Being a romance author, I’m really into the Happily Ever After. Though now I understand, it can also mean Happy For Now. I love books, and I come from a science fiction and fantasy background. Even then I was still into the Happily Ever After. If an astronaut landed on a distant planet, I wanted him to win… either make some sort of life happen there or come home. There are tons of books out there that are depressing. The hero or heroine settle for less or horrible stuff happens to them and they are the perpetual victim. I guess I can’t buy that.
Two years back I was in a restaurant in Philadelphia. I was between panels at a conference and needed to eat. A woman sat directly opposite me also eating alone. We struck up a conversation. She was in Philly visiting a friend who was dying. We talked about hospitals. I know too much about two particular ones with various family members as patients, and then she asked why I was there. I told her I was there for a romance conference. She immediately said, “I only read non-fiction. I can’t read anything unreal.” I had nothing to say except that “sometimes romance is a reflection of reality. The names are changed to protect the guilty.” She thought was that was funny for a second, and then went on to tell me about all the books she’d read on news events. She only liked things that were real, and didn’t consider romance real. I listened and realized that her heart was very busy with the grim reality of her friend dying. We parted with kind words.
You can’t change some people’s minds. Sometimes hearts are too busy. You have to have a heart open to the idea of romance. I would like to rename romance fiction as romance possibilites. That’s what romance authors really write–possibilities. Okay, so some of us (myself included) write clearly about the other edge of possibility. (From time to time, a reader will write and tell me that they saw my hero vampire David Hilliard from The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais was in Times Square. All I can say to that is, “David, stop showing off. Bad vampire!”)
Back to reality… giggles. A friend of mine proved to me that the dream of romance can come true.
Many many years ago, he fell in love in college in Hawaii. He proposed to the girl of his dreams. She went home to Japan to tell her parents and they were against it as they had already arranged a marriage for her. When he arrived in Japan to find out why she didn’t call him, he was turned away by her father. She had gotten married.
My friend never fell in love again.
Is everyone bummed out now? Read on.
A few years ago, Japan changed their law where only a husband could seek a divorce. The girl of his dreams now a more mature woman got a divorce from her husband. She contacted friends from college who knew him and where he might be now.
My friend opened his door to find her on his doorstep. Kisses. Embraces. Joyous exclamations! (Okay, I wasn’t there and he didn’t share those details only the joy they had in seeing each other. LOL) The next day they got married. She now lives with the guy of her dreams in sunny California.
I’ve seen so many people under the worst circumstances find the light and sometimes even romance. My real life is romantic. I know other people too who have romantic lives. Are we real? Real doesn’t have to be sad with one tragedy after another. I’m not saying bad stuff doesn’t happen. But when it does and your heart has been busy taking care of all those grim and tragic things, remember when you can to open your heart. Life is a romance. Why can’t it be real?
Susan Hanniford Crowley