My Disney Fairy Tale
When we see someone of the opposite sex, we often try to determine whether we are attracted to them or not. If they attract us, we usually ask ourselves whether they could find us attractive. At this point, people who are confident in themselves go talk to the attractive man or woman and find out. Some of us, though, automatically skip to thoughts like, "They couldn't possibly be interested in me" or the worst: "They are way out of my league". This short, simple statement seems insignificant; people say it all the time but "They are way out of my league" is actually a very dangerous expression. Maybe people think like this because they have a fear of being rejected but rejection is a part of life. The sooner one gets used to it, the less important and frightening it becomes. People should take a second look at themselves and determine their own worth because if they continue to think they are unworthy of someone, they will miss wonderful opportunities and will always be left wondering, "What if?"
I was guilty of thinking this way. When I was very young, I never looked like Belle, like the perfect Disney princesses I saw in movies. I grew up as the girl in hand-me-down boy clothes and I would pick the toy car or ball over the Barbie and makeup. As I grew older, I used to settle for less-than-average. I hung out with people who were not exactly good examples and though I did not participate in their usual activities, I was still associated with them. I wanted to have better friends, but I thought the "friends" I had were the only kind of people who would accept me. I dated guys who were not even close to good people. Some were high-school dropouts, some did drugs or smoked, and some wanted the "one thing that men want" a little too much. All of them had three things in common: They were jerks, they treated me like dirt, and they left me thinking it was my fault and they deserved better. Obviously, with every jerk came the thought of being worth less and less. It never occurred to me that I could be with someone better. Every single time I came across someone better, I would think, "He is way out of my league and it's not even worth trying" and I would settle for much less. But one day at work, everything changed.
My days at work were all very much the same. I worked at an arcade, selling prizes for tickets, operating rides, and occasionally getting a jammed game card out of a machine. I paid little to no attention to the hundreds of faces I saw every day, even if I spent hours helping them choose a prize worth twenty little points. Every day I dealt with the same kind of people, to the point where I could predict what they needed as soon as they approached me. You get it; every day, every person, everything that happened was always the same. Within all those boring, monotonous days, there was a day that I later found out would change my world. I went through my shift at work as usual, but I did notice one thing: there were a lot of people crowded around Deal or No Deal. This is a game that many people try, but the jackpot worth 2,000 points is nearly impossible to get, so it was unusual for me to see a crowd around it. Later that night, I was working in the prize room and had a large crowd of loud, impatient people who expected me to remember exactly how many points each of them had. All I wanted was for them to get their stuff and leave.
Someone pushed a stack of Deal or No Deal receipts towards me on the counter and asked if they could get them saved on their card for later. I took them and looked at the first one to begin adding them up and I was surprised to find the number 2,000 on it. "He must have gotten lucky," I thought, but then I skimmed through the other eleven receipts. They all had the same number on them, which meant this person had 24,000 points. At that moment, I glanced up to actually see who had gotten this ridiculous score.
His eyes were an odd combination of green and blue. I stared at him like an idiot, probably with my mouth open in confusion and wonder, until I snapped out of it. I consulted my manager, put the points on his card and treated him like any other customer: thanked him for coming and told him to have a good night.
Immediately after he left, I thought, "Why didn't you talk to him?" But then I fell back into routine and answered my own question with, "Because he would never be interested in me." I saw him a few times after that but I always held back. Once when he came around, he bought all the cool stuff in our store with his enormous number of points and I jokingly suggested that he buy our giant seven-thousand-point Mickey Mouse for me. He said he would do it and left; I thought, "No he won't; no one would do that just for a stranger, especially me."
A few weeks later, I had almost forgotten about "Mr. Deal or No Deal" as we employees called him since we didn't know his real name. A few days before my birthday, I decided to dust off the tops of the games. I noticed him playing and sneaked to the game next to him. I pretended to clean it just so I could watch him play and try to figure out how on earth he won the jackpot every single time. Maybe the real reason I was there was to get him to notice my existence, but being a typical boy with a videogame in front of him, this was just not gonna happen. I decided to make "small talk."
"Hi, I didn't think you were coming back." I said.
"I actually wasn't going to, but I came with a friend," he replied.
"Well, I'm glad you're here, I'll get the book ready for when you go into the store."
"I don't plan on buying anything today; I only have enough points for one thing. How is the job going?"
"Great. I have to work on my birthday, though, so that's annoying."
"That sucks, you shouldn't have to work on your birthday. Is it today?"
"No, it's on the fourth, on Thursday."
He looked like he was going to say something else but I interrupted by telling him I needed to get back to work before I got attacked by raging, angry customers. I could feel my cheeks starting to blush and I needed to get out of there fast. I couldn't let him know I liked him because, of course, he could never take interest in me.
Later that day, I walked into our store and noticed something different on the wall. There was a three-foot-tall gaping hole where our colossal Mickey Mouse used to be. I gasped and exclaimed, "Someone bought the Mickey! No! I wanted it!" I didn't notice the guy was still in the store; he chuckled and told me that he had bought it and that a fellow employee had hidden it under the counter so I could get it at the end of the day. Mickey was mine and I was at a loss for words. I asked him what I owed him in return but he just said, "Happy birthday" and smiled. I reminded myself once again that he was too good looking, generous, and kind to be interested in me and let him walk out the door.
I sighed as I watched him walk away and turned around to face the back wall of the store. There was a mirror there, right in front of me, begging for me to look at my own reflection. I took a hard look at myself and started thinking. As I stood there convincing myself that he would never be attracted to me. I actually said to myself, "Why the hell not?" I started to think critically about myself and realized that I had no real reason for thinking I was somehow unworthy. Maybe I'm not the most dazzling person in the world, but I consider myself attractive. I think I have nice features like my eyes, hair, and smile; perhaps others think they're nice too. I have a good personality; I'm cheerful, caring, loyal, and very forgiving. I have experience, though not all good. I made many mistakes in the past, but as an old wise monkey named Rafiki once said, "The past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it." Once I decided to follow the Disney character's words, I instantly regretted not asking him even what his name was so I could have some way of contacting him. I thought about looking him up on Facebook or something but I doubted his name would come up as "Deal or No Deal" so I gave up on that idea. Then it dawned on me that in order for someone to buy a big prize, like the giant Mickey, they would have to write their name and number in our record book. My reflection smiled at me in the mirror. We're not actually allowed to use the numbers written in there because of customer privacy, so I waited until the manager was in the back office to break that one rule. I looked in the book for the item "Giant Mickey" and found his name and number next to it. As I gathered the courage to at least text him, I did not allow myself to think the poisonous thoughts of being unworthy and I focused more on what I wanted to say to him.
Thanks to this complete change of mind, I now feel like a completely different person. After "stealing" his number, I finally had the guts to at least text him. I told him I hoped it wasn't too creepy for me to text him but I wanted to thank him again. From that day on, we talked to each other every day from the moment we were awake to the moment I sent him something illegible because I was half asleep. We went out a few times and he finally asked me to be his girlfriend. We've only dated for a little over a month, but it feels like it has been years since the day I changed my mind. I finally got the happily-ever-after that the princess gets in Disney movies; I got my Prince Charming.
I alone needed to figure it out, though according to Mr. Deal or No Deal, I'm worth much more than I thought I was: at least worth 7,000 points. Although every time someone told me I was beautiful I used to automatically think, "They're just saying that, they're lying", that has also changed. Mr. Deal or No Deal says it all the time, except now I hear the truth in his voice and see it in his eyes. From my decision, I realized that the only person who should determine my worth is myself and not some cosmic scale of society. For all those out there who have told themselves that someone was out of their league or couldn't possibly be attracted to them, I implore you to think about yourself. Look in the mirror and think about just how much you're worth, no matter what anyone has said in the past. When you have doubts about whether someone could take interest in you, ask yourself, "Why not?"