The love you take

When I was young, my over-burdened mother arranged to send me to finishing school at John Robert Powers in Pasadena.  I was not a grateful girl.  Although I wanted to go, I was a rebel and didn’t want to be classified. To make matters worse, I was thrown out because I was always late to class and when we put together a script, I failed the class on story endings. We were given subjects and told to come up with one happy and one sad ending; I simply could not come up with a happy one. To this day, I can picture the former model and instructor, a tall Russian woman with bulging eyes, saying, “Linda, can’t you think of one?” (I suspect it’s an especially bad sign when a Russian tells you you’re depressed.)

A few years later, my mother chose to send me again; this time to Barbizon charm school in Los Angeles.  (The odd thing is after her divorce, we had no money, so I don’t know why she was sending me at all, though now that I think about it, she probably needed relief from my unladylike ways.) At this charm school, I thrived. In fact, the summer was so transformative that at the end of class I was awarded a prize for congeniality, signed by all the girls, and proclaimed “Class Best Friend.” I still have it, and consider it one of the happiest moments of my life. 

Now that’s a happy ending, I think, unless you consider what happened the following summer.

Even as I write this, I see that a new issue of Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms is coming out, with all 40 or so endings. I can’t wait for the endings.  Have you ever struggled with an ending?

The Beatles:

8 thoughts on “The love you take”

  1. Thanks for another excellent post. Where else can anyone get that kind of writing information with such a perfect example of writing. Good job!

  2. I don’t believe in anything but happy endings, which may be the reason I am currently struggling with a scenario for one in real life.

  3. Another Hemingway take on A Farewell To Arms. I will need to get a copy of that. I think the endings are what they are, Happy or Sad depends on how we interpret them. I think I have had more sad endings in my life than happy, but I know it was my take on them, because everything in life happens for a reason, and it’s all part of my journey. We need both happy and sad to understand all sides of the story. If all we ever had was happy endings, how would we know a sad one when it occurred, and then, how would we respond to it?

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