Monday, August 27, 2012

King Grisly-Beard, or The Husband Store

Myths, fables and the misnamed "fairy tales" (in Germany they're called Marchen, or "folk tales") contain the stored wisdom of the human race. It's too bad many of them are not taught and explained anymore. After all, if you don't discuss the stories with they kids they're not really going to understand them.

There is a cliche' (and like all cliches wouldn't be around unless there was truth to it) that women seek 100% of what they want in a man, while men would think they were in Heaven if they could find 80% of what they seek in a woman.

Does the wisdom of the race support this observation? Yes, it does.

Let's take the Brothers Grimm story "King Grisly Beard" (also called "King Rough Beard").

The story is about a princess who rejects every man who courts her. Not only does she reject them, she makes fun of them. One suiter, who has a rough or grisly beard, gets the advantage of her, humbles her so that she changes her character and turns into a good woman, and then makes a fine wife.

("A great king of a land far away in the East had a daughter who was very beautiful, but so proud, and haughty, and conceited, that none of the princes who came to ask her in marriage was good enough for her, and she only made sport of them...then she bitterly grieved for the pride and folly which had brought her so low...'I have done all this only to cure you of your silly pride, and to show you the folly of your ill-treatment of me. Now all is over: you have learnt wisdom, and it is time to hold our marriage feast.'")

The moral of the story is that some women seek too much in a husband and should become more self-aware and humble (and the correct definition of "humble" is to know your limitations).

By the way, every man she insults does not come back. Women might want to keep that mind.

There is a modern version of "King Grisly Beard" called "The Husband Store," and I'll reprint the whole version here.

"A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

"You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

"So, a woman goes to The Husband Store to find a husband.

"On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

"Floor 1 – These men have Jobs.

"She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

"Floor 2 – These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

"‘That’s nice,’ she thinks, ‘but I want more.’

"So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

"Floor 3 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.

"‘Wow,’ she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

"She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.

"‘Oh, mercy me!’ she exclaims, ‘I can hardly stand it!’

"Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads: Floor 5 – These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.

"She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

"Floor 6 – You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor.

"There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at The Husband Store.

"To avoid gender bias charges, the store’s owner opened The Wife Store just across the street.

"The first floor has wives that love sex.

"The second floor has wives that love sex, have money and can really cook.

"The third floor has wives that love sex, have money, can really cook and are drop dead gorgeous.

"The fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited."

A novel that I have mentioned several times is Edgar Rice Burroughs A Fighting Man of Mars, which Burroughs wrote around 1912.

The hero, Tan Hadron of Hastor, becames infatuated with a woman named Sanoma Tora. He is not good enough for her, she insults him, and for reasons not relevant here ends up kidnapped. Hadron, who is a brave, chivalrous but somewhat naive (when it comes to women) warrior, goes to save her.

He does end up saving her - and she appears to be changed, more humble woman - but Tan Hadron in the meantime has found another woman, Tavia. Sanoma Tora finds out she is wrong - and it's too late.

A Fighting Man of Mars is in some ways a retelling of "King Grisly Beard." Do tell.

Parents today might want to explain to their daughters there are no perfect men - and they are not perfect, either - and that too high of standards will end up to their being alone.

In fact, they should tell their daughters (depending on theirs looks and character): "You are not a princess and there are no perfect men. Women tend to be more influenced by their feelings than men and just because you feel something doesn't make it right. And if you think you can postpone marriage until you're 30 you'll probably find things are going to turn out the way you want them."

Let's face the facts - a woman's marriage value peaks at about 23. She might think she'll go to college, fool around all she wants, get a career job, then get married at 30. Many of these women find out they've been conned by feminism and what they planned is not what happens.

They'd be better off paying attention to "fairy tales." Their lives might be improved.

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