Once Upon a Time…

A long time ago in a country not very far away, I grew up believing in Fairy Tales. I believed that somewhere there was a beautiful princess waiting for me to ride up on a white charger and sweep her off her feet. Sure, there might be dragons, or evil sorceresses, or dark knights or whatever the story might bring against me…but I was prince charming, I would prevail!

I met a princess, I wanted to be her prince, we tried to find happily ever after…

…And I’ve learned some things since then. I’ve learned that riding off into the sunset just means trying to find a place to sleep in the dark. I’ve learned that even the glorious prince makes mistakes, falls down in the mud, and gets lost on his way back to the castle. I’ve learned that a sharp sword cuts the ones you love just as easily as the ones who stand against you.

I’ve also learned that “charming” is essentially an untenable ideal. Besides which, girls may dream about “Prince Charming,” but grown women don’t seem to care anymore.

I spent fifteen years trying to be prince charming, and all it got me was a divorce, child support, and a shattered ego. Then I decided that I wouldn’t give up on romance, and I’d try to be prince charming again…and all that got me was an unwanted second marriage, months of recriminations and disappointments and the realization that I might want to be “charming,“ but somewhere along the journey “Prince Charming” got replaced by his understudy, “Squire Just-Doing-My-Best.”

Prince Charming is dead. His body lies somewhere along the path in an unmarked grave; unmourned, unmissed and unremarkable.

As one prince falls, another must take up his place. And so, here’s to Just-Doing-My-Best. May he succeed where Charming failed. May he find the princess, the light at the end of the tunnel, the castle in the sky, the treasures of his dreams, and the happily-ever-after at the end of his story.

The Prince is Dead! Long Live the Price!