ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The How of Happily Ever After

Updated on November 7, 2011

The How of Happily Ever After

At the end of all of those stories comes the “happily ever after”

We spend our lives searching for the sequel

Going through the dark woods and thorny gardens in search of the answer to how

Because they never tell you that part

Details abound in every line of every fairy tale and nursery rhyme

The shine of the gossamer threads of the princess’s dress is bright

The exact shiny red color of the poison apple seems real enough to draw our lips in

We know the number of breadcrumbs in the forest that were desperately left as a trail

We can understand each step of how to get to the end of the story

But when we get there, all we find is the single, vague line

“And they lived happily ever after”

But how?

What they don’t tell you is how every character that you learned to love

Must spend the rest of life achingly figuring out

What it means to live happily ever after

They don’t tell you that Cinderella constantly battles a seething anger

Which inexplicably arises every time that her prince fails to pick up the slack

Of household chores

Or pick up the babies that never seem to stop crying

She struggles to compare this life to the old days slaving away for her stepmother

And she knows that it is better now

But she is angry anyway and she doesn’t know what to do with that

They don’t tell you that Snow White ages and insecurities abound

She’s not the fairest in the land anymore and she knows that’s the cycle of life

But she can’t help hating the crows’ feet around her eyes

And sometimes she sips her coffee and looks at the list of names in her cell phone

And she wonders if there is something wrong with her

Since she can only make friends with dwarves and animals

She wants to feel beautiful again

Or at least to experience the drama of witches and kisses

But she doesn’t quite know how to do that in her happily ever after

So she rinses out her coffee cup and continues with her day

Little boy blue still falls asleep on the job

Little Miss Muffet hasn’t stopped being afraid of spiders

Hansel and Gretel have incestuous fantasies because of the horror that once bound them

The three little pigs are still trying to rebuild their homes

And the truth is that the two are rather angry that they lost things

And their brother didn’t

Little Red Riding Hood can’t stand the sight of picnic baskets

Rapunzel gets a panic attack every time that she has to go to a salon to get her hair cut

The London Bridge keeps falling down

And Jill picked herself up off of the bottom of that hill

But she never quite got over the fact that Jack left her there

And she still doesn’t quite trust men

The truth is that they’re all doing a lot better than they were doing before

They struggled through their difficult circumstances and they prevailed

There is even happiness sometimes

But what they don’t tell you is that

Happily ever after

Is hard work

After the initial excitement of being rescued is over and safety has taken its place

The fears and traumas set in

Co-dependency and rescue fantasies and addictions are inevitable

Imbalances of power in relationships, insecurities in the mirror

Sometimes Sleeping Beauty gets so tired of trying to live happily ever after

That she just wants to get back into that bed and go to sleep

But they get up and go on

Figuring out each day how to move through the past

How to live in the present

And what it means to be

happily ever after


Submit a Comment

  • khae_g profile image


    7 years ago from Vienna, Austria

    this is mixed up fantasy with reality! my psychology teacher once said that there is a reason why a fairy tale always ends up with a happy ending and it's simply because those little kids should always think that everything will always be ok. Children create positive thinking with this 'happily ever after' and they won't live in fear and worries. Adults on the other hand have found out that there is no constant happYness ever after...

  • Venus Cow profile image

    Shirley Yanez 

    7 years ago from UK

    Love this. The truth may not be so pretty but totally addictive and vital if we want to be happy for real.

  • PiaC profile image


    7 years ago from Oakland, CA

    This is lovely Kathryn! I'd never considered looking at the fairy tale characters and wondering how they aged!

  • allthingstasty profile image


    7 years ago

    good article. movies and stories tend to make them seem so happy and most likely they dont tell the hardships or struggles . Like romantic comedies. No guy is going to do the stuff you see in some of them . they get our hopes up.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)