“Some day my prince will come.”
“I need a knight in shining armour to come and rescue me.”
“Where is my Prince Charming?”
These are familiar comments and they all arise as a consequence of the myth that has been created and perpetuated. It is well established that my kind and me create an illusion (read Power of Illusion on this blog for more) . Have you considered the fact that we are just giving you what you expect? We are saying what you want to hear, doing what you want to see and complying with a pre-conceived notion of how relationships ought to be? How has this idea been formulated? Who created the concept of the happy ever after? Was it the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen through the fairy tales that they wrote or were they just recording something which had existed orally for centuries before as they added a new gloss to the fairy tale? Maybe we should blame Hollywood for its depiction of how love conquers all and the hero saves the day by dashing to aid the stereotypical damsel in distress. The number of films in which that happens is numerous. Richard Gere appears in his limousine to woo Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, in Love Actually, Hugh Grant goes door to door in search of the tea lady Martine McCutcheon and in The Matrix Trilogy even the kick-ass feisty Trinity is masterfully caught by Neo to prevent her falling. In Rear Window,James Stewart rescues Grace Kelly, in the unusual Wild At Heart, Nicholas Cage (playing Nicholas Cage) comes to the assistance of Laura Dern at a metal gig and who can forget Shrek where an ogre goes hell for leather to beat Prince Charming of all people and gain the hand of Princess Fiona. I am sure you can think of many more examples. There are thousands of instances of this stylised concept of romance and love. Certain films dedicate the entirety of the production to it. Others have a different subject matter but still the concept remains. Luke Skywalker went to rescue the Princess trapped in the Death Star. Clint Eastwood helped the young lady in Pale Rider and she fell in love with him although he left her (was that a cowboy discard perhaps?) and even uber narcissist James Bond gives the Bond Girl her slice of heaven for a few screen minutes. Everywhere you look the idea of romance and the knight in shining armour is reinforced. Pop songs, advertisements (once upon a time a man would go to great lengths just to deliver a box of chocolates to his paramour in the Milk Tray ad) , greetings cards, magazines, newspapers, sitcoms, novels and so on and so forth. The airbrushed, photoshopped, sweeping soundtracked and every sense heightened message is driven at you each and every day. There is a dashing hero (or heroine) out there who will save you and treat you like a princess (or prince).
This is the message that is all around you. This is what you have been raised to expect. Someone will save the day and sweep you off your feet. Everything is going to be alright. You will have your happy ever after. It is hardly surprising that you have bought into this master illusion. Who would not? It is all pervading and virtually impossible to resist. It appeals to that deep-seated desire to be cared for and protected and this is done by maintaining a myth that someone should arrive on a white charger, armour gleaming to pull you from the clutches of the evil troll or moustachioed villain.
“I need a hero” sang Bonnie Tyler and then she laid down the criteria required for said hero to attain. I do not recall her mentioning a steady income, being handy with a paintbrush and making a nice cup of tea. Instead she, along with countless others, generate an ideal and you bought into it. You want the fairy tale. I understand it. Why would you not when all around you, you are being told that this is the way it should be. Who would not want that sensation of being swept off their feet, romanced and made to feel wonderful. And who says we do not provide it? There is no denying that when our kind come along we invariably pick you up in a marvellous whirlwind of love, attention and affection as we suck you into an illusion. Where does the fault lie? Is it us that are to blame for creating this construct to draw you in? Is it your fault for falling for the myth and casting common sense aside for wanting the unattainable? Or does the blame lie elsewhere? Is it those that created and not maintain this illusion? If it is those in this latter category that have created this monster that you believe in and we merely comply with, then the question becomes this. Who are they? Are they your kind or our kind?