Prince and Rapunzel have heard that year one of marriage is the hardest. In which case, Prince cannot wait for year two.
Prince is happy to be married, do not misconstrue his words, but there are certain aspects of marriage which he was not prepared for. This realization started even before the wedding.
In the latter days of their engagement, Prince broached the subject of Rapunzel taking his last name. He intended to begin a discussion on strategy for the best time of day to visit their local social security office and furnish the appropriate documents.
Rapunzel interrupted. “Princey bear, concerning that, I had a thought.”
“What’s that Runzypunzy?”
“Well, it’s just that Smith has been my identity for so long. I mean, the Smith surname goes all the way back to when my ancestors actually were smiths and they built the tower that my step-mother imprisoned me in for the last fifteen years. It’s so much a part of me. I’d hate to give it up just because I’m getting married and all. If you don’t mind too terribly, I think I’d really like to keep my last name.”
Prince was hurt and it showed on his face. Rapunzel saw it and capitulated. “It’s just—well—maybe I could hyphenate it?”
Common wisdom warns newlyweds that they will not know what it is like living with another person—until they are living with them. “No matter how much you love her,” the saying goes, “inevitably she will annoy you, and you her.”
There are quirks and pet peeves that each person brings into a marriage. One of Prince’s pet peeves is hair. In fact, hair may very well be his chief preoccupation. Rapunzel’s hair has successfully infiltrated every area of their lives. During their brief engagement, Prince has admitted to loving the prospect of running his fingers through Rapunzel’s exceptionally long hair.
This fascination began when he was climbing her locks up to the tower’s window. At their wedding Prince shared in his vows that it was Rapunzel’s striking and beautiful hair—not her singing—that first attracted him to her. Rapunzel had entered before her bridesmaids because they had to carry her hair. Braided, as it was, the length of it was four times longer than the train of her dress. The procession was oddly analogous to a bunch of well dressed natives holding a boa constrictor for a photo op in NatGeo.
“If she was born a guy,” the Best Man said his in speech, “her name would’ve been Harry. And if you think his suit looks nice, check out hirsute!” One of the drunken uncles laughed, but Prince and his Best Man have not talked much since.
The more time Prince and Rapunzel spend together, the more laborious cuddling becomes. She can no longer nuzzle into him without stray strands tickling at his face like spider legs. He yells, usually in the middle of the night thinking there is an arachnid crawling over his eyelids and under his chin.
Then there is the regularity of hair in the bed, on the pillows, under the blankets and between his toes. Prince plays with the idea of knitting a blanket out of it. One of Prince’s more embarrassing moments as a newlywed was when he accidently cuddled Rapunzel’s braid and spent the whole night whispering sweet nothings to Rapunzel’s hair instead of her.
He wonders if some day she will pirouette into her hair like a full body cocoon and days later emerge as a monarch butterfly. Crazier things have happened.
There was so much hair he could get lost sometimes. Contingent on the tone and connotation of “lost” this can sound like a stimulating romantic phrase, but Prince does not mean it this way. When Prince says that he is lost in her hair, he means it. He literally has no idea which way is up and must quell his fears of claustrophobia or being asphyxiated.
He imagines the headlines:
BANGS! MAN STRANGULATED BY WIFE’S HAIR
DEATH BY DO
POLICE COMBING THROUGH DETAILS
HUSBAND MEETS HIS SPLIT ENDS
That’s not the way he wants to go. Whether Prince sees the hair or not, it is always there. Invisible, static-charged antennae, like the tentacles of Scylla ready to ensnare him in the Strait of Exasperation.