As little girls often do, I once made a list of all the qualities I hoped to find in my Prince Charming. He would be handsome, kind, good to his mother, intelligent, a total smart ass, and a diehard romantic. The fairytale included lots of flowers for no reason, vacations to faraway lands, and a few requisite rides on white steeds.
This fairytale illusion suited me quite well for years. There were Valentines aplenty in grade school, some solid amateur poetry along with a few swap-out-Amanda/Rosanna/Jenny/other-random-girl’s-name-for-mine guitar ballads in high school, and my college boyfriend once gave me flowers “because it’s Tuesday.” I felt solidly prepped for the grown up dating world and the Disney-esque guy with perfect hair from a neighboring kingdom who would surely come with it.
But then an evil villain cast a dark shadow across the land; and this villain looks a lot like a big old cell phone with a Facebook app. Not so long ago, when I liked a guy enough to give him my number, I looked forward to his call the next day so we could plan to meet again. Now, all I have to get excited about is a friend request and a five-beers-to-the-wind text that says “what up.” We treat a Facebook poke like it’s a box of Godiva, and we carefully evaluate the number of characters in a message to determine the likelihood a guy is smitten.
Call me old fashioned, but I miss the good old days when a guy would actually call my house and politely ask my mother if he could “please speak to Beth.” I even miss when he would later come to my door and had to meet Dad before I was allowed to go to the movies. It was a valuable screening process that has been poorly replaced by social media “stalking” and the ever-romantic “come on down I’m outside” text.
I suppose I’ll have to accept the fact that my prince might be a little different than the tall dark and handsome cartoon-in-a-cape I imagined as a kid. I can amend my list to include more important qualities like “uses emoticons sparingly” or “doesn’t have a ‘Bringing Sexy Back’ ringtone.” And if I happen to come across a guy whose Foursquare check-in history includes, “Awesome Castle in France,” I’ll figure out how to make happily ever after work.