Saturday, January 1, 2011

Shrek for the Holidays

New Year’s Eve we watched Shrek again, with crab and steak for dinner and 2011 in front of us like a bright shining experience waiting to happen.

I was 12 when I first discovered Shrek. Suddenly the world had possibilities – even if I looked like an ogre I could be happy!

That was my first lie of 2011. I’m obviously much too old to have seen Shrek when I was 12. I like to get the obvious lies out of the way early in the year so I can sneak in the less obvious ones later.

My love for Shrek isn’t just because it’s Eddy Murphy’s best work EVER, though one can never have too much of an annoying talking donkey who goes by the name of Donkey.  No, it’s more than that. And it’s not just Shrek’s rejection of a world that rejected him first, just because he’s an ogre, though I do identify with it. Not that I’m an ogre or anything, but it is easy to write off a world filled with cruelty by retaliating and closing one’s self off.

Not that I would know, mind you, except for that short ten year period we’re not to speak of.

Mostly my love for Shrek is because the upkeep for being an ogre is so much easier than the upkeep for being, say, a princess. If one’s a princess, one must always look princess-like, which includes much grooming, hours and hours at the salon every week, utmost care not to chip one’s polish, a clear complexion, form fitting princess dresses which require a tight corset, and a perpetually cheerful disposition. One is not supposed to be both a bitch and a princess, unless one is playing the part of the antagonist, and there are few instances of evil princesses. Princesses are pure and sweet until they become queens, at which time they’re allowed to become a bitch. It’s a clear progression, and rules must be followed.

But being an ogre! Now there’s something I can get behind. Once an ogre, always an ogre, unlike princesses, who are supposed to upgrade to queens. Perpetual princesses are not highly regarded, are they? Ogres, on the other hand, aren’t supposed to be lithe, nor are they supposed to be well groomed. In fact, I’m pretty sure grooming is entirely optional. The preferred color is green, and the preferred disposition is ogre-like. Now there’s something I can get behind. After all, who has time to be a princess? It’s a lot of work, much more work than being an ogre.

And with Shrek, my suspicion that one can look like an ogre and STILL be happy is confirmed. It is especially helpful if one is to marry an ogre. Not that I married an ogre, heavens no. I lucked out. But as someone who once considered herself much like an ogre (e.g., unsociable, unattractive, lived in a swamp, yada yada yada), I feel validated!

Don’t we all want validation?

And better yet, validation without the upkeep! Ogres don’t even have to wear stilettos! No one expects much of ogres. Ogres just are. If I have a bad hair day, it’s completely okay. As an ogre, I’m lucky to have hair at all. But if I’m a princess and have a bad hair day, well, that could ruin the numerous photo ops I have throughout the day, couldn’t it?

Ogres don’t have photo ops, which is yet another thing to be thankful for, if one is an ogre.

On the Ogre – Princess range most of us fall somewhere in the middle. I’m okay with that. Green isn’t my best color, for one thing. I don’t particularly enjoy swamps.

But I can certainly get behind the concept.

Shrek makes me happy, even while it confirms my theory that if people would just talk about things with other people we could avoid a whole lot of misunderstandings. But without those sorts of misunderstandings, movies would be a lot shorter, so I suppose it serves a purpose. Besides, I do like a movie I can sing along with.

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