NORMAN — Children and well-seasoned folks tend to have a straightforward outlook on life. In other words, to them everything is either black or white, with no gray in sight.
On the other hand, somewhere after departing the innocence of childhood and the rush toward adulthood, the gray area is born. We may think embracing said gray area makes life better because we are free to do whatever we want, but in the process magic is lost.
The gray area is actually a great and self-inflicted burden we bear because we lost our innocence. We gave up the hopes and dreams of childhood for Reality. Suddenly, everything becomes complicated. This may explain the frequent answer given when our behavior is questioned and we answer “It’s complicated.”
Being human is complicated. Living our lives can be complicated. So, why add another load to the pile on our backs?
Fairy tales and all things magical are one of the great joys of childhood. The stories are filled with knights in shining armor, dragons, witches, good and evil, and yet the fairy tales are uncomplicated. When the stories run their course, they end with “and they lived happily ever after.”
Let’s look at one tale with our feet firmly planted in the “gray area.”
Snow White has a major teenage dust-up with the stepmother, also known as the drama queen with the talking mirror. Consequently, the queen wants to rip her heart out, literally. Snow White talks the huntsman charged with removing said heart to let her go. She ends up living a bucolic life with seven antisocial, grubby guys in their messy bachelor pad. Life is good. She cleans up the place, cooks and keeps house, and teaches the diminutive dudes the finer points of personal hygiene.
The witch finds Snow White and gives her a poisoned apple which the trusting girl promptly tastes. The dwarves find Snow White and believe she is dead. They put her in a glass coffin. Then a handsome prince comes along, falls in love with her and just has to kiss her. Snow White coughs up the apple “and they live happily ever after.”