Curmudgeon Child

My youngest granddaughter said she was upset with Disney because she heard Tangled was going to be the last princess movie. I asked her why and she said boys didn’t like them. I don’t know if either statement is true, but I know she has always been a fan of every princess movie to come out. I’m happy to sit and watch them with her and I’m accustomed to the sight of little girls in malls who wear Cinderella dresses, carry wands and balance tiaras as they walk in The Disney Store.

Then she asked me how old I was when I married her grandpa. I answered twenty-one and she told me that was way too young. Yes, I agreed, it was young, but luckily all turned out well. Though an early marriage wasn’t recommended for her, my decision had given her the Daddy she loved and her grandpa.

A month before I was talking with a woman my age who told me how difficult her divorce was because she had truly believed in the princess happily ever after promise. I told her I never had. “Maybe,” she said, “that was the trick. Not to believe.”

At age seven I was in the car with my aunt and cousins. A huge rainbow appeared in the sky and excitedly they said they wanted to visit the rainbow’s end and look for the pot of gold. My aunt began making excuses of no time, it would move, etc. Through a cold child’s heart I sided with her by sighing, watching the rainbow above the mountains and said, “Even if we found the end, the gold would be gone by the time we got there.” They quieted and even my curmudgeon seven year old awareness knew I had crushed children’s exuberance.

The princess story never seemed possible and I discounted it early on. I’m not sure if that’s a curse or what saved me. There was the usual passion and goo-goo eyes for my husband when we married, but there was never an expectation of the kiss that leads to happily ever after. I’ve waited close to forty years for him to leave me. I just thought he would. That he never has is truly a mystery of my life.

I did have expectations of him and I know he had them of me, plus I expected his love in return for things I did. I also expected companionship, respect, fidelity and most of the usual list. What I don’t think I expected was that he would fill or eliminate every emotional hole and flaw I had or that life was going to be a happily ever after dreamland. I have curmudgeon leanings, but I think it may have worked to my benefit, though for my granddaughter I would wish a more sweet princess like disposition. The world needs cheer.





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