Educating Cinderella

My lion tattoo (right ankle!)

September 24, 2010

Re-entering the single life is a time of reflection for me. I think it is wise to do this, but I hesitate to do a lot of navel-gazing (mine or others’) because I also feel like a clean slate. I want to start over fresh, or as Madonna and the creepy Duke in Moulin Rouge sing, “Like a Virgin”. Instead of beating myself up for my romantic streak (ok, it’s more like a very wide road, or perhaps even a large river) I am trying to embrace it. The Cinderella fantasy is so firmly ingrained in me that I really doubt I can shake it loose. Instead, I must educate the girl. My Cinderella seems to be adept at picking the wrong men. My therapist warned me to stay away from “projects”. I reflect upon the guys I have chosen in the past, and indeed there was something about each one that I thought might need my splendid and sensitive touch to fix. Well, news-flash, baby: it didn’t work! But what would it be like to meet a man who was already whole and ready to be a partner to me? And am I whole enough myself to be ready to meet him?
Come here, Cindy, and let’s talk about what we want in a man.

First of all, we need to not waste time looking back. Love can be a funny thing. Sometimes it is so powerful that we fall for – and stay with – men who just aren’t right for us. Even if we knew it all along, we hang in there, thinking he will change. Nope. Old dogs, new tricks. Not gonna happen! So, why not pick one who doesn’t need a major overhaul? I know that everyone has faults, including me and Cinderella – yes, even us – and the task is to pick someone who has faults we can live with, and who can live with ours, too.

And the way I fall in love needs to be looked at, too. I tend to fall hard and fast. That means the chemistry has to be almost immediate. I can grow to like someone, but I don’t know if I can grow to lust after them. And I like the lusting. So, he will have to be sexy, at least to me. And I have found some very random types of guys sexy. So, like the Supreme Court Justice said about hard-core porn, “It’s not easy to define, but I know it when I see it!”

Also, he needs to be smart. Intelligent men are a turn-on. When I told a guy I am seeing now, “I love your sense of humor!” he complained: “That’s it?” He wanted compliments on his cooking, or perhaps his love skills. Well, those were both great as well, but what really turns me on is the way he turns a phrase. That’s what keeps me coming back for more. (So men, don’t underestimate the power of flexing your wit!)

Lastly, I think he needs to be good at something I’m aspiring to. If he is very spiritual, he could lead me down that path. If he is a humanitarian, he will help me follow those impulses in myself. If he speaks Spanish, he can help me practice! I hope there will be some things he admires in me that will help him grow, too. Probably communication and intrapersonal skills, right, Mars and Venus?

So, Cinderella, my friend, let’s review: we need to be clear on what we want in a partner. We need to look forward, not back. And no more project men. So stop emailing that cute tortured sailor who is intriguingly blunt and cynical in his dating profile and his emails. He is a definite project. Plus, he’s an Aries, and we KNOW how that turns out!

And look forward with courage. Last summer, I had a lion tattooed on my ankle. It represents the courage I need to find to live an authentic life. It also represents love, since I found love again (with a Leo man) after my dismal marriage. Although that love is gone – well, not gone, maybe, but it wasn’t enough to keep us together – I still smile when I pet that lion. Ironically enough, the latest man I am seeing is also a Leo. But he is quite different from the one I just left. In so many ways.

** Big hint: my next blog might well be on inter-racial relations!

Embrace Cinderella, my friends, but be sure she is following your agenda!

Yours in purposeful exploration,


About catnipkiss

I am a writer who is working on a travel memoir. I write about issues that speak to my soul: love, sex, yoga, spirituality, body image, dating and friendship, and more as it comes up! I love comments - thanks! What would YOU like to explore?
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2 Responses to Educating Cinderella

  1. from Anne says:

    Anne Sexton, “Cinderella”

    You always read about it:
    the plumber with the twelve children
    who wins the Irish Sweepstakes.
    From toilets to riches.
    That story.

    Or the nursemaid,
    some luscious sweet from Denmark
    who captures the oldest son’s heart.
    from diapers to Dior.
    That story.

    Or a milkman who serves the wealthy,
    eggs, cream, butter, yogurt, milk,
    the white truck like an ambulance
    who goes into real estate
    and makes a pile.
    From homogenized to martinis at lunch.

    Or the charwoman
    who is on the bus when it cracks up
    and collects enough from the insurance.
    From mops to Bonwit Teller.
    That story.

    the wife of a rich man was on her deathbed
    and she said to her daughter Cinderella:
    Be devout. Be good. Then I will smile
    down from heaven in the seam of a cloud.
    The man took another wife who had
    two daughters, pretty enough
    but with hearts like blackjacks.
    Cinderella was their maid.
    She slept on the sooty hearth each night
    and walked around looking like Al Jolson.
    Her father brought presents home from town,
    jewels and gowns for the other women
    but the twig of a tree for Cinderella.
    She planted that twig on her mother’s grave
    and it grew to a tree where a white dove sat.
    Whenever she wished for anything the dove
    would drop it like an egg upon the ground.
    The bird is important, my dears, so heed him.

    Next came the ball, as you all know.
    It was a marriage market.
    The prince was looking for a wife.
    All but Cinderella were preparing
    and gussying up for the event.
    Cinderella begged to go too.
    Her stepmother threw a dish of lentils
    into the cinders and said: Pick them
    up in an hour and you shall go.
    The white dove brought all his friends;
    all the warm wings of the fatherland came,
    and picked up the lentils in a jiffy.
    No, Cinderella, said the stepmother,
    you have no clothes and cannot dance.
    That’s the way with stepmothers.

    Cinderella went to the tree at the grave
    and cried forth like a gospel singer:
    Mama! Mama! My turtledove,
    send me to the prince’s ball!
    The bird dropped down a golden dress
    and delicate little slippers.
    Rather a large package for a simple bird.
    So she went. Which is no surprise.
    Her stepmother and sisters didn’t
    recognize her without her cinder face
    and the prince took her hand on the spot
    and danced with no other the whole day.

    As nightfall came she thought she’d better
    get home. The prince walked her home
    and she disappeared into the pigeon house
    and although the prince took an axe and broke
    it open she was gone. Back to her cinders.
    These events repeated themselves for three days.
    However on the third day the prince
    covered the palace steps with cobbler’s wax
    and Cinderella’s gold shoe stuck upon it.
    Now he would find whom the shoe fit
    and find his strange dancing girl for keeps.
    He went to their house and the two sisters
    were delighted because they had lovely feet.
    The eldest went into a room to try the slipper on
    but her big toe got in the way so she simply
    sliced it off and put on the slipper.
    The prince rode away with her until the white dove
    told him to look at the blood pouring forth.
    That is the way with amputations.
    They just don’t heal up like a wish.
    The other sister cut off her heel
    but the blood told as blood will.
    The prince was getting tired.
    He began to feel like a shoe salesman.
    But he gave it one last try.
    This time Cinderella fit into the shoe
    like a love letter into its envelope.

    At the wedding ceremony
    the two sisters came to curry favor
    and the white dove pecked their eyes out.
    Two hollow spots were left
    like soup spoons.

    Cinderella and the prince
    lived, they say, happily ever after,
    like two dolls in a museum case
    never bothered by diapers or dust,
    never arguing over the timing of an egg,
    never telling the same story twice,
    never getting a middle-aged spread,
    their darling smiles pasted on for eternity.
    Regular Bobbsey Twins.
    That story.

    • catnipkiss says:

      Yes, that is the traditional Cinderella. But my cindy and I have a dose of realism. Still, I believe it possible to meet my prince, my sweet one-and-only. I know there is more than one man on this planet whom I can love deeply. But there are a hell of a lot more whom I can NOT. Into the haystack I jump, a magnet between my teeth to find that needle!

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