Tuesday, September 18, 2012
What does HEA mean to me?
I write romance, so it follows that I'm a big fan of Happily-Ever-After. Heck, it's even part of my tagline. (and thank you to Goddess Fish Promos for the brilliant new banner.) Romance authors and readers take heat for this concept. So many people out there are only too eager to point out just how unrealistic an expectation that is.
Happily-ever-after is only unrealistic if you think of it as a perfect, unending utopia. Real-life just doesn't work that way, but that doesn't mean real romance, and real happy endings don't exist. You just have to look a little more closely at what HEA means to you.
I've been married for 27 years to a man (boy, really, back then) I dated for 3 weeks when we got engaged. It shouldn't have worked. We were too young, too impulsive, too broke, too...everything. My response to that in retrospect. Pbbbbbtttttttthhhhhh. (For those too young to have seen that, it's Bill the Cat blowing a raspberry.) Nearly 30 years later, we're still occasionally broke, still mistaken for much younger than we really are, and most importantly, still damned happy we stuck to our guns and got married. He's my best friend, my biggest ally, and sometimes my sternest critic. But he's mine.
I can find him in the dark, and I know just where my nose fits in the dent between his pecs. He'll mumble "I love you" back to me without waking up. He knows my moods and can anticipate when to buy me chocolate or flowers. He still thinks I'm sexy, no matter what I do to my hair or how much weight I've put on. I don't sleep well without him, and the same is true for him.
Does that mean everything's been perfect? Hell no. In a real-life HEA, crap still happens. We have arguments. The car breaks down. Someone gets sick. The kids get in trouble and there's never enough time for work, kids, keeping up the house and spending time together. Aging happens, and there's a whole lot more "ouch!" in the sex you manage to sneak in when you actually have the house to yourself. Family members pass away. Bad things happen. That's life.
But you know what? At least when the bad things happen, I have someone right beside me, helping me through it, making me smile and holding me tight. And that's what living happily-ever-after means to me.