I've already bored everyone with the blogging equivalent of my vacation photos, but visiting Walt Disney World placed another thought in my head that I've been holding back for Valentine's Day weekend: when it comes to telling stories, sex matters most. That may seem a like a strange takeaway from a destination built upon children's stories, but think about what those stories are about. The classic Cinderella Story pretty much amounts to an epic tale of getting to have sex with someone way cooler than you.
Sometimes a mistreated girl's beauty and goodness fetches her a prince. Sometimes a misunderstood girl's tender charms tame a savage beast. Sometimes a girl trapped in a world ill-suited to her finds a prince and place where she belongs. Sometimes the romance is a sub-plot, sometimes it's a little creepy when you think about it, and sometimes the scrappy commoner is a dude. There are countless permutations of the basic plot and characters, but all these stories involve finding a relationship of the kind that ultimately involves S-E-X. Just because the curtain happily draws before the animated sexy-funtime commences doesn't change the stakes of the story.
Don't discount how high those stakes are. For most of us fortunate enough to have our ongoing existence reasonably assured, the innate drive to find that special someone, whether they are special for a lifetime or an evening, dominates our thoughts. Those thoughts may hum below our conscious knowledge, but our eyes still flit to the attractive model on the billboard. Stories about finding that special someone hook powerfully into the mammal-parts of our brains, parts that respond to the timeless stories even before we are old enough to know what we are responding to.
This Valentine's Day weekend, I am not planning on buying my wife overpriced flowers or a seriously weird stuffed animal, but I will giver her heartfelt kiss, and who knows where that will lead. She's my special someone, and that's what matters most in the story of my life.
I'll also write a story about sex--those things sell.