Or Are You Beautiful Because I Love You?

cinderellathrueyesoflove2Few things are more boring than having to listen to someone newly in love go on and on about the many ways their new soul mate is the most wonderful person to ever walk the earth.  Except, perhaps, having to listen to the same person catalog their former beloved’s endless list of unforgivable faults once they have fallen out of love.

I adored Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical version of Cinderella when I saw it on TV as a little girl.  I thought Lesley Ann Warren was the most gorgeous princess ever, and the music was just as lovely.   I especially remember a song that Cinderella and the Prince sang to one another, titled: “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” The refrain continued with a follow-up to the title line, “or are you beautiful because I love you?”

Good question.

The rest of the lyrics are:

“Am I making believe I see in you, a girl too lovely (man too perfect) to be really true?
Do I want you because you’re wonderful, or are you wonderful because I want you?
Are you the sweet invention of a lover’s dream, or are you really as wonderful as you seem?“

These are all reasonable questions, which, apparently, Cinderella and the Prince answered in the negative.   Nope – no new-love bias going on here.   We’re both perfectly, beautifully wonderful.

The King and Queen sing the same song to their son later in the play, trying to caution him to slow things down a bit.  Fat lot of good that did.  Twelve bongs of the clock and one glass slipper later, Cinderella and the Prince were headed for the altar.

We humans are funny. When in the heady, dizzying throes of new love, we have no room for reason, logic or reality. Our hearts rule our heads, and The Chosen One has nothing but wonderful qualities. These are magnified all out of proportion when filtered by the rose-colored glasses of love.

  • Reasonable intelligence is genius.
  • A decent sense of humor is rapier-like wit.
  • Passable good looks become fabulous beauty.

Later, when the bloom is off the rose, all of those person’s faults, real or imagined, assume gigantic proportions. We rip off our rose-colored glasses and put on shit-shades.

  • That little way she has of wrinkling her nose, so cute at first, becomes a tic so annoying she’s practically deformed.
  • His laid-back attitude toward life, so calming in the early years, is now more proof that he is an unmotivated slacker who will never get anywhere in this world.

This tendency to flip-flop perceptions is funny when viewed from outside the relationship.  When children are involved in the breakup, however, it has devastating results. People convince themselves, out of anger and hurt, that their ex is Satan incarnate.  Soon they genuinely believe it.  The person they once couldn’t live without, is now considered unfit to be in the same room with the children they created together.

Fractured and mix-and-match households are the new norm in society.   This makes it critically important for people to try to see their exes in a more realistic light.  They may not want to admit it, but for the sake of their kids they need to keep reminding themselves: their ex is the same person they once valued above all others, even if it didn’t work out between them.  They CHOSE him or her to be the father or mother of their children.

It’s always better for kids if parents concentrate on them after a breakup, instead of their love lives.   This is doubly true when a parent has shown they can’t be trusted to choose a mate wisely.   Someone who insists that their ex has absolutely no redeeming social value is also admitting to being a horrible judge of people.

Those we love are probably not truly as wonderful as they first seem, but neither are all of their good qualities merely the sweet invention of a lover’s dream. Reality is somewhere in the middle of these extremes, even after love has gone and the fairy tale ends.

NBC won’t allow replay of the original Cinderella TV show, the old meanies, but have a listen to the Broadway cast version.


About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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45 Responses to Or Are You Beautiful Because I Love You?

  1. Ea says:

    As a newly in-love person, I am constantly questioning why I think my love is so great? Because he truly is or because I love him so much it just comes off that way. It’s perception. Of course, in the end it doesn’t matter because I’m still in love. However, witnessing my parents marriage over the years, what you say about seeing their faults is true. Yet, I believe that somewhere inside we can’t truly believe these terrible thoughts to totally be true. Because at the end of the day, what does that say about us? We chose this person we now look to as satan, didn’t we? Love is such a funny thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. franhunne4u says:

    It’s all about hormones. When you are newly in love your veins are just flooded with love hormones.
    Or as we say here:
    At the beginning you are blinded by love. After marriage people learn to see again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your drawings are the best ever. Are you this funny in person? (Or is it just my imagination because I love your writing and I want you to be so funny?)

    “Do I think you’re so funny because I love your writing, or do I love your writing because I think you’re so funny?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      No, I’m really this funny in person. Just ask anyone.*

      *Anyone on the approved list of paid flunkies, which list will be provided upon receipt of a self-addressed, stamped envelope. And $1000.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Al says:

    Being the same wonderful, near- perfect guy my wife married 48 years ago, who lovingly forgives all her faults, I don’t really feel qualified to comment on this post.


  5. Elyse says:

    Oh I loved that movie! She was so beautiful and good with mice (which is what I would look for in a wife/princess were I looking).

    When the extra-ordinary becomes ordinary, we have to stop and look again for the “extra” — or a good attorney!


  6. Go Jules Go says:

    Do you think the same thing happens to our relationship with our blogs? My once beautiful and full-figured site is looking pretty emaciated these days. It’s not you, blog, it’s me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      Jules!! Squee! It’s been so long your comment went to comment-limbo and had to be approved. 😦 Hope you have been MIA from blogging because your life is so, damn wonderful you just don’t have extra time.


  7. susielindau says:

    We played tennis with friends who have been dating for SIX YEARS. They couldn’t keep their hands off each other. My son and his girlfriend of three years have more control.
    I stay away from crepe-hangers after a breakup…
    Are those smooches on the big guy or zits? Ha! Love the graphics. Miss the TV movie.


  8. I remember my mother telling me that in order for a marriage to work, the two people have to be friends first. Passion may fade with time, but respect and togetherness don’t. I’m glad I listened to her. My husband gets on my nerves with those annoying habits that I found so adorable 20 years ago, but he’s still my best friend and the one person I can always, always count on to be there when the chips are down. (BTW, I loved that movie, too!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Rogers and Hammerstein rule!


  10. Bernadette says:

    Oscar Hammerstein knew more about human nature than Freud AND could put it to music.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. weebluebirdie says:

    Twenty odd years down the line….there’s that way his teeth click together when he’s chewing; the way he breathes; his tight-fistedness which means he cuts his own hair – badly. Still at least he has a good head of hair and not much of a paunch 🙂


    • pegoleg says:

      That kind of stuff can wear you down like a trickle of a stream made the Grand Canyon, can’t it? I remind myself that there’s a teeny, tiny chance that I have some equally annoying habits. I highly doubt it, but I suppose it’s possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this post Peg, it made me smile and feel sad in equal measures. You can get to that point in a relationship where everything, even the way they brush their teeth, can annoy you. My friend was telling me recently about a friend of hers who was at that stage, and would phone her in tears saying things like “I can’t bear it, now he’s eating an apple!” The exacerbation of the good points in the early days, and the bad points at the end that you describe is so true, it’s whether you can settle and be happy in that middle space that counts. Oen thing that I think is important which is often overlooked is to keep that element of politeness that you have in the early days, ask nicely if you want something, thank them, don’t lose those courtesies just because you’re comfortable and familiar with each other – to feel taken for granted is very damaging in a relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      You make such an excellent point, VJ. I’ve often thought how easy it is to save our “company manners” for just company, and make no effort with the ones we’re supposed to love. And then I do it myself out of carelessness. Good reminder – thanks.


  13. k8edid says:

    In my own little corner, in my own little chair…I can be whatever I want to be…
    I loved that Cinderella. All my life I have envied beautiful women with great voices. Now I want to watch it again.

    In the workplace, as a rule, I try to avoid the newly engaged, the recently divorced and those pregnant ladies with bulging bellies. New grandmothers can also be a little annoying, but since I’m guilty of that myself, I tend to overlook that.


  14. I guess we start out wearing “rose colored glasses” when it comes to our beloved — whether that’s significant others or children. Then we take them off and reality sets in. Humans are funny that way!


  15. dorannrule says:

    After 56 years with the same fella, the “bloom” may be gone but there is still admiration (our vision is foggy) lots to talk about, and aches and pains to share.


    • pegoleg says:

      I love this! My parents will celebrate 60 years this summer. Neither can get around well anymore and they have lots of health issues, but they can still live alone because they lean on one another and hold each other up – like a teepee.


  16. Sandy Sue says:

    Several months ago, I was sitting next to an obviously-divorced couple at a coffee shop. Not that I wanted to eves-drop (Ok. Yes, I did.), but the bile and vindictiveness they spat at each other made me worry about their safety. I couldn’t help ogling and also wondering how they ever got together in the first place. They were both gorgeous, apparently affluent, and miserable. It just made me sad.


  17. Dana says:

    In grade school, a girl once told me “Even though you’re fat, I like you, you’re fun!” I ignored the initial insult, and we became friends till she moved away. So, I kind of get the whole “You’re beautiful because I love you” thing. My friend new I was fat, but didn’t care, because she liked me!


    • pegoleg says:

      Jeez, what a thing to say to someone! Kids are brutally honest sometimes, aren’t they?


      • Dana says:

        Yes, she was brutally honest, but I was brutally self-aware, and accepted that the first thing most people would notice about me is my weight. Because I focused on the fact that she liked me, we became friends. With so many other kids just being mean, it was sure nice to know that someone thought I was fun!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I loved that movie too. Isn’t it strange, we pick love every single time. My ex, who I haven’t spoken to since the day he walked out the door recently sent me a note on Facebook (where he has been blocked for 4 years), essentially saying we were friends first can’t we be friends again. Strangely, we were friends first then we forgot. I think hormones ruins many good relationships.


  19. As you say, the answers/the realities are somewhere in the middle. Would that after the bloom and rose colored glasses slip a bit that each would hold to the middle instead of slipping down into the mud if at all possible. Those company manners are helpful at home, too!


  20. Wonderful observation Peg.


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