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With one of those anniversaries coming up, I started thinking it might be time to update the fairy tale…


 

Once Upon a Time

Smilebox_191495658Chapter 1

A girl met her prince. He was tall, dark, and handsome. (Actually, he was a Republican. But he was definitely tall.) They fell in love, and got married. *

Chapter 2.

He brought her to his castle and they lived happily ever after.**

The End***

*Okay, so thirty-five+ years of life happened between Chapters 1 and 2. They included:

MONTHS

SPENT:

36

Pregnant

96

Changing diapers

192

Getting offspring into or out of carseats

180

Driving to Sunday School

48 bazillion

Driving practice with teenage drivers. (Note: this item is multiplied by Parental-Terror units, which include the number of times your life flashes before your eyes…)

134 down, 10 to go

College tuition

360

Thinking up something to have for dinner

0

Playing with my grandchildren (but I’m not bitter. Much…)

**In the romance-writing biz, we aim for the HEA (Happily-Ever-After), or—if we’re milking it for series potential—at least a HFN (Happily-for-Now. No, it doesn’t mean Hell-eFfing-No…).

I was thinking about the HFN today when I went to a friend’s birthday lunch. She’s 93, so I asked her to tell me about her favorite birthday ever. “Considering the alternative,” she told me, “Every birthday I make it to is the best one ever.” So of course, I asked for her secret to a long happy ever after. She answered right away. “Have a lot of friends who remember you even when you can’t remember their names.” A few minutes later she added, “Don’t say no to sweets.” And finally, “Don’t look back.”

***UPDATES: So it turns out that my Chapter 2 was a HFN, and we’re about to start on we’re well into Chapter 3:

  • We’ve downsized from the castle to the Hobbit House. Hint: What do Scots wear under their kilts? I now know!
  • The College Tuition entry can now move to 144 down, 0 to go.
  • And the best update of Chapter 3?  I can change that last line of the chart to read: MONTHS: 2    SPENT: Playing with my grandchild

Grandparenting rocks. Turns out that Chapter 3 is the real HEA!

What is your best advice for a happy-ever-after? I’ll bet it’s not nearly as funny as Betty White’s tips.

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