When I was young, my over-burdened mother arranged to send me to finishing school at John Robert Powers http://www.johnrobertpowers.net/ 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 http://www.barbizonmodeling.com/ 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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a_8F6gflxQ