The secret to a happy ending, Mom used to tell us, is knowing when to walk away.
Jennifer Egan Candy House
I’m guessing you all know what my question is today:
Is the secret to a happy ending knowing when to walk away?
I think it is YES in the particular frame of one’s own personal perspective- if you call the shots, you can control your happiness. But if someone else is calling the shots…like…Person A breaks up with Person B because they don’t see a future. Person A gets their happy ending- they left a relationship when they were ready- but Person B is crying over their latte…
I don’t know if I’ve ever had a happy ending. Most endings end up with me in tears, or banging a wall, or binge eating something. I think of endings as necessary evils- you push through the bad to eventually get to the good. So my next question is :
do happy endings actually exist?
There’s your thought exercise for the day. What say you about happy endings?
Holding my phone, looking out at Lake Michigan, I understood with sudden clarity that doing the right thing- being right- gets you nothing in this world. It’s the sinners everyone loves: the flailers, the scramblers, the bumblers. There was nothing sexy about getting it right the first time. Jennifer Egan The Candy House
I’ve been thinking about this since I read the book…
Do we idolize sinners?
Do we love to glorify the people who do bad, as opposed to those who do good?
On job interviews, do we ask when was the biggest screw-up, and how did you overcome that?
Do we think that people who never screw up don’t take enough risk, and therefore don’t deserve our time?
I admit, this quote made me STOP when I read the book: I reread the quote at least three times. In a world where I have tried to teach my daughter that she should do the “right” thing, have I been steering her wrong this entire time? While I’ve given her the latitude to make mistakes, and gave her tiny pushes outside her comfort zone…I’ve tried to make sure she followed the path that was lined with good intentions…that she was a “good” person, not quite a “sinner”…
Was I wrong?
Do we really admire those who don’t follow the “rules”?
So what do you think about the quote, about “sinners”, about anything I touched on: