We’ve all been in those situations where you’re having a conversation, a debate, an argument, and you are at a loss for words. Yet, later when remembering the encounter you think of all the snappy comebacks and one-liners that you should have fired off in the moment. And who hasn’t had a looming big event . . . a date, a job interview, anything. We’ve all allowed our mind to wander and imagined that event playing out perfectly. You’ve imagined what everyone would do and say, and in those fantasies you always come out looking like the rock start, don’t you? Of course you do, because who honestly fantasizes about being a bumbling idiot? But reality rarely lives up to our fantasies, and then we’re left to live with the disappointment, the hurt, the broken heart.
As delusional as it sounds that it why I enjoy writing so much. Every situation that I put the characters into can play out exactly as I want it to. Do I want the characters to kiss and fall in love? Do I want the good-looking man to notice the shy girl across the room? Do I want the wallflower to finally stand up to everyone that has wronged her? With a pen in hand and a blank piece of paper to fill I can make anything happen. So why can’t I do that in reality? The answer is simple: Because real life is not a scene that can be controlled by my imagination. Real life is not a Disney movie.
I’ve fallen into a bit of a funk lately as that reality has really seemed to slap me in the face. I’ve always had a fanciful imagination which has benefited me well when I’ve wanted to put pen to paper. Yet when faced with a real life scenario I imagine the way I want it to play out and then go home disappointed when the fantasy fails to live up to my hopes, my imagination.
Girls are raised, no thanks to those beautiful princesses in Disney movies, that a Prince Charming will come along and rescue us from our dreary life of housecleaning and Lifetime movies. We grow up knowing that a few songs, a pretty dress made by our talking animal friends, and a lost slipper will earn us the happily-ever-after that we want. Then you wonder why so many women are so unhappy with the state of their love lives. It’s because Prince Charming doesn’t fucking exist! Life is not a Disney movie. Animals don’t sing and make beautiful ball gowns. There is no fairy godmother to turn a pumpkin into a royal carriage. And if you lost your shoe at a party then you don’t find love, you are simply left with a bare foot. That’s it. That is life. There is no catchy soundtrack. We can only hope that we have a good song playing on the stereo when the pizza guy shows up at the door.
I’m feeling a bit jaded today, in case you hadn’t noticed.
I was raised on those same Disney princesses . . . Show White, Cinderella, Belle. In reality we need more princesses like Fiona after she accepts loves true form as an ogre. Girls need to be taught that there is no Prince Charming, but that the world is full of Shreks. Men are just as broken and lonely as us. Men don’t know how to admit their weaknesses because they are supposed to be big, strong, manly men. Men who are just as afraid as women of not just falling in love but of even looking for it to begin with because they think all we want is Prince Charming.
This past weekend I found myself in not one but two different situations that I would have love to have played out differently. I so badly wanted the man to get the girl, for music to play, for magic to happen. Instead what happened was the girl was left pinning after the music-making-man, a few laughs, a few hugs, a kiss on the music-mans cheek, and a fairly definite feeling that the girl had gotten friendzoned. That’s another thing: There is no friendzone in Disney movies. What a reality check that was the first time I encountered that horrid situation.
I know in reality we can’t make someone love us. Yet we still try day after day. We do nice things for the other person. We adopt their interests as our own. We support them. We encourage them. We fall in love with them. But sometimes we end up in that land that is the basis of so many of the greatest poems, stories, and songs: Unrequited love. It’s a place that I am all-too-familiar with, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.
Yes, I imagined my encounters with the drummer going differently this weekend. Yes, I hoped that maybe he would finally see me as a woman and not just as a friend and loyal supporter of his music. Yes, I went home disappointed at the end of both evenings. Why? Because the fanciful imagination that benefits me well when I am writing laid out a scenario in my head that I knew would never happen but I still held out hope. Because in my imagination I can put together events that work out far better than the reality that is before me. In my imagination the drummer gets the girl. In my imagination they do live happily-ever-after. In my imagination she helps him overcome the demons that stand between them in reality. In my imagination the girl is not just the drummers friend, but she is his love.
But in reality . . . she pines for him, she longs for him, she wishes and dreams for him, she supports him, she laughs with him, she hugs him, she kisses him on the cheek. In reality she is his friend.
In Disney movies the Princess and Prince Charming are never just friends. As a matter of fact, in Disney movies a female character is never friends with a male character. Yet some of my greatest friends have always been guys. My best friend is a guy. He is like a brother to me. Even when I am writing there are never any male/female friendships. I am friends with the drummer, at least I think I am. He may just see me as some weird fangirl. He may see me as his “in” as the radio station when he has a request. I don’t know, and honestly I don’t care. I met him back in October and my life has not been the same since. Not at all.
Crazy, deluded Disney expectations aside. Overactive imagination aside. I am happy that he is in my life. I am happy that I met him. I have been able to get to know him a little more with each passing day and am finally getting to know the man behind the drummer. Do I regret meeting him just because reality isn’t living up to the Disney-inspired writers imagination? Not at all. Do I still imagine escaping the friendzone? Absolutely! Will I still see him the next time I imagine a new male character? More than likely.
Life may not be a Disney movie. I may let my imagination run away with me far more than I should. But reality is the inspiration for the best stories and so far the drummer and I are writing a great story of friendship. It’s been a long time since somebody has made me laugh the way he does.