My all time favorite Disney classic movie is Lady and the Tramp. I vividly remember the first time I saw it at a local theater filled with noisy kids. I found this fairy tale so compelling, so romantic, so timeless that I forgot about the other kids. Their noise was swallowed up by the characters on the screen as I took the story to heart, literally.
I was mesmerized at Jim Dear’s wife Darling unwrapping a hat box on Christmas morning, finding Lady inside. I thought the little Cocker Spaniel puppy was the most adorable thing I had ever seen. Lady’s big eyes, her long eyelashes and those fluffy ears made me want to run up to the screen and hug her. Other kids were jumping around the isles but I sat there motionless, ignoring my surroundings and focusing on the film. When Lady refused to sleep in the basket Jim Dear laid out for her and ended up sleeping in bed with the couple, I hoped I was seeing my own future on the big screen. Then, the whole world stopped for me when Tramp entered the scene.
This grey mangy mutt lit up the screen when he walked into an Italian restaurant and was handed a bone. Look at him, I thought. Something about Tramp seemed dangerous to me and yet I couldn’t keep my eyes off him. I knew Lady should have chosen one of the other dogs to be with, not this rebellious, streetwise stray dog. But Lady couldn't help herself from falling for Tramp after he rescued her from the mean streets then romanced her over spaghetti and meatballs. What girl could resist the Tramp?
Her old friends and neighbors, the ones who had stuck by Lady all along, Jock and Trusty, proposed marriage to Lady but she turned them down. She was under Tramp’s spell and so was I. Tramp had that fire, that confidence, that “footloose and collar free” attitude that made him so attractive. That was the guy for me.
While my friends dreamed of finding their Prince Charming, I couldn’t get the memory of Tramp out of my head. I was determined to live out my dream of turning Lady and the Tramp into my own real life happily ever after love story. But that didn't happen. The Tramps in my life didn't save me from anything. As a matter of fact, they ended up causing me pain. I hold Walt Disney personally responsible for my lousy taste in men!