When Cinderella was dancing with the Prince at the ball, I’m sure she wasn’t thinking about moving into the castle and living happily ever after.  She was enjoying the moment, knowing eventually the clock would strike 12 and she would return to her rags and fireplace duties.  That was the deal she made with her Fairy Godmother, and she was willing to accept the end result with the pumpkin and the mice in exchange for one magical evening.  I bet she never dreamed the Prince would come hunting for her with that glass slipper she left behind and take her away to a brand new life.
Most girls get hung up on the “happily ever after” part and forget to enjoy the dance.  I know lots of women whose definition of happiness starts with a romantic engagement and ends with a family and a white picket fence.  The ball is just a means to an end – like the stepsisters who wanted to secure a marriage proposal from the Prince above all else. 
Cinderella just wanted to get out of the house and dance a little, and she fell in love and lived a dreamy life she never could have expected.
What if she hadn’t lost the shoe?  Would she have lived out her life on her knees, scrubbing the fireplace, remembering wistfully the night she got to dance with the Prince?  I think Cinderella was the kind of girl who would have no regrets and would have kept singing her happy songs until she was old and grey with a grateful heart and spirit.  But I bet she would miss the Prince every single day.  

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