Would you finish the sentence with a) selfish to the core b) naturally brutal c) always dumber than they look d) good at heart?
Last week in the Minneapolis Star Tribune caught my eye. “Instead of ‘I do,” a jilted Minnesota bride says ‘I give.’ At first glance I thought it meant I give up, and I imagined
But the picture that went with the story showed a smiling young woman with the caption, “What was supposed to be my dream wedding will be their special day.”
Ah. She gave her wedding to a friend?
Actually, no. This Moorhead MN bride gave her Fargo wedding reception for 200 guests to a local charity that serves people with disabilities. They’re having a Halloween party tomorrow night! The jilted bride doesn’t plan to attend, but she’s not crying over the non-refundable 15 grand she’d already paid, either.
And she’s not doing this:
Presumably she won’t do this:
Because even though her intended informed her two months ago that “he couldn’t pretend to love me anymore,” this plucky (romantics love plucky) found a way to rise above her broken heart and empty bank account by bringing happiness to 200 deserving people. Not only does she feel better, but so do readers. We don’t know this woman, and we don’t know the guy who got cold feet, but we’re convinced that she deserves better. She’s given us romantics reason to believe in her. She’s supported our faith in human nature, which buoys the optimism that gets us through the night.
Back to our multiple choice. If your first impulse is to pick d, you think like Anne Frank, the ultimate romantic whose single book—what turned out to be her life’s work—continues to inspire those of us who refuse to give up on the nobility of the human spirit despite evidence (think Congress of late) to the contrary.
Years ago when I sat down to write a story that would, much to my surprise, eventually become a book, it was just an idea that came to me, and I wanted to see where it would lead and who the people were who promised to take me wherever that was. They were the kind of people I liked—good at heart people—and they were going to overcome obstacles or die trying. I didn’t set out to write a romance. At the time (1980’s) I wasn’t reading much popular fiction, and I wasn’t aware of the burgeoning boom in “bodice ripper” historicals and series contemporaries. I wrote a story that was born of my vision, which is stubbornly optimistic. And since my characters didn’t die trying, my story qualified as commercial fiction in the romance genre.
The nobility of the human spirit. The better angels of our nature. Celebrate every chance you get.
And here’s what I’m celebrating this week.
Isn’t it gorgeous? Three of my holiday novellas in one volume, available now for pre-order ((e-book) with a release date of October 25 in trade paperback and e-book. THE SHARING SPOON. Do check it out.