Thursday, October 12, 2006

Happy Endings

Last night I finished Amy Tan's book Saving Fish From Drowning. The final chapter wrapped up all of the loose ends and provided a happy ending for most, if not all, of the 11+ main characters. For some reason this does not sit well with me. I know that it is a novel and people, including me, appreciate the escapism provided by novels. I took my job as a reader seriously and was able to suspend my disbelief throughout--the narrator is a dead socialite. But this happy ending stuff... Maybe I've just read too many happy ending books latelysuch as The Devil Wears Prada and Deception Point. When I finish reading a happy ending I am reminded that the guy rarely gets the girl, people don't always go into remission, people aren't innocent, and more people are walking around depressed and forgotten than are truly happy. Happy endings reinforce that my own happy ending is lacking. And yes, that makes me bitter more often than not. I realize that hoping for a happy ending is not a bad thing. But I also don't want to be so caught up in "what ifs" and hopes that I forget to live what little life I am given. For mine own happy ending, I am content at present to forgo the whole package of family, 2.5 kids, and dream house (with housekeeper) and consider a happy ending one where I wake up each morning to the special coo-purr of O'Malley and know that I can pay my bills and keep a roof over my head.

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