I loved Disney movies growing up (who didn’t?), but I think I’m having even more fun as a 27 year old watching the classics, looking at everything through a deeper, more mature lens. One of the Disney movies that I recently saw with my sister-in-law was Sleeping Beauty, a movie that definitely was not one of my favorites as a child. I didn’t watch it as much as the other ones, like Little Mermaid or Aladdin, but I remember liking the fairies and thinking they were cute. Seeing it again 12 years later, I had no idea that I would see things so differently. First, I always thought of it as a story about Sleeping Beauty, or Aurora, since A) that’s the title of the movie, and B) most Disney movies are about the princess. But this movie is actually all about Prince Phillip and what he must do to find true love. I believe there are some pretty obvious religious undertones and that Phillip could easily represent us in the struggles of the Christian walk, battling the devil with the help of three fairies (or the trinity), but I decided to look at it through a slightly different angle. Here are 5 ways men can learn how to find true love through Phillip’s character.
Rick Astley is never going to give up on me, so why should I give up on him? Even from the early age of seven, I knew that this voice was sexy. Probably didn’t really know what sexy meant, but whatever it was, it had to include Rick. Maybe this sexiness is even more amplified since it came from the whitest white boy you could imagine…who had red hair… and freckles. This deep, sensual voice came from this guy? Sure did. To this day, whenever his music comes on in a CVS pharmacy, I have to stop what I’m doing and sing along “And don’t you know I would move heaven an earth to be TOGETHER FOREVER with you?!”
Yes, I know the Matrix came out like 10+ years ago, but for some reason my brain remembered that scene in the movie where Morpheus is teaching Neo how to “free his mind” and if he can accomplish this, he should be able to jump/fly 500 feet to the next building. This jump, in my opinion, is the perfect allegory for life. Here are the 3 things we can learn:
1) You have to take that first leap. That other building is your goal. Your hopes and dreams. You can stay on the current building that you’re on and not go anywhere. That’s your choice. It’s safe. It’s comfortable, and life is A-Ok. But you know that if you can somehow jump and make it to the other building, your life would be what it was supposed to be and you would feel the way you were meant to, alive. No parents are there to push you off the nest this time. This is your decision. You have to be willing to take the plunge.
Happy National Kiss Day!
I have always been a fan of kisses, ever since I was a little girl. My first kiss was me chasing a boy named Danny around the playground, grabbing him and smacking one hard on his lips or cheek, I can’t remember (I was five). I think he ran away crying. As I continued to grow older and read all my cheesy Christian romance novels, my love for kissing grew stronger, because in Christian books, that’s the climax of the story. That’s the moment you read for. When you get to THE kiss, you were like YES THEY FINALLY KISSED. You know, come to think of it, I would prefer to see one great kiss filled with passion and emotion with an amazing story behind it rather than two people randomly having sex in a movie. There’s just something about a really good kiss. Here is a list of my top 5 favorite movie kiss scenes:
- Mask of Zorro – Antonio and Catherine
I grew up watching Zorro, so I was pretty excited for the movie (starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones) to come out in theaters in 1998. I was not disappointed. Why I love this kiss: There is already some good ST being built by this time (sexual tension). You believe that these two characters are intrigued by each other and want to know each other, in the Biblical sense. They flirted, they danced, and now, they must sword fight. Naturally pieces of clothing come off. Zorro taunts her with small kisses here and there, and then comes the big finale. When he has beaten her in swordplay and she is pretty much exposed, he gives her a deep, passionate kiss. This is really the best scene in the movie:
If you know me, you know that I love stories. I love watching it in movies, reading about them in great books, and writing my own. I grew up writing stories and reading tons of books, really thinking that one day some epic adventure and romance would happen to me. I don’t really know the specifics of exactly how this would take place, I just knew it would happen and it would be awesome. Maybe one day I would be kidnapped and one of my captors would secretly be working for the CIA and risked his cover so that he could keep me safe. Naturally, he would be drop dead gorgeous and end up falling madly in love with me. There would be some obstacles in the way, of course, and we would be in lots of danger, but the injuries would be mild and everything would work out perfectly in the end.
When my mom told me that she met my dad in college, I remember thinking, college? Boooooring! That won’t happen to me. No, I will probably be out camping one day and sprain my ankle, some attractive man will save me and carry me for miles (without struggling), then we would have to spend the next week or so fighting mountain lions and bears, encounter a secret forest gang, and jump off into a waterfall. Gorgeous man and I will probably not like each other at first, might banter with each other a bit, then eventually, through all our adventures, we would begin to fall in love. And where did this all come from? This kind of plot could be seen in pretty much every Christian romance novel I read as a kid. Books are to blame for my fantasies! And Disney movies! Why do we encourage reading so much? Look what it does to you! Especially for women. It makes you think that it is completely possible for you to live out this epic romance. Maybe not all women think that. I probably knew in the back of my head that this was probably never going to happen, but I think the desire for it never went away. I don’t think any woman stops wanting to be swept off their feet and involved in some kind of adventure where your heart feels like its going to explode, but in a good I’M ALIVE kind of way. I met my husband in college. No, he didn’t have to challenge another man to a duel to date me (unfortunately). He pretty much won me over, we dated and blah blah blah. Where is my story? God, knowing how I am a huge fan of stories, why couldn’t he give me this desire? He could have made it happen. Now, I don’t want to seem ungrateful for all the blessings He did give me. I am very grateful for my husband and feel very blessed that we are together. I just wish it could have been done in a more…Natalie type way. You know? If you read my fairy tale version of how Alexander and I met, you will see the typical Disney-like story all of us girls secretly crave. Even if I didn’t get my perfect epic romance adventure of a lifetime story with Alexander, I believe that there is still hope for you (maybe not a crazy fantasy like mine, but maybe something close). Let’s see what we can learn about finding adventure in the great wide somewhere from one of my favorite Disney characters, Belle:
1) “Adventure” is not always transparent, and never easy. When Belle gave up her life to be imprisoned with a nasty-ass beast, I don’t think she knew this was going to be the adventure she had read in her books. All she could see was living in a castle with just one scary beast and creepy talking furniture. She gave up her life of going into town every day, feeding the chickens, and rejecting a handsome man everyday. And why? So her father wouldn’t have to live in a castle. She could have said no and let her old man die in there, but Belle had a kind and loving heart. She sacrificed her own comfort and life for her father, and was rewarded for it in the end. How many times have you said no to something because it required you to sacrifice some comfort? If we can learn anything from books and Disney movies, it’s that great epic romance never comes easy. You have to be willing to get your hands dirty, sacrifice some comfort, and see where it takes you.
2) Don’t settle. Belle could have lived a nice life with Gaston, sure. He could provide for her, hunt for her, give her some good-looking children. She would have everything she needed, but she would have to put up with his unbearable arrogance and conceit. Even though he was handsome and offered her everything that other women would have swooned over, Belle was like, “Screw that! I’m going to live with my Papa until the day I die rather than marry you!”
3) Your True Love May not be A Looker, at First. The Beast is ugly. Let’s just get that out of the way. Once Belle spent time with him and gave him a chance, she could see his true character. That might be the same for you. Your prince charming may not look like the guy you had dreamed about, but giving him a chance and seeing his great personality could transform him into the prince in the end,( i.e., he could become attractive to you.) Lucky for Belle, he actually did transform completely. You might not be so lucky.
I hope you keep these things in mind and hopefully one day, you can share with me the adventure you and your now spouse have shared. Although the story of how Xander and I met is boring, I’m not going to let that stop us from living a life with adventures. The books I read never prepared me for marriage. They actually always ended when you knew they were going to be together forever. And what did this subconsciously teach me? That once you get married, that’s it. Your life ends. The romance is done, the chase and excitement…done. Finito. Now all that’s left is living with each other every day and trying to make a living and keep your house clean. Well, I refuse. If I ever start craving that epic romance, I can A) always write about it in books, or B) actually try to live it out with my husband. But I need to take the same advice I just gave you. Adventure is never easy. You have to plan to go somewhere, save money and do it. Let us both keep these lessons from Belle in mind and see where the adventure might take us!
I can picture it now. My 8 year old self is sitting in the backseat of my mom’s 93 white Toyota Corolla (my older sister got to sit in front of course), and I am innocently muttering along to some song that my mom was listening to on either Kost 103.5 or Kbig 104.3. Unbeknownst to myself at the time, I was probably singing along to some of the dirtiest lyrics of the 90′s. And I don’t mean dirty as in, obviously dirty, with cussing and innuendos, but I mean subtlety dirty. In between Kenny G and Phil Collins, there were some songs that, on the surface seemed innocent enough, but once you really listen to them, you’re like “what the…that’s what she said?!” “Ew! That’s what he meant?” Only as I grew older did I realize how dirty/disturbing some of these songs are. In fact, I am shocked that my mom would even let us listen to these songs, let alone sing along to them. She was probably cracking up listening to us sing to these supposed innocent 90′s classics….either that or she wasn’t paying attention to the lyrics, or maybe didn’t understand them (English isn’t her first language.) Anywho, here is a list of the top four songs of shame I sang along to as a kid:
4) Breathe Again – Toni Braxton
Don’t you just love how dramatic those 90′s songs were? I love Toni Braxton. She had so many great songs that played on KOST that I sang along to, but just lately I realized how dramatic and horny she was in her songs. In her deep, sultry voice she would sing with a cracked voice,“If I never feel you in my arms again, if I never feel your tender kiss again, if I never hear I love you now and then, will I never make love to you once again, please understand, if love ends, then I promise you I promise you that, that I shall never breathe again, BREATHE again, BREATHE again, that I shall never breathe (BREATHE) again.” In case you missed it, she won’t ever breathe again. It is the end of her life. How is she supposed to breathe with no air, air? This is serious. Come on, really, Toni? You have an amazing voice, you are super attractive, will you really cease to breathe because some idiot guy left you? You have sold over 60 million records worldwide, just wipe your tears with some dollar bills. Man, I’m surprised that listening to these kind of songs didn’t make me super dependent on men. At least she came back with “Man enough for me” in 2000. She began to realize that girls singing about how dumb men were was becoming more popular than being a clingy, needy woman of the 90′s.
(Video Note: An unrecognizable Toni Braxton. Who decides, apparently, to set this music video as a Spanish soap opera, with long, crazy-ass sideburns, a confusing maze, a hot lover, and a naked Dove Commercial in the end.)
3)It’s all coming back to me now – Celine Dion
The song starts out innocent enough. There were those nights when it was so cold, days when the sun was just oh so cruel (damn you sun!) and she decided not to shed one more tear when her lover left. She also decided to banish all his memories, but in the next second, remembers when he touched her like this, and he touched her like that…and now it’s all coming back to her y’all. And then Celine just crosses the line. I can’t believe I belted this out as a kid– “there were nights of endless pleasure, it was more than any laws allow!” Ears are bleeding. Eyes are being scratched out. Can anyone really picture sweet little innocent Celine getting it on with a lover?? All I can picture her with is her 90 year old husband, and that sight just ain’t pretty. Glad none of these thoughts came to my mind as an eight year old. For all I knew, nights of endless pleasure meant them having long and fun nights of playing barbies and eating pizza.
(Video Note: I just had to share this with you guys, cause I was cracking up. It just goes to show you just how dramatic the 90′s were. I assumed that her lover left her cause he cheated or whatever, but no, in the video, HE DIES. By riding his motorcycle-scooter in the pouring rain, with thunder and lightning! And then Celine reminisces on those who so fun nights of pleasure, that apparently took place in a haunted mansion…and all she has left is her precious JC Penny photo frame.)
2) Queen of the Night – Whitney Houston
She’s got the stuff that you want, the thing that you need, she’s got more than enough to make you drop to your knees, cause she’s the queen of the night, the queen of the night, oh yeah, oh YEAH, OH YEEEAAHH. I loved Whitney Houston growing up. I probably listened to the Bodyguard soundtrack and danced to all those songs like 100 times, no joke. This song was one of my favorites to dance to. I had NO IDEA what this song was about until I was older and I think my sister was like uhh…you DO know what this song is about right? And I’m like, well she is the queen of the night….hmm queen of the night….ohhh…that queen of the night. So it wasn’t just this girl power song saying that she didn’t have a problem with who she was. She liked being bad and being loose, turning it up for YOU. I can just picture my mom sitting on the couch watching me dance, probably laughing inside when I sang how I just wanted to be loose and make you fall to your knees. Ahh good times.
(Video Note: There is none cause this video sucked!)
1) Into the Night – Benny Mardones
By far, this one is the winner in “most deceptive innocent song of the 90′s”. Seriously, WHAT THE EFF. Not only is it dirty, it is flippin disturbing. How deceived I was by the catchy chorus and great beat. (You were too admit it!). How could I sing along with a pedophile?? “She’s just 16 years old, leave her alone, they said….” They, as in the police?! Damn straight you better leave her alone. “But I want you to know, if I could fly, I’d pick you up, I’d take you into the night, and show you love like you’ve never seen, ever seen…” Ahh really, that’s how you feel Benny? Thanks for sharing your secret love to a 16 year old with the world. I really needed to know that if you could fly, (aka there were no laws against statutory rape,) you would take her into the night and show her love that she has never seen (gotta take advantage of the fact that she had no daddy to love her). I wonder how much crap he got about this song. Didn’t anyone notice what they were singing along to?? Were they all blind like I was to the awesome catchiness of the chorus? I can talk hate all I want on the lyrics of this song, but I’m not gonna lie, if that song came on right now, I would turn it up and sing at the top of my lungs,”BUT I WANT YOU TO KNOW!!….. damn song.
Video Note: There are no words. Ok there are a couple. If this song was ever “controversial” for not really being about what we really know it is about, the video clearly proves us right. It starts out with a 16 year old girl with her permed hair flying in the fans, looking all seductive in a dark basement with small concert lights for Benny to enjoy his fantasies (gag). More shots of random women here and there posing as if they were models…wouldn’t that be funny if that’s what they told those girls? “Hey ladies, you wanna model for us?! We can make you big! Here pose for us, yeah, that’s it! (hey Fred, make sure those cameras are rolling, this is going to be great for our new video!)….keep smiling girls!”