The great thing about children’s books is how they’re actually metaphors for love and dating. You might not know that because it’s a little known fact I stumbled upon recently and by ‘stumbled upon’ I mean made up. Let’s revisit a few of our old childhood favorites and gleam the lessons truly intended in the pages.
“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff: This book appears to be about what happens if you give a mouse a cookie. He’ll want a glass of milk, then he’ll need a napkin, then he’ll want to nap, etc. Of course it’s not really about a mouse; it’s a warning about what can happen if you give even one little bit of yourself to another person. If you a give a guy a smile then he’s going to want to kiss you. Once he kisses you he’s going to want to feel you up. If he feels you up he’s going to want to suck your titties, have sex with you, tell you he likes you a lot, be really busy the next few weeks, send you a blow off text, hold your still beating heart in his hand and slowly squeeze it until the soft gloopy parts leak out along with all your love and good feelings.
“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak: What appears to be the whimsical tale of a rambunctious boy’s imagination on an empty stomach is actually a metaphor for the perils of dating a mama’s boy. Spurned by his mother, Max escapes into the forest of his mind and takes comfort in a pack of wild things who appreciate that he gets that sometimes roaring and gnashing claws is just a cry for help. Mainly he just wants to date someone his mom would despise. Because he’s mad at his mom, Max is able to give his full attention to these wild things just like a mama’s boy in an independent phase will seem wholeheartedly devoted to you when first you meet. But soon those pangs of needing a woman who nurtures, scolds, and cooks get too strong to ignore and, like Max abandoned his new friends to go home to mom, so will your own mama’s boy revoke his loyalty eventually.
“Frog and Toad Are Friends” by Arnold Lobel: This amphibian version of The Odd Couple tells the story of two man frogs with no other love in their lives but each other. They know each other’s secrets and vulnerabilities and rather than judge, they treat the other with kindness and sweetness. Yet they live apart. Obviously this story is actually about admitting you’re gay for your best friend and living happily ever after together. Don’t let what a bunch of snails and butterflies think keep you from openly expressing your love for your bosom buddy. If you’re so depressed about being alone in the world that you choose to hibernate in your mud cave (or stuffy apartment) and the only person who cares enough to pull you from your slumber is your handsome best frog friend, stop beating around the toad stool and marry him.
“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi Barrett: Sure, it seems like a nonsensical book about food weather turning inclement and forcing the town to evacuate. It’s really about marriage. At first when you get married (or when bacon and eggs fall delicately from the sky onto your plate) everything seems wonderful and easy. Why, you don’t even have to work at it, life is so simple and sweet. But then problems start to arise and you think, I’ll just brush these irksome thoughts (giant hamburgers) aside and they’ll go away. But problems, like giant food, don’t just disappear. What you thought was a little messy soon turns into a pancake on a school and people start getting hurt. How did I ever take this for granted, you think? And as you think that a humongous pink frosted donut (the woman you thought you knew) starts barreling down the street behind you. That’s when you realize, hard as it may be, that it’s just not working. You’ll lose a lot but it’s time to get out. So you sail away on a gigantic peanut butter and jelly sandwich and move to a place where you have to buy your own food and cook it (a bachelor pad). That’s right, if things look cloudy there’s likely a chance of meatballs: Divorce.