Looking for that Happy Ending


From downstairs the Sheehan men could hear the noise. And they probably knew what was happening too.

I was throwing a book against the wall. Again.

In my effort to stop caring about things that don’t matter, aren’t real, and are not my concern, I have stopped reading books that demand a pound of flesh and six hours of my tears.

You would think this would be easy to do. All I need to do is find happy books.

Now I wonder, is ANYONE writing happy books?

Take for instance the book that hit the wall today.

It was about A KNITTING CLUB.

You’d think a book about a knitting club would be a safe bet for a happy read. It might be dull. It might be trite. But unhappy? How much violence, death, disease, heartbreak, and gratutious pain to the reader could a book about a knitting group bring? Apparently ALOT.

Three quarters of the way through the book, I thought I was home free.

All the members of the knitting club, a motley crew who had begun the book with their lives in knots, were experiencing improbable, but refreshingly happy plot twists. It was a very restful unravelling. Then the author pulls out the old “Love Story” land mine and blows the book and my heart to smithereens.

After I had fast forwarded through the last hundred pages in which the heroine dies unexpectedly after reuniting with the love of her life, I looked at the cover for hints that this book about yarn was going to hold such a cargo of angst.

Buried in the pages and pages of upbeat praise for this “impossible to put down” book was the clue I had missed that indicated this would not be a frothy romp about expensive skeins of cashmere or gauge mistakes made right.

“A Steel Magnolias for the twenty-first century.”

The old Steel Magnolias reference was a dead give-away and I missed it the first time I was vetting the book. I had only myself to blame, which is really why I threw the book.

And those listening to my book bashing? It was the male equivalent of a knitting club, a huddle of assorted men and boys draped over the couches downstairs, relaxing before tonight’s superbowl.

My irritation about yet another bad read did not phase them at all. After all, they have a venue for tonight’s game that includes a large enough TV to meet their needs, an apparently unbeatable team, and the promise of fried macaroni and cheese made by Ben’s girlfriend Megan to keep them fueled for however long it takes to get their happy ending.

They were in football la la land, the kind of la la land I was trying to achieve with my knitting club nightmare book.

Seeing them in a happy mass in front of the TV, pretending that they aren’t really planning to watch eight hours of pre game hype, I made an executive decision. Maybe they are on to something. After all, the Patriots and Tom Brady are about as much of a sure bet for a happy ending as it gets on or off the playing field.

Yup, I am watching the game tonight. I am going to pretend I care a lot so I can catch a bit of that happy ending euphoria they’ve all had during the Patrioits undefeated season. I only hope that my attention to the game doesn’t bring a freak twist to the proceedings.

Nah, I think we’re safe. I am sure I haven’t heard any of the sportscasters call the Patriots a bunch of Steel Magnolias for the twenty first century. Well not yet anyways.