It has come to my attention that some readers expect Valentine’s Day to melt the hardened exterior of the Cranky Divorcee, exposing a gooey romantic core. Oh, you sweet naïve things. It’s not April Fool’s, darlings, and this hardened but handsome shell conceals a blackened interior—from heart to lungs, it’s all coated in ash.
No, what the Cranky Divorcee relishes most on the holiday of the winged cherub, with its distinctive aroma of chocolate and disappointment, is to imagine her least favorite fictional couples imploding.
The one sure law of the universe is that everything ends. Competing for the prize of most desired smash-up in this tournament are the fictional sweethearts everyone loves to love. Everyone, of course, but the Cranky Divorcee. And now, drum roll please--the winners:
If this couple were a piece of furniture, they would be a beige couch accented with depressingly “daring” throw pillows in a color that was trendy two years ago. The only thing interesting about them was the anticipation of them becoming a couple. Once that dissipated, they embarked on the fast train to mind-blowing dullness.
I long for the day when they each become dissatisfied and realize that even within the suffocatingly narrow sitcom world they inhabit, there’s more to life than each other. I want to see Pam have a fling with Ryan, and Jim have a fling with Angela. Or perhaps Pam should have a fling with the charmingly “special” receptionist. Let’s face it—it’s not as though either of them will ever expand their horizons beyond the workplace. But at least if they separate, their lives will gain a little texture and excitement before they die.
Jane Eyre & Mr. Rochester
Ah yes, the ultimate romance. The unconventional governess gets to play nurse for the rest of her life to a bigamist who imprisoned his wife in the attic. That’s the stuff of true love. Together, they’re but one of a million couples who illustrate the little understood concept that being alone is not the worst fate that can befall a person.
Odysseus & Penelope;
Let’s face it: Odysseus didn’t exactly mind that it took him decades to return home to his wife. And a woman who can trick a pack of men by unraveling her weaving every night could surely come up with a more permanent solution to dispose of her unwanted suitors. I’d love to see Odysseus continue to roam, and Penelope reign over her island alone. Perhaps she’ll find some fine young thing one day; perhaps not. But anything would be better than waiting forever.
Henry Higgins & Eliza Doolittle
Jo & Professor Bhaer
Harry & Ginny
Wesley & Buttercup
Amy Pond & Rory Williams
Nominations for next year's tournament are now being haughtily accepted.