abc family is currently having a “cinderella sunday” and they’re showing “a cinderella story” and “another cinderella story.” it makes on wonder about the longevity of such a story. i mean, really, how many stories follow the same plot line? so many cultures have an original cinderella type story. the oldest known version dates back to 1st century BC greco-egyptian girl rhodopis, though many claim even she had her roots with the 6th author aesop. since then she’s appeared as a fish-befriending servant in both chinese and philippian stories, had several variations in Scheherazade’s arabian nights, and appeared in stories in japan, korea and several european countries. the fairy-godmother, pumpkin, etc that we so love today evolved from the french tale, an adaptation of the earliest european example coming out of italy.

so this means the story has been being reborn over and over for 22-27 centuries. they say that there ARE no original stories left, that all stories are just retellings, combinations, adaptations, etc. but with the cinderella story there is no masking. cinderella stories are clearly cinderella stories. from books to movies to songs to about every culturally artistic medium, the general story of an oppressed girl making the most of her situation and making good in the end has survived cultural barriers and generational barriers to become one of the most well-known story archetypes of all times.

so what is it that makes this story so appealing?  even in a culture and time when young girls are cautioned about the dangers of believing in fairy tales and the impossibilities of prince charmings and “happy ever after”, the general themes behind the story remain attractive to just about anyone with a heartbeat.

i have a confession.  i can be a rather cynical person sometimes.  case and point?  I can be pretty snarky about the plethora of “christian” self-help books available (though not as much as some are).  one of the common themes in a lot of women’s topics is the idea that we’re all princesses, daughters of a king, and waiting for our true prince in the form of Jesus.

i wonder if one of the reasons that we cling to the promises of cinderella’s story, though, isn’t our internal need to feel like we do belong to something great, that we are destined for something great, and somehow this… this life… that we’re in now is just a waiting period. a time when we’re slaves to our bodies and the distractions of this world.  but that leads to emptiness and dispare because it’s not who we were created to be.  and we can have our “ball moments” of happiness, where life seems to go our way and we’re the “belle of the ball” but the glass slipper will always fall and we’ll always be waiting for our next ball until we’ve finally reached the presence of our father and our prince.

but one of the characteristics that i love about a lot of the cinderella stories is cinderella’s overall demeanor and the fact that the character always seems to have a few down-and-out true blue friends to rely upon during the best and worst of times.

which, i think, says a lot about how we should be as we’re going through this life we weren’t made for.  to have such a obedient servant’s nature and to cling to community as the support to get through the day; to be the oppressed, but never the depressed one in the story; to be the strong character, not the complainer; to remain optimistic when surrounded by pessimistic people, especially those who complain when they’re the ones who have the least to complain about.

maybe, it’s not such a bad thing to encourage children to emulate such an attitude: perseverance in oppression; remaining positive in negative situations; and finding joy and hope in seemingly hopeless situations?  I don’t think cinderella is really the negative role model women’s lib. has tried to create her to be.

and i can definitely see why the story has had such staying power for so long.


’08 in Review

My friend Chris did a year end review that I liked, so ht to him 🙂

(probably going to take much longer for me to type mine, however, as I still only have 2 usable fingers (and a thumb) on one hand… going for an MRI in an hour…)

  1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
    -hmmm… rode in an ambulance
  2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    – nope… don’t really do them… I figure if I want to change something, why wait for only once a year 
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    – Lots of people in the last few months: Jessie and Eddie, LeVeque’s, Miller’s,
  4. Did anyone close to you die?
    -for once this year, no 
  5. What countries did you visit?
    – none
  6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
    – a job i love 
  7. What date(s) from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    – August 15th… johnna’s surgery; August 26th… 1st date w/ Donnie
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    – lol…not going insane
  9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    – almost made it… fell down stairs at work and messed up some fingers… still waiting for tsts to determine how bad and if it’s perm. 
  10. What was the best thing you bought?
    – I don’t think this counts as an actual purchase, but my new apt… I love it…
  11. Whose behavior merited celebration?
    – Johnna’s surgery going well
  12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    – Sometimes my own; management at ISPFCU 
  13. Where did most of your money go?
    – Supporting family through johnna’s cancer
  14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    – donnie
  15. What song will always remind you of 2008?
    – ???
  16. Compared to this time last year, are you:
    Wiser? – someways, yes… others, prob. not
    Healthier? – someways, yes… others, prob. not
    Richer? – In pretty much every way that counts, yes. being jobless, not monetarily 
  17. What do you wish you’d done more of?
    – saved
  18. What do you wish you’d done less of?
    – made decisions for the short term 
  19.  How did you spend Christmas?
    – christmas with family and donnie
  20. Did you fall in love in 2008?
    – yes
  21. What was your favorite blog post that you wrote?
    – oh, thsat requires too much reflection 
  22. What were your favorite TV programs?
    – office, lost, secret life of the american teenager, bones, prision break 
  23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    – Umm…I can’t think of anyone I’ve ever said I hate. 
  24. What was the best book you read?
    – breaking dawn
  25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
    – i bet bethany could answer this, but I can’t… though I did fall in love with ben fold’s effington.
  26. What did you want and get?
    – my own place that I had a chance to help pick out and furnish, decorate, etc.
  27. What did you want and not get?
    – a new job
  28. What was your favorite film of this year?
    – twilight… not a great film, but i still love the story 
  29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    – I turned 28 in october.  donnie and i went to a movie 
  30. Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?
    – The biggest story was certainly Obama.  There is a lot to like about him.  Certainly some uncertainly but I hope for great things for our first African-American president.  (this was chris’ answer and i agree)
  31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
    – lol/// black pants and ispfcu tops…
  32. What kept you sane?
    – ew, boys 
  33. Who did you miss?
    – ew
  34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
    – I’m still learning i think…
  35. What did you gain this year?
    – perspective
  36. What did you lose this year?
    – another roommate to marriage
  37. Who was the best new person you met?
    – donnie
  38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
    – yeah, takes too much thought…