Saturday, March 21, 2009

Favorite Fairy Tale

“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair.”

I can hear that line in my sleep. It was a story on a 45 rpm yellow record that my mother put on our record player when I was a kid. I’m not sure if it rivaled Wonder Woman whom I read comics of and saw cartoons about. But Rapunzel was the earliest memory of fairy tale for me.
The prince would come and climb up the tower wall, holding onto her hair, to rescue her after she had been imprisoned all her early years.
What a set up! I remember the sing-songy voice lamenting, “Pitiful Rapunzel, oh what will become of me”, before said prince showed up.
Unbeknownst to my mother, this fairy tale spoke of giving one’s power away, self-imprisonment, victimhood and waiting for rescue. What a model of feminine behavior to give two young innocent girl children.
It’s not like she slid down the wall and rescued herself. She remained there until Prince Charming came charging up on his white horse and saved the day. Most of the men that even carried that Prince Charming mystique in my experience, turned out to be serious toads in disguise.
Many years later, especially after the book, discussions and movie, He’s Just Not That Into You, that whole fairy tale seduction has fallen flat. I feel I could’ve made a better Prince Charming than any of them, and I was supposed to be the Princess!

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