I’m the worst feminist EVER.
I don’t remember my mom allowing me to watch the original Cinderella movie the rare times it returned to the theaters in my youth (hey, I’m old no VCRs when I was a kid). But I read the original story (several versions), but even if I hadn’t? Well, there is no escaping the Cinderella story if you are an American woman.
Whenever Cinderella was mentioned, my mother with an edge of bitterness based on her own experience told me that it was foolish for a woman to “wait around for some man to come and rescue her.” She told me, over and over again, that women needed to count on themselves and themselves only.
But you know what? It wasn’t actually a prince that rescued Cinderella, not at first.
It was her fairy godmother.
When we first walked into the Magic Kingdom, I spotted the castle. My daughter was over the moon about it, and as we got close, I found myself completely choked up. Later, when the Fairy Godmother arrived on the scene, I found myself crying again. But when I saw Prince Charming? Nothing. And I didn’t cry when I met Cinderella either.
It’s all about the Fairy God Mother.
No one warned me about not wishing for a fairy godmother to come and wave her wand over my life, cleaning me up and making me beautiful and ready for the next magical thing to happen to me. And you know what? I’ve spent my whole life waiting for that moment.
It’s why I play the lottery. It’s why my personal retirement plan is one part actual savings and three parts crossing my fingers. It’s why I imagine a publisher waltzing up to me with a book deal in hand instead of finishing my damn book proposal.
It’s all that damn fairy’s fault.
It was an interesting realization. I knew that on some level I’d absorbed the Cinderella myth. But I never realized how deeply it’s ingrained in me, and I’ve never considered exactly how. Now that I know, I’ve got more work to do on myself. Because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that there is no magic wand that will be waving over my life.
Unless I win the Powerball tonight.