Friday, May 6, 2016

Happily Ever After

I recently participated in a Roads Scholar Writers Workshop at the Green Lake Conference Center (900 acres somewhat northeast of Madison and southwest of Green Bay). We had assignments following the theme of Lost and Found. Here's one of the pieces I wrote, Happily Ever After, 

She believed them all: Cinderella, Snow White, Maybelline, “An Affair to Remember,” and Seventeen magazine. 

Not to mention several thousand years of patriarchy distilled into her father. 

 When it hailed on her August wedding day, she carried on. 

 When her husband couldn't sustain a career and began drinking, she carried on. 

 When he became the world's foremost authority on everything in the world, she carried on. 

 When he tried to erode her already fragile sense of worth, she faltered but carried on. 

 He cut her 'allowance'. 

There was never enough money for groceries but plenty for luxuries. 

Parental tensions began to erode their sons' behavior. 

 Some things, many things, were wrong. 

 Her doubts became stronger than her faith in fairy tales. 

Her survival instincts grew stronger than her fears. 

She catapulted out of suburban nirvana landing at the edge of the city, on her feet, 

She tore her sons out of their dream of family. Wounded, they survived. 

What happens when a myth dissolves? 

You create a new reality – out of your own resources, out of your own character. 

And gradually, you carry on. 

 Of course there is never a happily-ever-after.... but you come pretty close.

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