Timeless lessons from your favourite fairytales

Fairytale, Sleeping Beauty
Walter Crane’s Sleeping Beauty, from Wikimedia Commons

Life can be stressful, so to unwind before bed I’ve taken to reading children’s literature. Lucky for me, my e-reader came with tons of free books, one of which is Grimm’s Fairytales.

‘Cause nothing says ‘soothing’ quite like German folk tales, am I right? After all, “and so everyone was dead” reads just like an invitation to deep sleep.

What I didn’t expect was for the Brothers Grimm to have so many great tips on love and dating. They were way ahead of their time, touching on hot topics like where to meet that special someone, how to successfully run a dating contest (centuries before the first season of The Bachelor), and how to cope with blended families.

So here are a selected few, straight from Jacob and Wilhem’s most famous work:

1. Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene: When using the same shoe to measure who will become your future wife and eventual Queen, make sure to give said shoe a good rinse between candidates. You never know which contestants will have severed off their own toes to ‘make the cut’, or worse, they may have athlete’s foot. Yuck!

2. “I’ve murdered my stepson, will my spouse be upset?”: Not if he doesn’t know about it. Serve him for dinner as a stew and tell your husband he’s away visiting relatives. Just stay away from birds. Your dead stepson will likely have been reincarnated into one and is destined to drop a large stone on your head.

3. Stash your cash well: Saving up for that bigger mule? Don’t bury your gold coins in the garden and tell your wife they’re just yellow buttons. She might still dig them up and try to buy things with them. (The original “gold digger”?) Next thing you know, you have a house full of pottery and nothing to eat. Bummer.

4.  Be open minded: Don’t be judgmental and dismiss someone on account of their alternative lifestyle. So she’s  a comatose 7 year old living with 7 dwarfs! Nothing says she won’t make a good bride, even if there is that pesky bounty on her head…  Remember, age is but a number (and grounds for prosecution). Still, 10 out of 10 courtiers agree, marrying your daughter  “for she is the very likeness” of your dead wife is not cool, man. Not cool.

5. Trust your gut and don’t take everyone’s advice so literally. If you do, you risk finding yourself involved in some pretty hilarious misunderstandings. Just an FYI, throwing animal eyeballs at your betrothed after mistakenly tying her up in the barn is likely to result in her calling off the engagement. Poor Hans 😦

6. Be patient:  Don’t despair, that special someone could be just behind the next briar patch or as close as the nearest windowless tower. It may take 100 years for her to wake and your fair share of magic, but it’ll be worth it cause her parents will throw an awesome feast.

And finally…

 7.  The silence of eternal slumber is as good as consent—no wait! Whaaa? Ok…so maybe these aren’t all applicable anymore.

If you’re looking for more up-to-date dating advice, try www.singledatingdiva.com . Her special angle: giving advice relevant in this millennium.