The little girl in me loved it. Romance! Prince Charming! Happily Ever After! In a castle! With servants! And animals who fly through the window to make my bed and my clothes and do my hair!
The ideas in that image are great... for fairy tales and romance novels. As someone who makes her living (in part) by selling romance, I get it. We want that. Where things just click and it's perfect and lasts forever with no fights and no messes. It's one of the reason women (and some men) love romance novels (or novels with strong romantic elements). We grew up on happily ever after and we crave it.
The fact of the matter is if real life is a fairy tale, it's more like the stuff going down on the new show Once Upon a Time. (If you aren't watching it, you should give it a chance, it's a great show.) Basically, it strips away all the shiny happy veneer and delves deeper. It's like the fairy tale world's seedy underbelly where happily ever after can happen, but you can bet the world's going to do its best to get in the way.
|Aren't they adorable?|
Over the years, my parents reached an understanding of who they each are and how they work best together. They still fight (dad retiring was a challenge for both of them), but they've had those battles with reality for so long, it's kind of a foregone conclusion they'll win (like the heroes in fairy tales and comic books).
So, yes, I write romance stories where the reader is left with the feeling that everything's going to be great and the couple is going to fly off into the sunset because that's the dream, the ending we all hope for. The thing about romance novels is the characters still struggle and fight, it just all happens before the end of the book. I often wonder if one of the reasons so many marriages end in divorce isn't because people look at the wedding as the real life equivalent of the end of the book. It's not. The end? It's that 'til death do you part deal. If you make it that far and you're still in love... that's your happily ever after.
Wait for your prince/princess, but then be prepared to fight every day to keep them. That's love. That's romance. My parents get it. I wish more people did.
(HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MOM & DAD!)