Wednesday, March 3, 2010

(Tooth) Fairy Tales and other happily ever after farces…

In two days time this week, I have witnessed a couple of instances of fairy-talish happily ever after via mainstream media - the season finale of the Bachelor and the Tooth Fairy movie. And both of them set the wrong way with me.

Let me start by telling you I LOATHE the Bachelor. I detest every single solitary second of the pining away over the ever-so-difficult decision of being in love with two different girls at the same time. DUDE! IF YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH TWO GIRLS AT THE SAME TIME, THEN YOU ARE NOT REALLY IN LOVE WITH EITHER OF THEM!!!! And by the way, what got you there was NOT REAL. It was in front of a camera. It was in a tropical or other paradise. It was all expenses paid. It is NOT REAL LIFE!!! So, how can you know whether or not you love this person when you come home from work each day? How can you know if you love this person after they look like crap and were lying on the couch sick all day? How can you know if you love this person when you have to cancel plans because something else came up and you totally let them down? YOU CAN’T!! I hate the freaking show. Because it is about as UNREALISTIC as it gets regarding love and relationships today.

Yet millions flock to watch this show and make judgments on the girls’ character, values, etc. based on what a few biased producers/editors want to show them based on the fact that THEY are looking to make money with the show. So, YES, they are going to make a couple girls look like total Bee’s with itches in order to boost some ratings. Because February? Is a SWEEPS month for television. And high ratings in SWEEPS months equals big bucks for advertising on that station next year.

Some of the millions that flock to this show are my girlfriends. So, for the last two years, we have had BACHELOR parties to watch the season finale. Last year, I wore my wedding veil and shoes and pearls to mock my friends. This year, I hosted the party. I’ve lost about 10 pounds since last year. So, this is how I hosted:

A couple of others joined in the fun including a surprise visit from Napoleon Dynamite. He noticed I was drinking 1% milk. He asked if it was because I thought I was fat. Cuz I’m not. He said I could drink whole if I wanted. He’s so smooth.

The second fairy-tale I experienced was taking the boyz to see the Tooth Fairy. (Spoiler Alert) This movie is based on an aging, brut hockey player who is trying to woo Ashley Judd as he dates her. She wants to see how he interacts with her two kids including a middle-school son and a daughter at tooth-losing, tooth-fairy believing age. I would say 6ish. He is sentenced by the fairies to do tooth fairy duty for a couple weeks due to his constant crushing of dreams by telling kids to aim low and that their chances of making it big are slim, etc. because that is his own experience in life.

My issue with this movie isn’t the fairy aspect or the shrinking paste or the amnesia dust or invisibility spray or the random disappearing into a swirling colorful vortex. My issue with this movie isn’t even an issue I would have had 6 months ago. My issue with this movie is taking my boyz to see it and wondering what goes through their minds, wondering if they caught on to the happily-ever-after theme of a man trying to woo a single mom with kids who had no apparent father figure in their life (no mention of Dad at all), a man who had little interest in the boy at first, but gradually (after two whole encounters) assumed the role of mentor and encourager in the boy’s life. I wondered what went through their minds as they saw this man who was obviously smitten with the beautiful mom become just as smitten with the kids and develop into a part of the kids lives.

All before the 2-week tooth fairy sentence was over.

It is obviously a sign of the time of my life when the largest concern I have over a movie is whether or not my boyz are buying into the “happily ever after” concept as it pertains to their own situation. I just don’t want to feed them any unrealistic expectations. I worry about what they think is going to happen next in their lives.

I notice how they so badly crave adult male attention – so much so that they act like idiots when they do get it. They really don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know how to help them. It breaks my heart.

So I wonder how they process watching TV or movies where the parents are not married or a parent is not present (hello Disney movies) and what events unfold in the characters' lives.

Gavin randomly mentions that I should just get married again. According to him, I’d be less sad, there would be someone else to help me and he would have someone to play catch with and wrestle around with. Someone else could take him to play his sports and stuff like other dads. Yes, he says this.

Grant never says a word about it, but he is the one that acts completely goofy and says really off–the-wall and sometimes alarming things to get the attention of adult males around him.

The void in their lives is apparent only to me. I obviously don’t point it out to them. Others don’t notice it and would think Grant to be strange or rambunctious or violent.

I see two fragile little boyz who have had a rough life chock full of harsh reality. I see two little boyz that loved their daddy and miss everything he was to them. I see two little boyz that I want to protect and help. Part of that protection is keeping them from having unrealistic expectations and believing in the fairy tale.

I guess because I don’t believe it myself. Not that I can’t get re-married some day. Just knowing it is way more complicated than the movies and TV.

Sometimes I wish I could believe in the fairy tale version. I hate that as adults we get so beat down with reality it causes us to stop believing.

As I have said in the description of the blog and in the “about me” section, the title of this blog used to pertain to Brian’s healing and health. He is completely restored in heaven now. Now the title pertains to the boyz and I finding our place in this world. As a good friend once encouraged me, it is a fluid statement relating to whatever season and circumstance the boyz and I are experiencing. It didn't end with Brian. Whether it is doses of reality, fairy tale endings or something in the middle, I find it very fitting today to close with…



  1. Angie, you already know how we do Santa and Tooth fairy, etc. So you could say we've got our own healthy dose of being beat down by reality here.


    I think as an adult it is hard for us to morph out of that fun stage where we believe anything is possible, into the stage where we know, deep in our souls, that NOT everything is possible.

    It sucks. No excuses, it just does.

    But. I think you are very VERY smart to watch out for the messages that movies and TV shows and everything in society is gently pushing on your children. Don't be complacent about it. Your kids aren't going to change overnight... the little things they hear and see will change them a tiny bit at a time, more and more, and one day you wake uip and POOF you say, "What happened? How did it happen? What caused my kids to get like this??" And it isn't one thing or two things, but a chain of events and a myriad of people and influences and media exposure.

    So, I probably sound like a huge cynic, but I say: Let your kids believe in the magic, but always reinforce that magic is pretend and Jesus is real. Kinda a bubble-buster, but it really is the only truth that's important.

  2. "Gavin randomly mentions that I should just get married again. According to him, I’d be less sad, there would be someone else to help me and he would have someone to play catch with and wrestle around with. Someone else could take him to play his sports and stuff like other dads. Yes, he says this."

    In reply to this I have to share what my daughter did after the passing of her daddy in May of 1981. The following January she encouraged me to start dating. There was a radio program in Cincinnati that set up blind dates between listeners of the show. I started dating one of my matches and we had a wonderful relationship for about a year. Then it started to crack and we went our separate ways.

    I continued to date and re-married in 1986.

    Hang in there. Kids do the strangest things.

    Karen W. in S.W. Ohio

  3. I hate The Bachelor too!!! I think it's degrading to all involved, totally unrealistic, and hey, just look at the track record. You celebrate it with the sarcasm it deserves.

    My only advice is... from what I've seen, my friends who are blending too families are having a difficult time with it, some have failed, but some are working through it and not regretting the decision to be together. No matter what you end up doing, you are proceeding with caution and a great amount of care..two important ingredients to doing the right thing for you and yours.

  4. I have never watched a single episode of The Bachelor (I don't say this to be snobby; I've totally watched dumber stuff), but I REALLY want to come to your next party, especially if Napoleon Dynamite is there because I love him and his moon boots. I think everyone else should wear her worst bridesmaid dress.

    Blending families isn't easy, but the best things never are. Dough doesn't turn into delicious, crusty bread without a little heat.


  5. You are a brilliant momma!

    I'm sorry to say that I never thought of that aspect of such story lines. I respect that you point it out.
    As a single, abstinent woman, I take note of all the story lines that have characters boinking each other on the first date... usually in conjunction with the first kiss. As if there is nothing in between!!!

  6. Your ability to think things through and really hone in on the important lessons is amazing.

  7. I would be so grossed out if Molly ever went on a Bachelor-type show. I shudder to think of how those shows will be even worse in 10 yrs when she's a young adult. Ick. Ick. Ick.

    I feel so good about your boyz having a mom who is so introspective and tuned in to what they are experiencing. You are special, Angie.