the disney disappointment syndrome

i really didn’t consider the possibility that watching disney movies could have any negative effect on my psyche until recently.  for christmas, one of the gifts i consider the best was a 5 cd set of disney songs.  since receiving this gift, very rarely has one of those cds not been occupying the space of my player. 

as i listen to them more and more, i feel like i begin to be brainwashed.  here i am, listening to song after song about the perfect romances that occur between a man and a woman (or beast and a woman, depending on the movie).  it’s really draining – because my practical side wants to me say – no that’s ridiculous.  those types of fairytales don’t exist.  but why can’t they?  why can’t i have everything?  i have always thought, that if someone could imagine it, it could exist.  i have been raised since i was a little girl to believe that life may be hard, but when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true and those evil stepmothers don’t exist.  

 i think the biggest culprit of all these movies is probably snow white.  at least with newer disney movies, there is that initial conflict.  in aladin, he’s a ‘street rat’.  in beauty and the beast (my personal fav of the princess movies), he’s a jerk…and super hairy.  in snow white, they meet for all of 2 seconds and bam – it’s love.  i don’t expect such an ending or beginning for that matter…but shouldn’t i hope for everything?  is it settling when my expectations aren’t met?

 really, it comes down to the idea – are you really ever content with what you have?  i continually have that fear that i’m giving something up.  how do you know when you’re settling? 

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One Response to “the disney disappointment syndrome”

  1. hmmm… maybe I am reading too much into this one.

    Anyway, I once imagined that it would be really cool to see a five legged dog made out of half empty antifreeze containers chasing a walking, talking biscuit down the street, but that doesn’t mean that it exists, or that it would be as cool as I imagined it.

    Now for the thoughtful answer…

    You pose the question of whether or not you are “giving something up” or “settling” by being content with what you have… here is the easy answer to both:

    With every choice that you make, you give something else up… this is a fact in every aspect of life. I can date Rachel, or I can date someone else, but not both. I can buy a car, or I can buy a boat, but don’t have the money for both. I can go to med school or I can go get hammered every night of the week with my friends, but not both. So if you are asking if one choice that you are making means giving something else up, the answer is YES. The real question is the second part… “how do you know when you are settling?”

    This isn’t always as easy to answer, but then again maybe it is. I would guess that you know yourself pretty well, and would hope that you know what you want. All you need to do is ask yourself if what you have or what you are doing is what you want.

    First, “settling” isn’t bad (unless you are terribly insecure). As a matter of fact, I “settle” for Rachel every day… but in the sense that I choose whether or not to be with her. In the more practical sense, you are only “settling” if you have identified another, better alternative to whatever it is you have or whatever you are doing and you are passing the better alternative up for the crappy one that you have. It is quite simple: what is important to you? Med school or drinking every night? The car or the boat? Rachel or single? Basically, if you give up something that is important to you because you think there might be something better, but you have no idea what that “something” better is, than I would say you are making a bad decision… but then again we usually know our alternatives. For example: I know how much I care about my girlfriend, and I know what it is like to be single… sometimes being single sounds pretty good… but in the end, I am happier to be with my girlfriend than I would be if I were single. I know how school will pay off, and I know what it is like to go out with my friends… I guess I “settle” for school.

    However, here is the nasty, compicated one: Is there something even better out there than what I am doing, or what I have, that I don’t even know about? I’ve thought about the solution to this one quite a bit… I can only make judgements based on the info I have at hand, and the question is whether I am willing to give up on something good to gamble on the unknown… I suppose I could devote the rest of my life to trying to find the “perfect” profession, in which I am a “perfect” fit… but unfortunately, I would only die a professionless man. The same can go for anything else you can think of.

    Another way to look at it is: If you find a cure for a simple ailment, like, I don’t know, maybe the common cold, should you pass it up so that you can try to find the cure for something else?

    Here is how I see things…

    If I know what the “something else” is, than I can decide… if I don’t, then I better stick with what I’ve got.

    The only time this isn’t the case is with relationships… but that is actually pretty simple too. The question then becomes not whether I am settling or not, or whether there is a better alternative, but whether or not I am happy. If the answer is yes, then I stick with the relationship, and I am in no way “settling”… if the answer is no, then I know what I have to do, and I am only “settling” if I don’t do it.

    Just a few thoughts.

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