The Princess and the Frog is Disney’s animated adaptation of a fairy tale called The Frog Prince penned in the 1700s by the Brothers Grimm.
The Grimm’s tale is about a spoiled brat of a princess who is rewarded with true love for learning to keep her word. Modern versions of this fairy tale sport lonely “princesses at heart” who find their prince charming by kissing a frog claiming to be royalty under a spell.
Why has this meme survived down through the generations? Because it taps into the feminine longing for sweeping romance. And because a lot of men are… uh… toads. I think a lot of girls really believe that their love can transform toads into the men of their dreams. As the saying goes, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your handsome prince.”
Uh huh. But I like Superchik’s classic song “Princes and Frogs” better:
“All princes start as frogs, and all gentlemen as dogs. Just wait till its plain to see what we’re growing up to be. ‘Cause Some frogs will still be frogs. And Some dogs will still be dogs. Some boys could become men… just don’t kiss us ’til then.”
I used to be a frog. A toad, even. I’m different now, I think… you can ask Shauna, my wife.
But going into a relationship wishing on a star that you’ll be able to change your guy enough to break through into the relationship you really want… is a deadly mistake.
For one thing, only God can change a human heart.
Second, what if the change you need to see happen, doesn’t?
Third, the whole ‘prince charming’ deal is a con. Charming someone is slight of hand. “Hey girl, look here at my dreamy eyes so you don’t see what really matters about me.” But a couple months into a real relationship, charm doesn’t get you past the need for mouthwash.
For one thing, the charm was put on to “get” you. Now that he has you, the charm is no longer needed. It goes bye-bye, because charm is about control, and now he has it. I’m just saying.
Think about the motivational “Hey girl” Ryan Gosling memes that inundated the net a few months ago.
The underlying message is, if Ryan (prince charming) says it, then I’ll take it. It implies that when Ryan speaks, girls go to mush. It’s a surrender, a relinquishing of control. Admitting that you’d trade your soul for a moment with Mr. Bambi Eyes. Not good.
Now, it’s true that within each of us sleeps a long buried identity. Under the toad skin waits the true us, buried by layers of sin and lies and painful curveballs. It’s the us Jesus died to call out so we could live from our hearts instead of from our hurts.
And it’s also true that sacrificial love between a man and a woman can be used by God to help someone become all they’re called to be. I’m far more the man of God than I was twenty years ago because Shauna has helped God love me into it. Into myself.
But if a guy isn’t well on his way to shedding his toad skin to reveal the prince, ladies, he’s not ready for his princess.
If says he needs lotsa kissing to get there, he ain’t never gonna deliver the goods. As the Superchik song says later, “Look into his eyes… are you a princess or a fly?”
If so, move on.
I say, for the love of all that’s worth living, quit kissing toads. Far too many princesses set up kissing booths with toads lined up for miles, swarming and charming for their shot.
Yuck. Move on.
Ladies, you’re worth the wait.
And so are we.
The princes in training, I mean.