This question was posed to me during a class I took. I thought about it for a while then I had an answer.
I know, I know…what kind of answer is that? Well, it’s an honest one. I was in a relationship where I ended it badly. SO badly that it didn’t really end for the person I was with. They hung on – endlessly. Not cool and not kind. Actually, it was cruel on my part to end it that way. I was vague, ambiguous and heartless. In my head I had mentally separated from them a long time ago. and I couldn’t figure out why it was taking them so long to figure it it. DUDE – IT IS OVER.
Then it happened to me. I was in a different relationship. I did something I shouldn’t have, told the person what I did. I expected them to be really angry and tell me to get lost. They didn’t. They left it open and not in a good way. They had mentally checked out but never told me they did. Then they drifted away. I was begging them for forgiveness, give me some attention, need me and want me. They didn’t. They checked out. Even when I would do the big good-bye letter, they would say “no no no…I care for you deeply – blablabla – I don’t want it to end – blablabla -“What they meant was “I like you in my life on my terms not yours. So I will contact you when I need you but ignore you when you need me. This is the only way we can still be friends.” That was the WORST ENDING EVER. It still hurts thinking about it a billion light-years later. I move from wanting to hug them if I see them to wanting to punch them in their face. It’s not like this happened yesterday – this was eons ago and it still resonates as a BAD ending.
Then there is those jobs where you get fired or laid off. I was selling men’s suits out of high school. The manager called me up on the phone, while I was at work AND TOLD ME I no longer needed to go back. There were no more shifts for me. I was the only one in the store. I could have walked out and he would have been screwed! But I stayed and finished my shift. THAT WAS A BAD ENDING! It turned out that store was closing. He could have told me that, or he could have come and said it to my face, yikes – on the phone?
Maybe it is surprise endings that people don’t enjoy. When a vacation comes to an end, you know it’s coming. It isn’t a surprise – you may not like it but it still isn’t surprising. You have anticipated this. So this is not a bad ending – it just isn’t as pleasant, unless you hated your vacation. I have had vacations that were hideous and couldn’t wait to get home to my own bed….but that is a story for another time.
Is it possible to have a happy ending? Maybe? I think it depends on the delivery of the ending. Surprises suck, at least they do for me. I need to be mentally prepared for ANYTHING. If you are getting me a puppy for Christmas – I want to talk about it first. If you are planning a surprise party for me… don’t. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF CHOCOLATE don’t surprise me with a party. If you bought me a trip to Disneyland for a week? I think I would be okay with that. But if you bought me a trip to Tokyo to visit Disney Sea and are surprising me with it…I wouldn’t be too excited. I would be scared. The sick scared. I need to plan and visualize and be prepared for that kind of event. Disneyland in California or Walt Disney World in Florida are fine because I know what to expect. It is within my scope of knowledge. Now this isn’t to say that I am not okay with new things, because I am. I like change and variety – but I need a heads up.
Happily Ever After isn’t an ending. That is still the middle part. The end is when the Prince dies, finds a new job in a different city and you don’t want to move, the Prince finds a replacement and fires you or the Prince gets sick and it ends badly. So what has to happen to have a happy ending? Ending doesn’t mean it has to happen the way you want it to. All it means is its OVER. Time to have a new beginning. To have a happy ending you need respect and kindness and perhaps empathy. You can figure it out so it doesn’t end badly.
At any rate, Happily Ever After is not an ending.
But I think it can end happy.