Exactly like a Disney princess, I awoke to the sound of chirping birds this morning at the first cresting of the sun. This is precisely where the similarities between a Disney princess and myself came to a full stop.
I sat up, the cute cheerleader ponytail I’d gone to bed with now resembling something closer to a Thomas Jefferson ‘do and my eyes were like two red rubies. I was exhausted, and mad, and wishing the Red Ryder I got 10 years ago for Christmas was hanging on a gun rack over my bed.
I’m certain no Disney princess films feature women head-to-head with reality. It’s all, “Don’t get your heart cut out by a hunter” and, “Watch out for the sorceress with the octopus body.”
I watched a fair amount of them growing up and don’t remember a scene where Cinderella needs a burrito drenched in green chili in the morning because she simply can NOT deal.
I don’t recall Snow White making a pit stop at Target on the way to work because she hasn’t done her laundry in two weeks and is out of clean skivvies. Belle never leaned out her window, screaming at the birds to shut it because she was hung over.
But the birds kept squawking and while I trudged to the shower, it occurred to me how socially irresponsible these princess movies are. All that Suffering-But-Good-Hearted-Girl-Makes-Good-Via-Dude-With-Swoopy-Hair stuff just ain’t something a reasonable woman should aim for, primarily because all the work rests on the shoulders of everyone but her.
All she has to do is scrub floors and keep being hot.
But it’s not just the romantic portion of the films that feel like such a pipe dream.
After waking me up, the birds did not flit into the bedroom carrying my bathrobe; I had to get that shit myself. They simply sat in a bush shouting, “HOO-doo! HOO-doo!” while another group shrieked, “Tee! Tee! Tee! Tee! Tee!”
There were no mice busily prepping a sweet but demure outfit for the day. Turtles, or badgers, or whichever animals are responsible for drawing hot bubble baths? Nowhere to be seen.
And when I finally made it into the kitchen, it was hard not to notice the absence of a spotted deer standing over a hot stove, making breakfast.
And this pisses me off.
It’s not that I have a huge sense of entitlement and expect all of nature to gather ’round and smooth the corners of my life, filing my taxes, fixing the rusted seat in my truck, helping me find a tall man with a sexy investment portfolio and a penchant for buying shoes that don’t fit my sisters’ feet.
That’d be ridiculous.
But after years steeped in Disney tradition, the Pavlovian response to chirping birds is hard to break.
And so this week, I just wanted to talk about how much birds suck. We can tell ourselves it’s a metaphor, that this all boils down to a deeper cynicism, or that a few friends are right and I got too much Scandinavian angst in my bones when I was there.
But I would genuinely like it if the birds wouldn’t wake me up unless they ARE making breakfast. Waking to the sound of chirping birds isn’t a sign that three flighty geriatrics dressed in congruent monotones are going to make you a nice dress, hook you up with a sweet vegetable ride and get you into the party of the century.
Waking to the sound of chirping birds is simply a reminder of how rude birds can be at 5 o’clock in the morning.
Jeanine Fritz writes about ornithology each Friday in the Colorado Daily.