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The end of the fairytale

Hazel Marshall

As the wonderful and hilarious Shrek prepares to open in cinemas across the country we look at other fairytale characters that didn't conform.

Dear P Charming,

Looking back, I suppose it was never going to work. We started out with such different agendas and with such different needs. We never really got to know each other properly, instead we were thrown almost straightaway into some happy ever after romance with the big white wedding and everything that entailed. I barely had time to find out who I really was before I was ensconced in a huge house with an enormous garden and with a husband who every other woman in the land seemed to want to get her hands on.

But I’m not blaming you for that, darling. You didn’t really know what you were getting into either. To you, I was a challenge although I think you persuaded yourself that there was more to it than that at the beginning. The problem came later, when you began to believe your own myth and I didn’t quite live up to my part in that. It’s hard to love someone who thinks that they are every woman’s dream.

I don’t want to sound all analytical - I know you hate all that psychobabble - but I still have so many childhood issues to deal with. I was only just getting into my teenage years when that unfortunate accident happened and then when I recovered from that, there you were, and I was immediately thrown into life with you.

I know you see yourself as the great white saviour, darling, but really I believe that the only person who can save us is ourselves. I know you had to overcome a great many challenges in order to get to me and, in most peoples eyes, that means we belong together, but now that we’ve been living together for a while, I’m no longer so sure.

I don’t want to get too personal but I didn’t realise just how loudly you snored or that because you spend so much time on horseback that meant that you smell like them. Also, you seem to disappear for days on end and when you return you always mutter something about saving people in distress and then I never hear any more about it. Communication is always the first casualty in a relationship but I suppose the problem for us was that we never did communicate, even at the start. You fell in love with me because of the way I looked and because you had decided before you even saw me that I was your ideal woman. And as for me? Well, I wasn’t given much choice. You were the first one I was allowed to see when I finally got the sleep out of my eyes. So are you surprised that I married you when it was the only way out of my glass prison?

But I never did become the woman that you thought I was. I’ll never forget the look on your face the first time you saw me clipping my toenails. You looked so horrified, as though you expected them to fall off all by themselves with no effort from me. And you were so disappointed that I couldn’t cook and that I didn’t want to have babies straightaway. Welcome to the 21st century darling. Things have changed.

My friend Cindy tried to warn me that things may turn out this way but I thought she was just being cynical. Although why she should need to be cynical when she has her own PC already I don’t know. But she told me that I wouldn’t be able to live up to your expectations. I suppose she’s already been through it although she’s decided to stay with him for now. Well, he does let her shop at Manolo Blahniks so it’s probably worth hanging on.

Image: Maxwell Parrish

But, for me, enough is enough. It’s time to get out there and try to find out a bit about myself, for myself (more psychobabble I’m afraid, but really, darling, if you leave me alone for days at a time what else am I going to do but read self-improvement books). I’m sure you’ll find someone else - one of those people you keep saving from distress maybe. But if you ask me I think you should go for some nice horsey girl, someone who shares your interests and is ready to pop out a child or two almost straightaway.

As for me I’m off into the big bad world at last. I’ve had my share of fairies, princes and shining castles. I want a bit of adventure. I don’t want to be locked away from the world any more. Let me at it. I’m sure no man will ever match up to you, not in the world’s eyes anyway, but, hey, I’m not looking for perfection.

But I’ll always be grateful to you for freeing me and I’ll be quite happy to turn up at your first baby’s christening with a blessing.


Ms. S Beauty

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