At the beginning, it’s Once-upon-a-time
(Which everybody knows)
And then Happily Ever After comes –
And that’s it, it’s done, it’s closed!

But life is not a fairy tale
The end is just the start –
And it’s not a smooth eutopia
But the very hardest part….

Let’s take for an example
A tale of truest love –
A girl stuck in a castle
And a bloke with sword in glove.

Our Sleeping Beauty found her Prince
Post curse and spindle prick
(Though snogged asleep she’s mostly gained
A weird consent-blind d ck).

But what happened next to this odd pair
Now navigating life?
The adventuring necrophiliac
And his barely legal wife?

Does she stack the dishes the wrong way
Does he leave open every drawer?
Do they spat about who’s turn it is,
To mop the kitchen floor?

Are they drowning now in nappies,
And wishing fervently
For 100 years more blessed sleep
Without feeds at 12 and 3?

Is he spending too much time at work –
Doing Princely stuff?
Is she too focussed on the kids
To tidy up her muff?

Have her lustrous locks gone greasy
Are there skid marks in his shorts?
Does he sulk if she says no to sex?
Are her abs no longer taught?

Do they only ever listen
To endless loops of Baby Shark?
Do they lie awake at nighttime
Not touching in the dark?

Has intimacy dwindled
To the obligation bonk?
Does he think she’s lazing out at home?
Does she think he’s a twonk?

Is life one round of gruelling chores
And bills, and bleugh and BORING?
Nit-picking at her menu rut
Or shoving him for snoring?

Yes, did true love go the distance
For Philip and Aurora?
Or does she nag him half to death –
And does he just flat ignore her?

See, ‘Ever After’ isn’t glamorous –
Happy’s harder than it looks;
We were all sold empty promises
By Walt – and ladybird books.

I feel for the princesses,
Who’s end-tale we don’t know
Did Rapunzel hair go thin post-birth?
Do the Dwarves still include Snow?

Did Thumbelina’s fairy fella
Try to clip her brand new wings?
Does Ariel blame Eric
For her loss of gills and fins?

And what about Beauty, kidnapped
With her severe Stockholm-type crush?
Did that infatuation last them
Through her recurring thrush?

Does Beast spend every Saturday
With his mates just playing golf
Does Belle find herself wishing
She’d let him die by paw of wolf?

And then there’s good old Cinders
Does she still scrub for her mister?
Did she give up on the grooming –
Do the school run ugly-sister?

Did the grind and dull of day-to-day
Dissolve Prince Charming’s smarm?
Did her love of shoes and rodents
Lose for him their first-blush charm?

Then next there’s lovely Jasmine
Who married her Aladdin
Are there still soft words and stars in eyes –
Or is each row Armageddon?

Does she go Christian martyr?
Does he stay out too late?
What happened to the Princess
On the other side of fate?

Did Pea-Prince keep on setting
His spouse impossible tests?
Did Frog-Prince take his ball home
When the baby stole her breasts?

For there’s nothing like mundane routine
To burst the idyll bubble
And nothing like a small non-dwarf
To turn relationships to rubble….

How did our couples deal with worms,
And snot, and pox and grot?
Did they pull together as a pair?
Or did the magic rot?

For when the birds stop singing
(And the deer stop cleaning stuff)
What’s left is empty glitter –
And that’s sometimes not enough…

Once the foe is finally vanquished,
And they’ve danced the final dance,
There’s just a boy and girl left there
Without all the romance.

Real life is kind of messy-gross
And that wears through the sparkle –
It’s hard to hold that heart-skip
Through a D&V debacle…

So when you choose your Prince, my friends
Seek more than looks and daring-do
Look for kindness and for laughter –
(And a tolerance for poo).

Love isn’t being rescued
Or in a gesture big and grand
It’s in the little everyday stuff –
In a life lived hand-in-hand.

It’s holding hair back when she’s sick
It’s letting him lie in,
It’s making tea and taking turns
At taking out the bin.

It’s squeezing spots and feeling lumps
Knowing sanitary brands,
It’s tickle fights and sofa slumps
And brainstorming names for bands.

It’s going gooey over baby steps
And marvelling at their cute
It’s going off to Cleethorpes
With a crazy bulging boot.

It’s a Kiss sing-song in the car
A Just Dance best of three
It’s stopping 12 times on the motorway
Because she’s got to pee.

It’s embracing all his comic books
Building flat packs from Ikea
It’s lying prostate watching crap TV
And sharing every fear.

It’s living with her mood swings
And his disgusting fungal nail
Throwing tantrums of exhaustion –
And saying sorry when you fail.

It’s a smile, a touch, a silent nod
Having someone on your side
Shared memories and in-jokes
And feelings you don’t hide.

If you both can still find Beauty
Without the bloody Sleep –
Well that’s an Ever After love,
And that stuff don’t come cheap.