Happily Ever After Lives On!
by Angel Smits
Today is my parents’ 58th wedding anniversary. Holy cow! (Congrats!) They are currently in Blackhawk, Colorado celebrating and gambling. Probably putting a big chunk of my inheritance into the one-armed bandits. Ha!
|Hugh & Joyce Strong|
I remember celebrating my grandparents' 60th anniversary with a big open house.
|Bill & Hilma Strong|
And I was a baby when my great-grandparents celebrated their 50th anniversary. This year my husband and I will hit 34 years.
My purpose in listing all these milestones isn’t for any accolades, though those are always nice. But hopefully, to show the world that love and romance are still very much alive and well in our world.
My son, who is young and single, is surprised at how many young women he meets who don’t believe in the longevity of love, who actually have told him marriage is obsolete.
Poor kid, probably doomed having a romance author for a mom, but both my kids have always been taught—and I hope they believe in—the happily-ever-after type of romantic love.
It’s what I write about in my books, and what I love about reading romance. And just like in real life, my characters have trials and tribulations in their lives and their relationships. It isn’t all sunshine and roses. My husband and I have certainly had our rough times. but we’ve worked through them and still very much love each other. I know my parents do, and my grandparents did. It isn’t something they can hide.
And while I know not everyone ends up like that—it is still very possible.
In our house Valentine’s Day is about the heart-shaped box of chocolates, and the pretty vase of roses. It’s also about telling each other how much we appreciate each other. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Birthdays are all about that, too.
I know that a lot of my readers are older. I get letters from them, plus just the aging of our population makes that a reality. I’ve read articles about how our books compete with so many other things in the world for the young reader’s attention. Is there a correlation?
My aunt gave me my first romance novel—handing my sister and I a sack of Harlequins when we were on a road-trip vacation. I read that first book and I was hooked—both on reading the romance genre and on the idea that forever love was real.
Is it totally realistic? Not always. But fantasies and dreams are good for us all. Plus, I read SO many romances that teach young girls (us older girls, too) about the way we can expect to be treated, about how to talk to people about things, about what is possible.
So maybe we need to be like my aunt, and share the joy. Give or lend young women books that touch us, that showed us how things can be—encourage them to dream a little and expect certain things of how to be treated.
And to love. Most of all be loved.
I’d love to hear how long people have been married, or together with their significant other. Or tell us who gave you that first romance novel...honor the women who recognized this amazing genre before us. Thanks, Aunt Una.