Where’s My Happy Ever After, Beeyotch?

Recently a Twitter buddy wrote an amusing and insightful blog post entitled “Screw Your Ever After.” This is a sort of rebuttal to that post.

In recent memory, a stone’s throw from where I live, a woman threw her young granddaughter off of a bridge. No one knows why. The girl, 2 years old, died. Another woman accidentally ran over her two children with her own car. The youngest was killed. A man forgot his sleeping infant son in their vehicle carseat, and that child died from hyperthermia. Because the boy was adopted and because of the nature of the child’s death, this couple may never get to have another child. We just passed the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and I was not far from where the plane struck the Pentagon on the tenth anniversary of that ugly day, which was quite a stunning reminder of the hateful attacks that occurred. And as I write this, we are a day away from the anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, a beautiful young man whose murder was so horrific and heartbreaking I can hardly stand to think about it.

What’s my point here? Life can be beautiful, but it can be terrible and ugly and tragic, and unpredictable. It can be depressing as hell. If I allow them to, things around me can begin to look very bleak–something I can’t afford, as my day job is raising two children who haven’t yet been touched by all that ugliness to go out into the world and be good citizens.

The thing is, when I read, I read to escape. To find that proverbial happy place. I read to be taken on a journey, to feel that “good ache,” and to experience the highs and lows along with my protagonists–I don’t want to read a story that’s nothing but 300 pages of my characters skipping through daisies. I do want that happy ending to be earned. I want them to have to battle bad guys or demons or maybe even each other. But at the end of the day I want them to kiss and make or up make love and I want to close the book (or turn off my Kindle, more likely) and know that things are probably going to work out okay. Is it realistic? Maybe not, but hell, that’s why we call it fiction.

In a couple of days I’ll be leaving for the GayRomLit retreat. Could. Not. Be. More. Psyched. And I owe a huge thank you to the M/M Romance group on Goodreads for holding a contest to give away the plane ticket that’s allowing me to attend this shindig. I’m a survivor of abuse and assault, and M/M romance is my escape from all the ugliness that I mentioned, not to mention the stuff that’s in my own head. The opportunity to meet with the writers who have created those stories and other readers who love M/M as much as I do, is such a thrill. THAT is how much the Happy Ever After means to me. I once wrote a 1300 word flash fiction story, and still made sure it ended happily. THAT is how much the ever after means to me.

I grok that not every writer wants to write romance or happy endings and not every reader wants to read it, and that’s totally fine. Diversity, it’s what makes the world go ’round. But in an uncertain world, some of us need to know once in awhile that things turn out okay. We need the romance.

So…where’s my ever after, bitch? 😉

14 thoughts on “Where’s My Happy Ever After, Beeyotch?

  1. “The thing is, when I read, I read to escape. To find that proverbial happy place. I read to be taken on a journey, to feel that “good ache,” and to experience the highs and lows along with my protagonists”

    Exactly! Great post. You describe why I think many of us want to read stories that we know will have a satisfying, feel-good ending. We want to go on that journey with the characters, even one of angst and pain, but watch them earn their happy ending. Hugs to you for all you’ve been through. I’m glad you have your HEA stories to read and write.

  2. Yeah, I get so upset when there isn’t a HEA, hehe. I sometimes end up making my own HEA in my head if I encounter a story that doesn’t end in love. All my stories will end in love ^.^

  3. Ellis – first. have a great time. learn a lot, and come back refreshed and inspired.

    Great post. I also read for escape which is why I never pick ones off the Oprah booklist. If I want to have something to agonize about, break my heart over and bring myself down – I watch the news. And my characters also get a happily ever after. I love that control over their universe – which probably says something about my feeling helpless in a world where people do such hateful things to each other. Hmmm . . .

    • Thanks, Robin!! I have to tell you, I adore Oprah, but I avoid her book club books for the same reason. 🙂 And sometimes, I even avoid watching the news. Like you say, it’s hard to see such awful things happen and to feel so out of control. That said, there’s still a lot of good in the world, and a lot of beauty and I think that the popularity of the romance genre reflects that. People are still basically good at heart, and still want to see that good reflected in a story. 🙂

  4. Yep, what you said. 🙂

    I recently read a book that had what I deemed to be a HEA (as much as one can imagine) for two characters and I found out that in Book 2 they have problems and in Book 3 they split up and he finds love with someone else. To be honest, it ruined my experience with the first book. Especially as I’m told that there was no great reason for the break-up (not cheating or abuse, the other guy just fell out of love kind of thing). Yes, it happens, but I was invested in THEM as a couple and it still irks me months later. I will not read the other books because I fell in love with couple A, I don’t want to see their life go down in flames even if the guys finds happiness with another guy. It pisses me off. LOL

    I’m leaving for New Orleans tomorrow night. Am so not ready. Hopefully we’ll somehow run across each other but I think it will be hard to find all the people we want to meet. 🙂

  5. Great rebuttal! I do agree with what you said, though I will still maintain some of my own cranky-ass, happy ending hating opinion!

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