Happily Ever After: The Fairy-tale Formula for Lasting Love

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9780066209722: Happily Ever After: The Fairy-tale Formula for Lasting Love

Find Your Inner Princess and Live Happily Ever After

Don't let anyone tell you true love is a fairy tale. You can find the romance of your dreams, and this book will tell you how.

In Happily Ever After, author Wendy Paris offers a contemporary spin on ten classic fairy tales, going behind the scenes with these legendary romantic heroines to show what they did to live happily ever after. Contrary to popular belief, fairy-tale heroines are not weak and passive. They are noble, brave, optimistic women who know that the formula for success in a chaotic world is to hold fast to their own beliefs despite what fate happens to throw their way. Ultimately, it is their character that saves them, not the prince on the white horse.

Take Cinderella, for example. Despite having a less than ideal job, she didn't let bitterness and regret give her an ulcer, bad skin, and frown wrinkles. She knew "cinder maid" was a job title, not a life description.

She didn't hide in her carriage, crying, "I can't go to the ball by myself! Everyone will think I'm a loser! " She had the courage to attend a party alone.

At the stroke of midnight, she didn't cling to the prince's hand and wail, "Save me from my miserable life!" She had the confidence to know that if he liked her, he'd come calling.

This humorous, heartfelt book shows women how to focus on their strengths and character rather than resort to manipulative strategies to "land" a man. The perfect antidote to negative dating guides that just don't work, Happily Ever After offers practical, empowering advice that's been proven effective for the last 500 years and is still relevant today.

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About the Author:

Wendy Paris was born in Columbus, Ohio. She attended high school in Michigan and graduated with a BA in literature and creative writing from the Honor's Program at the University of Houston. She currently lives and works in New York City.

Prior to writing Happily Ever After, she coauthored Words for the Wedding (Perigee, 2000). She's also written about relationships, love, marriage and honeymooning for a variety of publications, including Glamour, Self, Brides, Modern Bride and Fitness. She's reported for Marketplace on National Public Radio and contributed essays to National Public Radio's travel show, Savvy Traveler, and food show, Splendid Table. She has also worked as a TV reporter and producer and newspaper reporter and editor.

Wendy recently re-entered the dating world in New York City -- probably the most competitive dating terrain on the planet. Her frustration with the love-is-war dating advice available, and her experience with what she sees as a new wave of gallantry among men, led her to write Happily Ever After.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Sleeping Beauty

One-Hundred-Sixteen-Year-Old Woman Finds Love At Last

A childless royal couple finally has a baby. They throw a huge party, inviting everyone they know, including seven fairies reported to give good gifts. They completely forget about the eighth, older, irritable fairy everyone assumes is dead since she’s been incommunicado for the past fifty years.

The old fairy, alive and kicking with spite, crashes the party. She rants and raves about not having her own golden dinner plate like all the other fairies. In a fit of horrendous manners and hurt feelings, she casts a spell on the baby, condemning her to prick her hand on a spindle and die.

The youngest fairy commutes the curse, saying the pricked princess will fall asleep for a hundred years instead. The king instantly orders removal of all spindles from the kingdom. Still, no one feels much like dancing, and the party breaks up early.

Life spins along normally for the next sixteen or so years. One day, the princess discovers an old woman working on a spinning wheel in a garret right in the castle. The princess is asks to try.

Of course she pricks her hand. Instant slumber. The youngest fairy puts the rest of the court to sleep as well. A huge forest instantly springs up around the castle to protect them.

Flash forward a hundred years. A young prince sees castle spires peeking up above the forest. He cuts through the underbrush, discovering the sleeping princess inside the castle. She awakens, gets one look at the prince, and declares that he’s the man she has been dreaming about for the past hundred years. He can’t help noticing that she’s decked out in some kind of Total Vintage Collection and that her court musicians seem perpetually stuck golden oldies hour. Still, they talk for hours, fall in love, and get married on the spot.

But the prince doesn’t bring Sleeping Beauty back home to meet the folks. He hides his marriage from his parents, spending the next two years running back and forth between the two castles, lying about his activitites like some high school sophomore who just discovered alcohol.

When his dad dies, the prince finally brings Sleeping Beauty -- and the two children they’ve now had -- home to meet his mother. Then he heads off to war, leaving the mom in charge.

Mom who happens to be half ogre, decides to eat Sleeping Beauty and the kids. The cook hides the family, serving Mom delicious woodland creatures instead. When Mom discovers the switch, she decides to throw everyone into a huge pot of famished vipers and sauté them all for supper.

Just then, the prince returns. Caught in the act trying to fry his family (and the best cook they’ve had in years), Mom flings herself into the pot instead. Sleeping Beauty and the prince live happily, through psychologically scarred, ever after.

---------------------

The version of “Sleeping Beauty” complete with the ogre mother was recorded by Charles Perrault. The Sleeping Beauty story is believed to date back at least to the fourteenth century.

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Sleeping Beauty

The savvy Dater Reader

The king and the queen say they thought the evil fairy was dead because they hadn’t heard from her in fifty years. But the phone (or carrier pigeon or fleet-footed messenger boy) works both ways. They knew she lacked social savvy; they could have called her. By only including the hipper, more pleasant fairies in their lives, they let a difficult relationship devolve into disaster.

Through the king spared no expense trying to save Sleeping Beauty -- issuing a recall on wooden spindles, putting hundreds of wood carvers out of work and devastating the local textile trade -- he learned that no parent can keep his child cloistered forever.

Though Sleeping Beauty has been out of circulation for a hundred years, she wasn’t afraid to pursue a relationship once she woke up. True, her clothes were outdated, she knew none of the latest recordings artists, and she was completely oblivious to the political issues facing the kingdom. But she and the prince still found plenty to talk about and enough common ground for falling in love.

Even though he was a husband and father, the prince acted like a child, hiding his wife from his parents and giving his mother, instead of his spouse, authority over his kingdom. His immaturity and misplaced priorities made him nearly lose his wife and children -- and did, ultimately, cause him to lose his mother.

Sleeping Beauty Relationship Rules, In Brief

· Reach out to family members -- even the annoying ones. Cutting communication not only alienates those who should be your closets allies, but also distances you from important parts of yourself.

· Your parents or friends can’t protect you from your own life experiences, even though they’ll try. Don’t criticize yourself for not learning from others’ mistakes.

· It seems like you’ve been single for one hundred years, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be single forever.

Have the courage to reenter the dating world, no matter how long you’ve been away. Essential ways of connecting with others don’t change.

Take responsibility for including your parents in your new relationship by finding new roles for them. Make your spouse your priority, but don’t pit him against your relatives.

------------------------

Fairy-tale Formula Rule 10:

Don’t give up on love,

even if it seems like you’ve been single for one hundred years. The length of time it takes is no reflection on your worth or appeal.

----------------------

He does not wait too long who waits for something good -- Queen Christina Of Sweden To Prince Karl Gustav, In The Seventeenth Century

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