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Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Almost Happy-Ending, by Kir from The Kir Corner

Note: This is a guest-post by Kirsten from The Kir Corner.  If you want to know what I have to say about Kir (!), you can read To Kristen, My Friend, With Love, which serves as a prelude to this post.

The Almost-Happy Ending

“There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.”
-George Bernard Shaw

We all love a happy ending, don’t we?

You know the classic, boy gets the girl; the crisis is adverted, good trumps evil?

I admit that I am a sucker for that scene myself; the passionate kiss, the sword held high in the air, Rocky yelling for his Adrienne with a bruised and battered face.

Yep gets me. Every. Single. Time.

But here’s the shameful secret about my love affair with the happy ending that I am having a hard time confessing, please lean in a little closer, I also enjoy the conflict that gets us there and I don’t always believe in a happily ever after.

Whew, that was hard.

Now, it’s not that I don’t want to.

As a self proclaimed “hopeless romantic“ I embody all the traits and trappings of a person who would give it all up for love and believe in the magic of a world where mice made my dress, the shoe always fit and the rotten good for nothing villains got what was coming to them.

Yet, time and life has taught me many lessons.

One of my favorite movies, “THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES” with Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges has a scene where Barbra’s character talks about that while the “happily ever after” is the desired ending what happens after you get it?

She explains: “They never tell us about Cinderella’s incessant need to clean the castle, cause she missed her day job.” (Cue the student laughter and my pensive pondering)


How many of us have thought that once Prince Charming rode up, the white dress was worn, the job position was secured or the baby we so desperately wanted was born our life would start?

We would be good, better or for lack of another way to say it, “Happy?

Once upon a time, long before I met my husband, I fell for a man.

We would have made a perfect romantic comedy.

We had attraction, friendship, sex and even the angst that makes all of it interesting.

One of us would call, the other would not. Jealously was inserted when one or the other decided to branch out, date someone else or simply play the games of love.

Yep, we were one step away from a ticket price.

I loved and hated him and I know that he will always own a piece of my heart because of that simple fact.

See, we never “sweated the small stuff”.

Oh sure we gave plenty of time to the big stuff, the vision each of us had for a life, what we saw in our combined futures and what it was about each other that didn’t fit in that frame.

What we never bothered to look at and ponder was the small stuff; the easy way we were together, the fact that our differences could serve us well in a world of children, jobs and stress; that our chemistry could percolate instead of explode.

We just saw the Big Picture and never looked beyond it.

I’m not saying I wish for that life or that man, quite the contrary, but what I am saying is that if I had gotten the Hollywood ending with him, it would have been a lie, made up, scripted and completely false.

But it probably would have been a box office hit.

That quote at the top of this post popped up on my daily quotes on Saturday.

Exactly when I needed it to remind me that sometimes getting the happy ending you perceive and long for is not the end of the story. It might be just the beginning, it might lead somewhere else, and it might teach you something about yourself that you just never knew.

The Happy Ending is a farce; it’s just a door to another room filled with new obstacles and decisions, a place for more compromises and a boatload of lessons to learn.

But it’s also a place filled with the anticipation of new adventures and the simple and sincere hope that our lives mean something and so do the people in it.

That’s why we pursue it.

Because whether you lose your heart’s desire or a gain it, you will always find that you grow and stretch beyond yourself because of it.

The lesson in it will reveal itself eventually and when it does you find that reality is better than the fairytale and that the kiss is still magical, the sword is still held high and you really are the hero of your own boring, but truly amazing, life.

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