Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After

“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?

This is from the WordPress daily prompt. And I am going to respond with a cynical answer: There is no “happily ever after” because it is impossible to be permanently happy. Yes, it is true that your prevailing mood may be “happy” or “satisfied,” but to me, what “happily ever after” conjures is a fairy-tale life where you will be a happy ray of sunshine all the time, 24/7, without ceasing. In reality, that fairy-tale life doesn’t exist. (And if you were happy 24/7, I’d probably wonder what drugs you were taking.)

The fairy-tale story goes something like this: Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Outside forces conspire to force boy and girl apart. Boy goes on valiant quest to get girl back. They reunite. They share true love’s kiss. They “live happily ever after.”

My version wouldn’t be anything like that. It’s something more like this: Boy meets girl. Boy and girl get together. Girl decides she hates relationships. Girl and boy break up. Girl “lives happily ever after.” As for the boy, I have no idea. Maybe a dragon ate him. 😉

But in all seriousness, I am “living happily ever after.” I’m satisfied with where I am in life right now. I’m going where I want to go, slowly but surely, and that’s all I can do. I’m doing my best and I’m being myself and I am becoming the person I want to be. It might not be a perfect fairy-tale version, but life is not a fairy tale. That’s good, because I’d be worried about werewolves.

5 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After

  1. “They lived happily ever after” is a pet peeve of mine for a couple of different reasons. One is that, as you point out, that’s not how happiness works. I always go back to Robert Altman’s quote about happy endings (which I quoted here: http://u-town.com/collins/?p=69).

    The other is that, for couples who do get together, that’s when things get interesting (thinking as a writer). Not necessarily happier, but much more complex. I know I’m in a minority on this, which I wrote about here: http://u-town.com/collins/?p=3573


    1. Definitely. Courtship is only part of the journey… and you can never completely know a person until you’ve been married for a long time. And even then, they will always remain a mystery to some degree.


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