Lost? Here You Go. You Can Thank Me Later.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

If It's Not Worth Losing, Is It Still Lost?

Thinking about Tinkerbell in my last post got me thinking.

Well, thinking more.

My thoughts have lately turned to loss. I was feeling sad about all the things Miriam will miss. She will never dive to the bottom of the deep end to get a penny. Never dance at the Prom. She'll never marry or have children or a job. She will never enjoy a roller coaster or taste cotton candy, or eat so much pizza and Coke that she burps in front of her giggling friends during a sleepover, and they all laugh and hit each other with pillows.

Maybe that's a good thing.

There are a lot of things I'm glad she will miss. Having to wait in line at the DMV. Having to endure a job interview, get fired, or dumped by her boyfriend. Hopefully, in the cold reality of her life, she will suffer less from disillusionment.

Part of the Human Condition is, in my opinion, a sense of invulnerability. We think we are special, that we are destined for greatness, that all the social conditioning provided by Disney© and Friends ("Just Believe and All Your Dreams Will Come True!") is real.

Sadly, we are a good deal more mediocre than we realize. Many of our dreams fade away, and we soon realize we are mortal and breakable and ordinary. Those things that seemed So Important ten years ago seem but trifles compared to the crap we're dealing with now.

Sometimes those "things we miss" aren't that great. Sometimes that makes losing them a little easier. 

Depressing? Maybe.


And Now, A Case in Point:

One (of many) depressing facts about growing up is seeing childhood memories with adult eyes. You go back to Disneyland, for example, and realize the castle is much smaller than you remember. 

I reread Peter Pan recently and now understand that Captain Hook was a hero - and Peter Pan was a brat. He's a punk who lures children from their beds, teaches them to dress up like animals and kill Native Americans.

Admit it, boy. You're a racist, murdering furry.

If you think about it, most fairy tales are populated by disobedient and selfish children. As I considered those childhood fantasies, I now saw things very differently.

When you look at things this way, I wonder if maybe my daughter wasn't missing as much as I thought.


Snow White?


Decisions, decisions.

Floozy. Flaunted her looks. Ran off to live in sin with seven short, old men whose sole goal in life was to satisfy their greed. 


Cinderella?


Vanity is its own reward, you thoughtless girl.
Ungrateful. "Oh…work is so tough! I actually have to EARN my living doing a job the servants used to do. Couldn’t be bothered to return my borrowed dress and carriage on time, much less bring the whole costume back in ONE PIECE!" 


Sleeping Beauty?



"Stop, Princess! What are you doing?"
"Thinking only of myself, naturally."
Self-Absorbed. Warned not to touch the spindle. Did it anyway.

That palace guard she never noticed doing his duty every single day? Just before Maleficent put everyone to sleep, his wife left to go shopping. A hundred years later he awakes, still young, and finds the mummy of his bride lying in the bed next to him.

Pocahontas?
Too much boob, not enough nose.

Conceited. Idol of Second-Grade girls, though if she dressed like this in their school she'd be asked to wear a coat.

Mulan? 

It's complicated.
Confused. Gender hatred leads to the mass murder of Mongols.


Ariel?
One day, I hope to shame my family.
Addled by Lust. Underage bride who scorned her heritage, openly disobedient to father and caregiver despite ample warnings.


Jasmine? 
What do liberated young women do?
Get half-naked to appeal to boys, duh!

Diva. If she dressed like this at her church, the neighbors would certainly talk and the pastor would certainly share a message on modesty the next service.

Winnie the Pooh?
Imbalanced. Armed. You do the math.
Psychotic. He goes to his secret place and hits his head to make it work. He hallucinates. He dresses up like weather to indulge his addiction.

And don’t get me started on Eeyore.

I’d be patient enough if he was just a misanthrope, like Lord Byron or Kurt Kobain, hopped up on misery as his source for creativity. I’d let his attitude slide if he produced a decent painting or poem or grunge ballad.

Instead, the suicidal donkey is given the assignment to find that blowhard Owl a new house. And where does he get it?

STEALING from the most innocent, tender-hearted creature in the whole forest. 

PIGLET!

What does Piglet get? Market value? No.

A PARTY! 
We've stolen your ancestral home.
Have some cake!
Does the brainless bear speak up for him? NO. He invites poor Piglet to shack up with him. That’s right. Lose your home and live in sin with a hallucinating bear. Piglet will never say anything. He’ll take and take and take until the fateful day when a shot rings out in the forest, and Owl is found talons-over-feathers in a shallow grave. 

“But he was so nice,” they’ll say, “He was so quiet and kept to himself.”

No. Piglet was a boiling cauldron of shame.







Ah. I feel better now. Childhood delights ruined by the cold reality of adulthood? Loss loses its sting a little bit, doesn't it?



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