Thursday, February 18, 2010

And They Lived Happily Ever After

Call me sappy. Call me sentimental. I love a happy ending. This is probably the biggest reason I like fairy tales. There's a moral and a happy ending. It's what makes fairy tales...fairy tales. I love the idea of love conquering great odds, the good guy getting the girl, the bad guy getting his just desserts. It just makes me feel warm and gushy inside. I'm the kind of person who cries at Hallmark commercials, romantic movies, and the cute things my kids do. I get emotionally invested in these kinds of things. I can't help it.

Yesterday, my kids watched Wall-E. (Ok. They're watching it again, right now. Because they watch the same movie over and over again.) It got to the end where Wall-E has forgotten who he is and EVE is trying to get him to remember. I found myself thinking, "This would probably have been a better story if he had not remembered. More poignant. More meaningful. More real." My husband has said that before, but believing in Happy Endings, as I do, I couldn't accept that.

Something changed yesterday. I don't know what. Maybe it's that life rarely has happy endings unless you are willing to make something that isn't great into something better. Maybe it's that I am learning to appreciate the value of the right ending instead of the happy ending. I couldn't say.

I don't think it means I will be giving up my happy endings in my writing quite yet. After all, I'm writing fairy tales and fairy tales need happy endings. But, for the first time ever, I'm open to the idea that not every ending has to be happy and that might be something to experiment with. Who knows where it will take me?

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