Monday, September 26, 2011

Unhappy Ending

This blog has nothing to do with yoga (although, I can do the crow pose, as demonstrated above. Not well, but I can do it. *patting self on back*)

But this blog has everything to do with a happy ending.

Or rather, unhappy endings.

In college, I took many (many) writing and literature courses.

I had one professor say that we Ah-Mer-uh-cuns have a very difficult time not having a happy ending.

I think I assimilated that idea and made it a part of my psyche, because I then wrote a short story for my Short Story class (shocker, yes, I know! Who'd a thought?).

I ended it with my protagonist going insane and being committed to an insane asylum.

It was FREAKING awesome.

My professor gave me back my paper and said, "Your story was okay, but I felt like it betrayed the reader," which I interpreted as, "I was totally drawn into your story, and when I didn't get my happy ending, I got mad, and gave you a B because I wanted it to end happy, because, dang it, I'm a happy-ending-loving Ah-Mer-uh-can."

I considered redoing it just to get a better grade, but decided against it (either because I am true to my art, or because I simply felt perverse satisfaction in dinging my professor, take your pick).

Fast forward many (many) years.

I was sitting at the kitchen table this morning doing school with Josh.

Eva had dragged her chair next to his, and looked at me with wide innocent eyes, and said,

"Mom, tell me a story about Eva and she's all alone."

"Okay, once upon a time, there was an Eva, and she was all alone..."

Eva's little mouth turned down in sympathy.

"...and she jumped on the trampoline alone..."

Her little eyes threatened to well up at this point.

"...and played with chalk all alone..."

She began curling up in a ball in her blanket on the chair...

"And she played and she played, and then decided to go inside where her family was, and they ate dinner and went on a walk, and they lived happily ever after, the end."

I gave her a big grin, and she smiled, but her eyes darkened.

She felt gyped. I think she would enjoyed it more if she had died in the story and there was lots of blood involved.

I guess she ain't a happy-ending-loving Ah-Mer-uh-can.

Makes me think of my professor once again.

And giggle a little inside...hehehe...

Of course, I have never been one to really super sugar coat anything (except cookies).

Like the other day when my kids asked me what happened to Pocahontas.

"Uh," I replied. "She went to England."

They waited.

"Annndddd....she got married."

Again, waiting.

"And then she caught a bug, and it went up her nose and into her blood stream, made her really sick and then she DIED."


And they both followed me around all day asking why Pocahontas got sick and died.

It was awesome.

Reality is more fun than fiction.

Unless you are Charles Dickons.

There was a writer who knew when to kill of his characters.

Freaking awesome.

I should file to have another holiday put on the calendar: National Unhappy Ending Day. Or National Reality in Literature Day. Then we can all put on restrictive dresses, and pay homage to Charlotte Bronte, and sisters. And Poe. Yeah.

But I'd wear a feathered hat for Poe.

I think he'd like that.


Katscratchme said...

OMGosh, Dara! I think I almost giggled myself to death.
Most of my stories end up happy, but I have a few that are decidedly NOT happy.
Like the one where the guy is looking down at some poor soul who drowned and at the end realizes it was him.

Bethany said...

I am such a happy ending loving American. Completely. I hated studying Poe in high school.

My Marie, on the other hand, loves to draw pictures of her crying because of some recent tragedy that happened to her cartoon character. Maybe I better embrace a love for unhappy endings.

ceej said...

I love unhappy endings! I love reading the original Grimm brother stories since the originals always have a gruesome end or some strange twist at the end. Love the original Little Mermaid too, the prince marries another woman he loves and she dies never being able to profess her love to him without a voice. She had the chance to live and be a mermaid again but she would have to stick a dagger into his heart and she couldn't do it. She'd rather him be happy than to live, now THAT'S ROMANCE!

Shydandelion said...

I thought of the Brothers Grimm, too, CJ! I remember having a beautifully illustrated copy of their works as a kid. I guess I was destined, or something...or doomed, depending on how you look at it. :D

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