Tuesday, January 13, 2015

If The HEA is Implausible, How Come It Happens?

If The HEA is Implausible, How Come It Happens?
Jacqueline Lichtenberg

As I've mentioned many times, one of the hardest things about Romance gaining the respect it deserves is the firm conviction on the part of a huge segment of the potential audience that the Happily Ever After "ending" is impossible.

Life, they say, just does not go like that.  The Happily For Now ending is all you can ever expect.

Well, true, if life is long enough, there will be challenges, failures, ignominious defeats, many tears, and many-many funerals to attend.

This is all especially true if you marry and have children.  Children are the joy of life, but they are also the source of buckets of tears.

We all know that, yet STILL persist in understanding the world and our lives in it as heading toward an HEA.

Overcoming the initial obstacles to finding and hooking up with that one special Soul Mate should be the End Of The Story -- and from there on, you live the Happily Ever After.

Just get through the Wedding Day (a real challenge for most!) and it's clear sailing after that.

Those who scorn Romance feel that in reality there is no way that can ever happen. 

And yet, in actual reality -- the real reality we live in every day -- such long-long-stable-marriages actually do exist.

Here is an example that hit the Internet some months ago. 


The pair say the secret of married life is kindness, love and tolerance

A couple who met as teenagers 10 years before the start of World War Two have celebrated 80 years of marriage.

Maurice and Helen Kaye, from Bournemouth, met in 1929 when they were 17 and 16 respectively.

They courted for four years because Mrs Kaye's mother wanted her older sister to be married first.

The couple, who are now 102 and 101, said the secret to a happy marriage was being tolerant of each other and being willing to "forgive and forget".

The pair, one of Britain's longest-married couples, plan to celebrate their oak wedding anniversary with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
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There's a lovely video on that page you should watch and think about.

This video and some of its images spread through the internet like wildfire.  But nevertheless, there are those who are still convinced such a thing never EVER happens in "reality."

Because we believe in such happenings, such lives, we are the unrealistic people. 

Personally, I don't think there's any great advantage to living within the confines of "reality" -- I think the ability to imagine what is impossible is the Human Trait responsible for all human progress.

But still, a reality-check every once in a while is absolutely necessary to keep progress on course. 

This couple is real, not fantasy.  They are the reality check that those who scorn Romance because of the HEA need to consider.

The HEA is not a fantasy.  It is the reality of real life, and the standard by which success should be measured.

Note this couple has great-grandchildren.  Don't for a moment suppose those 80 years were without challenges, tears, failures, ignominy, and defeat.  But such low-moments in life do not mar HAPPINESS.  Such moments are integral components to happiness.

The HEA is the major, envelope theme for all Romance genre stories, novels, videos, etc.  One sub-theme that should be a part of each HEA is that sadness, loss, grieving, failure, and even embarrassment are components of Happiness.

Live Long and Prosper,
Jacqueline Lichtenberg

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I have a long way to go to 80 years, but if we live another two years, we'll make 50. We married when I was 18.

    I love a comment from an interview with a long-married couple (whether real or apocryphal, I don't know) where the wife is asked whether she ever considered divorce; she says, "Divorce, no. Murder, often." IMO, a big part of the "secret" is starting with the mind-set that separating is simply not an option. (Of course, that doesn't apply to dire situations such as an abusive marriage.)