Once Upon a Time Series: Grimm and Anderson Fairy Tales

By Kristin Manganello, Copy Cutie

credit: ahisgett (Flickr)Long ago, way before television and film, humans entertained each other through the art of storytelling. These stories were much more than a way to pass the time — they communicated ideas, pondered the psyche of mankind and offered practical advice. Although these myths and folktales have long fallen out of fashion, what they reveal about people and their relationships is still relevant. Just as you can look to the past to learn about the present, you can also find hidden wisdom on romance in the tales of old. Here’s an eFlirt Expert series based on advice culled from those forgotten stories. 

The Valiant Little Tailor — The Brothers Grimm.

The Folktale: One fateful day, a confident and quick-witted tailor kills seven flies with a bundle of fabric. Pleased with his feat, he fashions himself a belt with the words “seven in one blow” sewed on it. But what starts off as a unique fashion choice turns into the most epic adventure imaginable: he tricks a terrible giant, slays two other giants, captures a unicorn, marries a princess, and inherits a kingdom. All of this happens because everyone interprets the enigmatic words on his belt to mean that he's a great, fearless warrior capable of killing not flies, but seven men.

The Moral: If the details of your life aren't the most glamorous or impressive, you can still make a potential lover see you for all the awesomeness you're worth. But if you think the cutie you're with should think less of you because of who you are or what you do, then they surely will. This negative mentality will project a downtrodden vibe — which will ultimately ruin your chances of being with someone and create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Recognizing what makes you special will encourage your maybe-lover to recognize it as well.

The False Collar — Hans Christian Anderson. 

The Folktale: An odd little story from the perspective of inanimate objects, this is the tale of a flirtatious shirt collar who sexually harasses a girdle, an iron, a scissor and a comb. Each one rejects him at every turn, some of them even resorting to violence just to be rid of him. He’s eventually carted away to a paper mill with the rest of the rags where he reflects upon his brief encounters … and also falsely boasts about his “many” lovers. He’s then turned into a piece of white paper — the very paper that his real story is written on, thus immortalizing his fraudulence and providing testament to what really happened.

The Moral: Don't be dishonest about your experience — or lack thereof. Even if it seems harmless at the time, lies are always more transparent than you realize and someone will always be able to tell. Although you might be a master at verbal disguise, you'll eventually unwittingly say something that will give away the game and have the situation blow up in your face. Embrace your history for whatever it is, and present yourself honestly when the subject comes up.

Know of a myth or folktale that you'd like to see explored in this series? Tell us about it in a comment below!