USA Today Best of 2012

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Do we still believe in fairy tales?

In case you missed this month's issue of The Lyriodical, John B. Rosenman wrote a thought-provoking article (from a man's point of view) on why women's fiction (and especially romance) always must end happily.

He and I had a fun discussion about the subject, but what it boiled down to is: Because it's women's fiction. Naturally we want a happy ending. Men like to finish a book or movie on high alert, forecasting evil on the horizon a la every episode of Batman, Spiderman, Hulk... yuck. Need I go on? Whereas we chicks have an innate desire to believe happily ever after is attainable. We're in a romance for the warm, fuzzy, awwwwsome ending! Clearly we do not read a contemporary romance for reality's sake. If we did, there'd be epilogues like this:


At eighteen months old, Romeo Junior is the apple of mommy and daddy's eyes. Too bad daddy doesn't get to see him much - he's working extra hours, as mommy is expecting Baby #2 soon. She got demoted from her demanding fashion job for missing so much work when Junior had all those ear infections. Then her cute classic car broke down for good and it made more financial sense for her to stay home in the suburbs and babysit full-time for the family next door, than to assume the burden of a payment for a new car. Juliette's got a closet full of cute outfits from the old days, but none of them fit, even before the second pregnancy. Now she spends her days in stretch denim and hoodies, some without stains. Lunch means Kraft Mac-n-Cheese with preschoolers instead of Chili's with her pals from work. The hot body Romeo worshipped isn't likely to make an encore, but he swears he doesn't mind. Well, he has to work out extra hard these days to fight the beer belly, too. And those buff, buff shoulders and pecs have gone the way of Juliette's perky bosom, since they left the city and their gym membership. It's all good, though. He's up for a promotion. If things go well and he gets a good enough raise, they'll be able to afford their dream car - a new Honda minivan! Let their old single friends laugh at them through MySpace. They've got their parenting group pals and neighbors. And each other. Which was all they really needed, right?

Reality in novels? No, thanks.

Happy Thursday!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

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