Monday, February 06, 2012

Cinderella, Snow White, and the Elves (Yes, Elves)

Way back when I worked full time, a coworker told me about a research paper she had written for a college class. I don’t remember the name of the class—something to do with child psychology, most likely. Her subject was fairy tales.

I’ll call my coworker “Susan,” although that wasn’t her real name. Susan interviewed several women while researching her project. She asked each woman what her favorite fairy tale was when she was five years old.

According to Susan, whatever your favorite childhood fairy tale was, that’s how you thought your life was going to turn out. In other words, if your favorite fairy tale was Cinderella or Snow White, your five-year-old self figured you’d grow up, meet a handsome prince, and live happily ever after.


Unlike my friends in kindergarten, I wasn’t impressed by Cinderella or Snow White. I liked the story about the elves and the shoemaker. I thought it was really neat that the elves helped out the tired shoemaker and his wife by making shoes while the couple got a decent night’s sleep.

I guess my preference meant that, when I grew up, I thought I would find someone to do my chores for me. Chores like cooking and cleaning for example.

As it turned out, that did happen. Sort of. Other Half retired many years before I did. So, while I worked full time, he did most of the housework.

But no longer. Now that I’m retired from full-time work, Other Half figures that he’s retired from doing just about anything around the house.

So I do it all now. And I’ve accepted that. But I’m also beginning to suspect that the shoemaker took advantage of the elves.

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