Yes, Virginia, Happily Ever Afters and Prince Charming do exist.
I have found out though, that the happy ending, in reality, is the happy beginning. My life is the perfect example. While I won't go in to all the details, suffice it to say that I have found my prince charming.
He is sweet, kind, funny, has a wicked sense of humor (I mean, really, he'd have to be in order to put up with me!) He's handsome, muscly, a phenomenal kisser, quite the romantic, honorable, would fight to his own death if he had to in order to protect me, loves me beyond all human comprehension, treats me like a queen, supports me in this roller coaster ride called writing, loves my children as if they were his own, and is just a really, really nice guy! I can tell by the way he looks at me that he loves me. He is a very talented carpenter who can fix just about anything. Did I mention he's handsome and has lots of really nice muscles? The list is endless.
So I found my little HEA (Happily Ever After) in real life. Kevin came into my life at a time when I thought, truly believed, that good guys were non-exisitant, Prince Charming only existed in fairy tales. Romance didn't happen in real life, it only happened in Harlequin Romance Novels. Romance, good guys, Prince Charmings, were as elusive as leprechauns and just as hard to find as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or a man who changes a diaper. They simply weren't real.
After my divorce, I swore by all that was Holy, truthful and right, that I would never, ever, ever, ever, not in a million years, get married again. Ever. Oh, I'd date and have fun, I'd go to dinner, I'd flirt, I'd enjoy being single after 19 years of marriage. No, I didn't sit on barstools in taverns waiting to be 'picked up' (Do they still use that term?)
Anyway, I'd sworn off marriage, believed romance was nonexistent, and was not-so-happily enjoying my life as a divorced mamma of three who worked full time and went to college full time. My life was crazy and I figured it would be no problem maintaining single status. I mean, really, who'd want to jump in to the craziness that surrounded my life? Who would want to step in and take on three kids that weren't his? No, we're not dysfunctional, just colorful. If you knew my family, that statement would make perfectly good sense! So single I would remain for all the rest of my life. Blissfully single.
Then he walked into my life. A curly headed, blonde, muscly -- not body builder muscles mind you, but real muscles developed over years of building really cool buildings and houses, walking up and down ladders carrying shingles on his back, or carrying two or three sheets of drywall at once -- man with a beard. Yes, my first thought of the beard was "does it scratch or tickle?" ;o) It tickles!
Honest as the day is long, even tempered, generous to a fault on so many different levels, kind, funny as hell, a sweet man who understands the importance of a mind-blowing, knee bending, earth shaking, tummy flipping kiss.
So yes, I do have my own version of Prince Charming.
And I've discovered that happily ever after is really a beginning. A beginning of a life that before I met my husband, I really didn't think existed. I'm going to save that for another time...the 'how I knew it was him' story. The 'why I fell in love with this guy' story.
Anyway...we've been married for seven wonderful years. We're still in the 'honeymooning' stage too! He's still quite the romantic -- which is yet another post for another time! He's still muscly, handsome, sweet and generous. I know you won't believe this, but it gets better every day, my life with Kevin. He's helped me raise my three children, he paid for my daughter's wedding, he's provided a home for my us, for my kids, he's been what a dad should be...again...stories for another time.
I think my husband knows the trick of being a great husband. He swept me off my feet before we were married. What makes him so amazing in my eyes is the fact that he never put away the broom. Its like he sweeps me off my feet every day. How goofy is that? ;o)
So yes, Prince Charming is real and he comes in varying shapes, sizes, and ages. Happily Ever Afters are -- or at least they should be -- happy beginnings. A beginning of a life where two people are respectful and kind to each other and they show each other every single day just how important the other person is. Its knowing that you can't imagine your life without him or her in it, and if you try to, even for a moment, it makes your heart seize, your stomach hurt, and big tears form in your eyes.
Its knowing you can trust the other person with anything. Its helping each other live a good life, full of laughter, silliness, and wonder. Its being able to laugh with each other, even when you feel like crying. Its knowing you've got each others backs. You just know these things.
No, he doesn't bring me flowers every Friday. And no he doesn't buy me expensive jewelry. But trust me when I say he gives the best gifts! Gifts that sometimes you just can't hold in your hand or wear around your neck. He gives gifts that stay in my heart and fill me with so much giddiness at times that I swear it's just beyond real, beyond goofy. ;o) But yes, happily ever afters are real. So is Prince Charming. So is love.