My friend, Laura – and old friend from high school recently rediscovered on Facebook – asked me to help her come up with a “headline” for her Match.com profile. It’s basically dating-twitter. 140 characters to advertise who she is and what she wants.
Of course I said yes. I love to find the right words to describe people. I asked her if she was looking for true love, sex and fun or babies and the white picket fence. I expected her to quibble with me, to equivocate over what she might want now versus later. But no.
True Love, she promptly replied.
So I ran with it and we came up with this:
Waiting for the fairytale. Blonde belle seeks prince among men. White horse optional.
I wondered if it would be too much. I’m clearly interested in the fairytale ending, be that what you really wished for or not, but I know a lot of people out there (read: men) have issues with the female ideas of happily ever after. Can’t say I blame them really. What reasonable man wants to get mixed up with a gal who thinks she’s a princess and it’s his job to rescue her and take her off into the sunset? The thing is, we don’t really think that. We’re big girls now.
That’s why the white horse is optional.
By the following day, though, Laura reported 229 page views on her profile, 35 contacts and one verified hottie who says he owns a white horse. She’s talking about holding out for the full luxury package after all.
Another friend of mine was devastatingly dumped by the guy she’d invested in. He told her he loved her one day and the next that he hadn’t loved her in a long time. He was surprised she didn’t know that. It took her a while to pull herself together and a while longer to date again. But she hasn’t found IT again. Now she’s spending time with a guy she’s been, by her own description, “dating by default.” When I ask her about it, she sounds like she’s not convinced she can do better than that.
I want them both to have the happily ever after. I’m a believer in true love. I never expected to have it and here I’m nearly twenty years with a man who’s a better companion to my life than I ever thought possible. He’s added a richness and intimacy to my life that my girlish fairytale endings didn’t know to include. I like that he tells me he’s become a better critical thinker from being around me. I especially like that he’s someone interested in becoming a better critical thinker. He’s a prince among men.
Romance stories are often criticized for ending at the moment of the Happily Ever After, be it the wedding, or the exchange of vows of eternal love or what have you. The thing is, if you do it right, once you ride off into to the sunset, you get to live there.
And that makes so many other things worthwhile.