In one year, I went through a divorce, lost my job and home, and also lost my one remaining parent—my dad. Any one of those events is a major trauma. The fates saw fit to hit me with all three at once. I survived.
During that year, I read every self-help book I could wrap my hands around. By the end of the twelve months from hell, I realized that self-help books were not going to fix me or make my life any better. Only I could do that. I moved away from the self-help section of the bookstore, and migrated to the science fiction shelves. Escapism. For the next year, I read about alternate realities, made up planets and beings, futuristic times and conflicts that didn’t always end well for my favorite characters. Some ended in ways that disappointed. Some went on in a never ending series that failed to hold my interest.
Then I moseyed over an aisle and discovered the “happily-ever-after” section of the bookstore. Home at last.
I do read literary works of fiction, non-fiction, books intended to make me think, but like a touch-stone, I’m always drawn back to the HEA section.
Life is hard. Sometimes it’s sucktacular and craptacular, and there’s nothing you can do but hunker down and get through the bad times. So, why would I choose an “after all that they die or go their separate ways” story, when I can choose another “happily-ever-after” from the shelf. I wouldn’t. I want that hopeful, love triumphs over all inspiring rush I get from romance. There are no guarantees in life. I want them in the books I read.
Let’s face it. Times are tough. Life is hard, and then you die. Why spend your entertainment dollars to be reminded of misery when you can spend that money just as easily on entertainment that speaks to the resiliency of the human heart, of the innate optimism inherent in the human spirit?
The headlines are full of bad news every day. I need my happily-ever-after fix. I’m a romance junkie. Yep. I snort happily-ever-after, and I don’t plan to quit.