“Stop looking for happy endings. There are no Prince Charmings. Life is harsh. Take what you get, don’t complain, and don’t expect anything. Prince Charming doesn’t exist, remember?”
My dear femme beings, this is the kind of message that is spewing over our modern world.
It tries to twist our hearts and minds to believe that life is cruel and that there is no Great Love out there, definitely not on par with anything remotely Romeo and Juliet-ish. And because of this, women have entered a downward spiral of settling for someone less than they deserve, settling for a love less than they deserve.
No. Love, true love, Great Love, exists out there for every single one of us.
We are worthy! Why should we not have our Prince Charming? Why should the radiant beings that we are settle for anything less?
Two years ago, I wrote a blog post about my own longing for love fueled by reading books and watching movies of amour. I then received a rather incredible comment from a very wise anonymous person. As wonderful as the entire comment was, one thing anon said was that I should never be under the illusion of love depicted in movies.
I have to disagree slightly on that one.
I’m not saying that every “love” portrayed on screen—or in books, for that matter—is a true representation, not at all.
I’m saying that we, women, should not be so quick to write off the possibility that the love we do see and read can be real, and possibly ours to find. We shouldn’t be so quick to fall into the conditioning that great men don’t exist.
Have we rejected the Prince Charming picture of men so much that we have regressed from trying to be more accepting of others’ imperfections, to tolerating something mediocre because love like that only happens in movies?
Why should we not set our standards to those of Charlie from Letters to Juliet, Gerry from P.S I love you, Alex Wyler from The Lake House, Lloyd from Say Anything, Edward Bloom from Big Fish?
In Easy A, Olive has that monologue that goes, “Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies?” I think every woman should have their own version of that speech, because within that declaration lies the key to knowing the bar, knowing what kind of men are worthy of your love.
Want to hear mine?
I want Friedrich from Little Women to translate German opera for me while we sit together on a backstage ledge. “Your heart understood mine”
I want Johnny (Patrick Swayze, yum) to teach me how to dance dirty on top of fallen tree trunks and in lakes.
I want to read Shakespeare with Ian while I wear my traveling pants in the afternoon sun in a hilly park.
I want Gerry from P.S I love you singing at me as he follows me through an Irish pub while I wear his jacket.
I want Harry from When Harry Met Sally confessing his love for me in that matter of fact tone of his like it was the only possible reality.
But then, I also want to feel so deeply that I would run to catch Kostas’ ferry to Athens to tell him that I loved him. (Wearing my dear traveling pants, of course.)
I want to keep trying to find “his favourite” chocolate like Vivian.
I want to send you hand-written letters with CDs of classical music like Zibby from Liberal Arts, and like Zibby, I want to slowly kiss your forehead, then your nose, then both cheeks and then one long, delicate kiss on your lips. Indulge me.
I want to lure you up the Sacre Coeur with blue chalk arrows, leave you hidden messages and “vigilante” photos, and come up with master lover schemes to show you that I love you, like Amélie.
One thing I find so inspiring about our silver screen heroines actually is how they are silly and sweet and intense and passionate, and how their lovers utterly adore them for it.
It even seems that once they manifested their lovers and let them in, they blossomed even more.
Yes, they were shameless in their radiance before their beaus arrived. But I’m also saying that women—women in movies and books and just women—are ablaze with a splendour of being that actually enhances when in the presence of the male energy.
But, it’s a heightened splendour we habitually dismiss because of these limiting beliefs that great men do not exist.
I’m saying that we have to start with our belief in our own nature and great men before our Great Love will appear.
We women are truly lovely and dazzling beings and we shouldn’t be harbouring cynical beliefs that our heart-wrenchingly wonderful movie-men do not exist in reality.
When we declare that, “Yes, I am worthy of a man as fantastic as (insert he of the screen/page who curries your fancy) and he is worthy to hold my splendour,” then it is merely up to divine timing when al-fantastico will appear.
Our men, once we’ve called for them from within, will be like gardeners, utterly besotted with our joie de vivre, and they will tend to our blooms with great care, and succor us to flourish.
One day, when we least expect it, we’ll be jumped by him in some form or another, and he won’t be Charlie or Alex Wyler or Johnny (Patrick), and we won’t be Zibby or Vivian or Amélie.
He will be a power far more all-encompassing than a two hour compound, as beautiful as they may be.
Yet I also believe that before that day set in the plan of the universal, Gerry and Friedrich and then also Vivien and Amélie can indeed help us to wear away our doubt and polish our hearts (even just a little).
So thank you Les Miserables, my dearest Marius, and Viola, oh Shakespeare in Love, and even boyish Robbie, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (no shame people), for you are our inspiration and bar while we trust, grow and live.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: elephant archives