‘Aww… look at them! They are so cute together!’ Girl one gushed.
‘I heard that he’s super romantic! He should mentor the other guys so that they learn how to take care of the girls,’ Girl two exclaimed.
‘How is he romantic?’ I asked. I didn’t see anything particularly romantic about the couple. Maybe I knew them too well.
‘He always surprises her with notes, and he always gives in to her!’ Girl one squealed.
‘Wait… giving in is romantic?’ I asked in horror.
‘Yeah! Isn’t that what guys are supposed to do?’ She turned to me, wide-eyed.
‘Isn’t it nice when you can work together with your husband? Then you can have lunch together everyday!’ Girl two added.
I just stared at both girls. Did they have any idea what was involved in a relationship, I wondered.
‘How did you meet your husband?’ they asked me.
‘Well… we met at a club…’ I began but was interrupted by their excited squeals again. I can’t remember meeting anyone who did so much shrieking.
‘We need to go to clubs! Maybe then we can meet our future husbands!’
Right. Sure. And happily-ever-afters exist.
‘Would you work with your husband?’ I asked, although I could guess their answer.
‘Of course! It would be so nice to have him with me all the time!’ Girl two answered.
‘Do you have any idea how hard it is to work with your spouse?’ I asked them. ‘Ask any married person here if they want to work with their spouse… they’ll most probably answer ‘no’ quite emphatically,’ I continued.
‘But… why? Wouldn’t it be perfect? The couples I see are always smiling…’ Girl two said. ‘Don’t you have lunch with your husband every day?’
‘Umm… we eat together once a week for lunch but most of the time, we meet up with other people. It’s healthy to live independent lives, you know?’ I answered.
‘Independent? So weird. Why?’ Girl two asked.
‘Well… I feel that when we have passions that are ours, when we have our own social circles, when we go out and do our own thing, we are able to return to the relationship with deeper experiences to share. It keeps things interesting.’ I said.
I was greeted with blank stares.
I shook my head, deciding to leave the room then to get myself a fresh cup of coffee.
I never believed in fairy tales. Although I grew up with a staple diet of Disney cartoons, it was juxtaposed against my own parents’ constant fights, silences and my father’s infidelity. It sounded wonderful in the beginning…
Mother came from Japan in search of a future doing music and met Father at the music shop; she was a piano technician and he, a sound engineer. They began to date and he was charming – the ideal man who could play the guitar, loved to sing and talk about a future of passionate dreams.
When they finally got married, it was only a matter of months before the phone was ringing for Father. It was another woman. And then Father disappeared on a trip, not even telling Mother where he was going.
When he was away, she found out that he’d gone away on holiday with another woman. Alienated in a country that wasn’t her own, Mother began to build walls around her to protect her heart from more heartbreak… but it didn’t matter how high or strong she built the walls, she genuinely wanted to believe in love, and constantly forgave Father.
20 years of pain later, they finally separated and today, are happily divorced.
I only found out about his cheating ways when I was 15. I was snooping around in his room and opened his wallet to steal some cash (I needed to fund my clubbing & drinking ways) when I saw a picture of another woman.
I had no one to turn to. Mother didn’t know I stole cash, neither did Father. So for the next few years, I built a resentment towards him like I never felt before.
Now you tell me, what happened after Prince Charming got his Princess?
Fairy tales. I know I always say that I want my dreams to come true but believing such outrageous notions of relationships is absurd. It’s not that I’m a cynic but listening to the girls’ pink, fluffy dreams just felt a little… dangerous… for the men they were soon to meet.
I wanted to burst their bubbles but at the same time, their simple excitement was a refreshing change from the cynical view of relationships I’m surrounded with. They were happy, and today, I didn’t feel like robbing them with reality.
Do I then, believe in marriages?
Yes, I do. I believe they can work. But it takes more than hard work. A successful marriage is a miracle that only the Dream Maker can provide. I may be a cynic, but I am a romantic at heart. Just don’t tell me it’s about teddy bears and serenades.
‘I found it,’ The Husband said to me as he stepped in through the door, holding out my wallet to me.
I thought I’d lost my wallet and the only place I could imagine I left it was back at the office. It was already 10pm and the office was closed. There was nothing I could do but wait. I was worried though, because the wallet was filled with cash and cards, which I needed to cancel if I’d really lost it.
Without any hesitation, the Husband immediately donned his headphones, took his ipod and left the house to head back to the office to check. 2 hours later, he was back with the missing item.
That… I thought to myself… was my knight in shining armour.
So yes, fairy tales do exist.
They just don’t come shrouded in candy floss.