by Marty Pena

1860s-hugues-merle-french-1823-1881-hamlet-and-ophelia

Once upon a time there was a young maiden named Goldilocks. Goldilocks was a lovely girl with long flowing hair, sparkling eyes, and mesmerizing smile. In fact, Goldilocks was so lovely that contenders for her hand abounded. But which to choose? That was the question.

Among her many admirers were three suitors. These three suitors were considerably different in looks, temperament, and personality, and offered Goldilocks vastly differing futures.

The first suitor was tall, dark, handsome, and pensive. He looked at life through a serious lens, contemplating the deeper aspects of the human existence. He studied philosophy, theology, the arts, and the cute little dimple in Goldilocks’ chin.

On their first date suitor #1 took Goldilocks to a debate on the philosophical implications of quantum mechanics. Stifling yawns and pinching herself to stay awake Goldilocks decided that suitor #1’s choice of entertainment was just …too dull.

On their second date suitor #1 brought Goldilocks a package containing a dog-eared copy of Faust, complete with underlined passages and his own commentary. As she skimmed the volume uncomprehendingly Goldilocks thought to herself that suitor #1’s gift was just …too deep.

On their third date suitor #1 discussed his future plans with Goldilocks. He told her of his dream for the two of them to walk hand in hand through the halls of academia, and of his hope that she would share his successes as he he studied, wrote brilliant works,  and entertained his brilliant colleagues. Goldilocks listened to his dreams, contemplated her life as his wife, and decided that suitor #1 was a fine and honorable young man, but that marrying him would be… just wrong.

The second suitor differed greatly from suitor #1. He was fair skinned, broad shouldered, had a charming crooked smile, a dashing personality, and believed in living life to the fullest. His viewpoint on the human experience was to have a good time. He parachuted out of airplanes, climbed mountains, swam with dolphins, and dove head first in his pursuit of the winsome Goldilocks.

On their first date suitor #2 took Goldilocks skin diving in eel, barracuda, and shark infested waters. While he exclaimed repeatedly over the awesomeness of the experience, Goldilocks breathed into a paper bag to control her hyperventilating, thinking to herself that suitor #2’s choice of entertainment was just… too daring.

On their second date suitor #2 brought Goldilocks orchids, gardenias, chrysanthemums and a singing telegram complete with a barbershop quartet and a tap dancing squirrel. As Goldilocks sneezed and reached for an anti-histamine, she made a mental note that suitor #2’s gift was just… too outlandish.

On their third date suitor #2 exuberantly expressed his vision of the paradise he and Goldilocks would share exploring the world together. He laid before her the many places they would visit, the people they would meet, and the death defying feats they would attempt. Goldilocks thought carefully as he spoke, trying to imagine herself in all those places and situations as his wife, and finally determined that suitor #2 was a fine and honorable young man, but that marrying him would be… just wrong.

The third suitor was rather ordinary looking. He was tall and slim, raised his left eyebrow when amused or curious, and loved to laugh and be with people. He valued the art of conversation, hard work, playing Catch Phrase, and pursuing the prized heart of the much sought after Goldilocks.

On their first date suitor #3 took Goldilocks to a candlelit dinner followed by a moonlit ride in a horse drawn carriage. As she stared at the starlit sky and listened to his soothing voice point out the many constellations, Goldilocks thought that suitor #3’s choice of entertainment was just… charming.

On their second date suitor #3 brought Goldilocks a gift of a single pale pink rose and Goldilocks smiled that he had remembered her brief mention that her favorite color was pink. And as she placed the delicate blossom in a vase beside her bed that night, Goldilocks thought to herself that suitor #3’s gift was just… lovely.

On their third date suitor #3 quietly held Goldilocks’ hand and explained his hope that one day he and Goldilocks would experience life’s joys and sorrows together. He painted a picture of their simple home, the diligence of their shared work, and the babies they would love and treasure. Goldilocks hung on his every word, and her heart swelled with happiness as she realized that suitor #3 was a fine and honorable young man, and that marrying him would be…

just right.

So the fair Goldilocks married suitor #3. And just as he promised their life was indeed filled with many joys as well as sorrows. But Goldilocks continued to rejoice in the choice she had made, knowing that she had not settled for the first suitor, nor the second, but had waited patiently for the man that God had made…

just right…

  for her.

 

 

 

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