Do happily-ever-afters really exist? I mean as someone who wants to write romance novels I guess I shouldn’t really ask that question, huh? I should undoubtedly believe in the power of love to overcome all and that once that ring is on the finger there’s nothing but blue skies and smart babies in the future. But we all know that doesn’t happen; hell, its not even feasible, rational or healthy to assume that.
Despite the fact, or maybe because of it, that I grew up with three older brothers I was wholly submersed in the princess, fairy-tale, one-day-my-prince-will come phase that almost every little girl goes through. I put myself in the princess’s shoes, although in my case it was three bullying older brothers instead of the wicked stepsisters.
I would kneel on my bed and peer out of my window into the night sky and find that bright star. As soon as my eyes captured it I would close them tightly and bring my small tightly fisted hands to my chest and pray. “Please, please send me a prince to take me away.” I know I usually joke about these things, but its the truth. There were nights where I swore my brothers hurtful words actually lacerated my skin. They would chalk it up to performing their brotherly duty by making fun of me but as the youngest and only girl I couldn’t understand that by just being alive it gave them the right to pick on me.
It was my senior year in high school when that fateful star saw fit to answer my prayers by way of a shy computer geek. See, someone up there has a sense of humor. I abhor technology, ask Ana. The fact that my rescuer was sent in the form of a highly intelligent computer wizard is something that my parents still snicker over.
For years I watched my friends do the boyfriend/girlfriend thing. Not me, I was the “friend.” Need a laugh, talk to Kaye. Need a shoulder, lean on Kaye. Need answers…ok, don’t get them from Kaye, but she’ll know who to go to. It would bother me that I was always seen as the friend, but senior year, it didn’t matter. In a year I’d be at college and they wouldn’t know Adam from Eve and I could be whomever I wanted to be.
Then Thanksgiving happened and everything changed. And that’s not an exaggeration.
Our high school is small. Our graduating class had 124 students in it. So to say that I never knew of Sparky is impossible. I knew of him, sure. He was the shy, really smart geeky guy that hung out with the cool guys from the school’s TV studio. (Seriously, the cool guys were in the TV studio, our high school was weird.) I was an outgoing, charismatic, athletic drama kid that flittered from one group to the next. I knew nothing of his world and it was safe to say he knew nothing of mine.
Every year the student council decorated for the annual pep rally held on the Wednesday before the big Thanksgiving day game against our town’s oldest rival. I was busy folding the millionth tissue paper flower when Sparky sat down next to me. See, what I left out is that Sparky and me already had a bit of a history. When he first transferred to our school in the sixth grade he asked me out. I turned him down. Cold.
I was so scared he was going to bring up that embarrassing memory but then he just started talking to me. For lunch a bunch of us went to a local diner. He kept looking at me. Since I was not used to the interest I saw in his eyes I did the one thing I resort to when things get awkward. I made jokes. I can’t remember laughing as much as I did that lunch break.
That night at the bon fire he asked me to the semi-formal in early December. I said yes and that was it. Literally. That dance led to the prom, seeing each other off for college, midnight fights over the phone, awkward embraces at the mid-term breaks to lazy summer days and nights. We went through four years of college, the ups and downs and growing pains that come with that. We got engaged the day of my college graduation.
That one dance led to a rainy Fall wedding on a cold Saturday afternoon. It brought us to fights where one of us would storm out of the house, only to come back in because it was too cold outside. That dance led to the birth of two beautiful, healthy girls with their father’s incessant need to take everything apart and their mother’s temper.
Are things perfect? Hell. No. Remember, he married a red-head…with a temper…and a flair to the dramatics. Things are far from perfect. I like to fight; I think its healthy. Let’s just say we have a healthy relationship.
But the question is, is it a happily-ever-after-scenario? I honestly can’t answer that because I’m still going through it. We try to make each other happy, but its impossible to be happy everyday. He can tick me off. I mean, the man leaves opened boxes all over the house. What is up with that? He’ll open a box BY THE GARBAGE and not throw it away. Honestly.
But I like to think its a HEA. We laugh, we cry, we struggle and we survive together. What more can you ask for in this day and age? So yeah. I believe in HEA. And when I write my romance novels I know that my characters have a chance because if the social butterfly can get the reserved Eagle Scout on stage in leather pants and make-up and that same Eagle Scout can teach that same butterfly to program an iphone…then well, it can happen to anyone.
What do you think? Do you believe in happily-ever-afters? Have a cute story about your own? I guess I’m being mushy since Valentine’s Day is next week, but please share! I love schmaltzy stuff like this!