her husband has full confidence in her 
   and lacks nothing of value. 
12 She brings him good, not harm, 
   all the days of her life...
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

This is the kind of wife that I wish to be. I know that my prince will be looking for me, in all the glory that God has made me in. Who I am will bring him glory and give him confidence.

Dear Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Belle, Ariel, and all the rest of you who found your Prince- don't worry, mine is on the way. I will wait for him with the patience and sweetness that you embody. But I won't expect him to do all the work- after all, it's going to be a partnership, in the end. 

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