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Thread: The Happily Ever After Concept

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    The Happily Ever After Concept

    This thread is about the concept, alien to many, called "Happily Ever After". What is it, anyway? Can it be had? Grabbed? Touched?

    Is it a lie? A false hope?

    Note: Not a reference to any afterlife. This is a thread about the here and now.
    _____

    This morning as I was motoring to the workplace, the big AM radio station in Detroit (WJR) ("From the golden tower of the Fisher building, the great voice of the great lakes!") was presenting a short snippet from the Focus on the Family dude.

    Normally I cringe at his snippets, because they tend to be filled with a view of morals and life and living that is quite different than mine.

    However, today he talked about young couples getting to know each other before getting involved in a marriage. He used the phrase "happily ever after". I immediately slid into a MaisterMoment and the result is this thread.
    _____

    We see examples in life of what might be called "happily ever after".....older couples that have been married for many years, still enjoying each other's company, still holding hands, still respecting each other.....ministers, priests, nuns, volunteers who commit a life (or part of a life) to helping others "see the way" or "build a house".

    Could you argue that people who "don't know any better" also are experiencing happily ever after? People with severe mental disabilities or the very young? My older brother......until he was 61, a published writer, a teacher for years.....now, because of dementia, a simple shell of a person who can't do anything except sit and stare?

    What about folks who drink all of the time? Or stay high? Are they "happily ever after", because their abuse is shortening the time known as "ever after"?

    One more.....the fine folks at Cyburbia who will enjoy a life "happily ever after" when this Bear stops introducing strange threads?

    What say you?

    Bear, Rolling In Happily Ever After
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    What is this "happily ever after" that you speak of ?

    Still single at 50.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
    Zoning Lord Richmond Jake's avatar
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    This Cyburbian has never been happier than in any point in his life. Life is good and I want to be here a very long time.

  4. #4
    I don't know if I'll ever be happy... sometimes, I do think that a nice brain injury would do me well. There's a lot going on in my head, I'm constantly thinking about things - assessing, worrying, etc.

    If I could get by with a life that consisted of sitting on a porch, in a rocking chair, facing the sunset, in a perpetual alcohol-induced buzz... I would probably be close to "happily ever after." Other than that... meh, I don't know.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    My grandparents have been married for almost 60 years, traveled all over the world together, raised a family, were very active in their community, etc. In a sense, they were living happily ever after. But you never know what the future holds. Now my grandfather has Alzheimer's and my grandmother is completely miserable and overwhelmed by all that goes along with it (she refuses to get any help, so her misery is partly self-induced). Their happily ever after isn't really all that "ever after," although some might have wonderful stories about their experiences with a dying partner. I don't think that will happen in this case. Given that we all will get old and probably decline towards death, I guess it's all in how you look at it...

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BearUpNorth
    I immediately slid into a MaisterMoment and the result is this thread.
    This statement alone compels me to respond to this thread.

    Here’s how Webster’s Collegiate Dropout (2nd Edition) defines the term:
    MaisterMoment: (May stir moh mint) n. [Cyb. colloq.] 1. a sudden realization pertaining to mundane or banal phenomenon that raises questions and prompts a thorough but entirely unnecessary analysis of a subject. 2. any poor excuse offered as a pretext for engaging in discussion. 3. having thoughts similar to Maister.
    Quote Originally posted by BearUpNorth
    This thread is about the concept, alien to many, called "Happily Ever After". What is it, anyway? Can it be had? Grabbed? Touched?

    Is it a lie? A false hope?
    We see examples in life of what might be called "happily ever after".....older couples that have been married for many years, still enjoying each other's company, still holding hands, still respecting each other.....ministers, priests, nuns, volunteers who commit a life (or part of a life) to helping others "see the way" or "build a house".

    Could you argue that people who "don't know any better" also are experiencing happily ever after? People with severe mental disabilities or the very young? My older brother......until he was 61, a published writer, a teacher for years.....now, because of dementia, a simple shell of a person who can't do anything except sit and stare?

    What about folks who drink all of the time? Or stay high? Are they "happily ever after", because their abuse is shortening the time known as "ever after"?
    Happiness is, of course, an emotion, so the phrase “happily ever after” suggests a person or persons spends the remainder of their existence experiencing this positive emotional state…..I don’t know about you but I would be profoundly mistrustful of anyone who traipsed about with a constant song in their heart and a perma-smile on their face! Besides, I’ve heard continual use of those types of controlled substances over time can cause serious brain damage.

    Rather than continual bliss, though, I suspect the phrase is intended more realistically to mean “and they lived the remainder of the life without any particular misfortune and experienced a generally high level of contentment or satisfaction concerning the overall quality of their existence”. And, yeah, this is definitely possible. Not that common but it can happen. Particularly when people live examined lives.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  7. #7
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    I think it's possible -- the happily ever after thought. But I also am a big believer in an afterlife, and I plan on living into eternity, so even if these next 50 or 60 years don't work out that well.... it's still all good for me.
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    I've been married over 4 years. There isn't any magical Happy Ever After. There's happiness, contentment, and joy at being with the one you love, but into that mix sometimes falls anger and biterness. That doesn't mean I don't love my wife, only that I married another human.
    Back home just in time for hockey season!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Happily Ever After is personal concept which can never be fully achieved. The concept is three words, and each word is extremely vague. I think that much like “Sweetest Day”, Happily Ever After is a marketing concept created by Corporate America. Alfred Slone of GM created the concept of the “American Dream of a single family house on a quiet street, with a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, and a Chevrolet in the attached garage that projects 5.5 feet in front of the front door.

    First of all what is happy? Is it a feeling related to an internal chemical action that is experienced when there are particular moments of pleasure or contentment? What happens when these moments do not exist?

    Second, how long is Ever? Is ever until he next moment arrives? Until Death? Or is it for all eternity?

    Finally, what is this ‘After’? What is before it? Constant hardship and pain? Code Enforcement? What come after happy? A dog chasing a ball? A kitten playing in a basket of yarn? Constant torture in the depths of hell?

    I think that this concept of happily ever after is only a momentary status as the results of a persons life as it relates to material possessions, social balance, and interaction with love ones.

    In search of Happily Ever After is much like searching for the Fountain of Youth or the perfect Zoning Code. It does not exist. We make the best out of each moment that is handed to us, proactively plan for what we think is coming, react to what we did not see coming, and exist the best we can in the result of previous choices, in hopes that our current and future choices will result in happier times. For to not quest further happiness will only lead to sorrow because Happiness is like a tree, in needs a stable root system in which it anchors it’s self to the ground, plenty of water to keep food flowing, rich soil to supply it with the basic elements needed, and light to make it smile. Like a tree, happiness will grow or die.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    In fairy tales, this phrase has seemed to suggest (in my reading) that from that point on, all was cake and ice cream - that after all that turmoil (carriages turning into pumpkins, changing shape from a prince to a frog and back again, etc.), life was a breeze. In that reading, no, I don't think it is possible. Life is too hard to just coast and have everything work out ok.

    At this juncture in my life, I would have to say that things are really pretty great. However, if I expect this to remain the case, I (and my partner and family) need to keep working at it. Of course, the more you work at it, the easier, or more comfortable that work becomes, but still, one can't just sit back and let life happen and expect that things will all be fine. One has to be an active player willing to embrace ups and downs as part of what propels us through time and (hopefully) improves our quality of life (as we learn from our experiences) - whatever that means to different people. In my opinion...

    Also, Bear mentioned the issue of dementia (and I am sorry to hear about your brother - this stuff just sucks, no matter how its sliced). My father has Alzheimer's and until the last 5 months or so was with it enough to be really pissed off, ornery and generally belligerent about life. And I mean really bad stuff that was totally out of character for him. Things were miserable. Now, though, he has entered a new stage - what some called the "blissed out" stage - where he is more or less living in the moment, is happy, contented, and more pleasant than I have seen him in years. I have thought about this quite a bit as it all weighs on me heavily.

    His personality has certainly changed. He is a "shell" of his former self as so many describe. But at the same time, he is sort of in a Zen state of constantly living in the moment and, for the time being at least, he seems very pleased with that. The weight of worrying about what is coming up or what has just transpired has melted away and he seems genuinely surprised and excited by events of the day. Its not way to go through your whole life, of course - he lives in a "facility" and so people take care of his meals and laundry, etc. He could never make it through a day in tact on his own at this point - no ability to plan ahead, even for later the same day, let alone put together a grocery list and go shopping. But if things continue as they are, I guess I would describe it as a "happily ever after" scenario and a pretty sweet ending from what is a generally terrible disease.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  11. #11
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    umm happily ever after....doesn't necessarily mean together!
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
    http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RandomPlanner... View post
    I think it's possible -- the happily ever after thought. But I also am a big believer in an afterlife, and I plan on living into eternity, so even if these next 50 or 60 years don't work out that well.... it's still all good for me.
    I agree, my happily ever after will start when I'm dead.
    @GigCityPlanner

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    I have often heard "they are happy because they don't know any better" Therefore they could be considered "happily ever after"
    I consider my self to be already to be "happily ever after" because I am married to my soul mate.
    Am lucky to still be alive
    And am very content with my life and hope it continues

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I think I do live happily ever after in the here and now. This kind of goes back to the thread about forgiveness but I just don't have the disability of living in the past. Some parts of the present are better than others but I'm o.k. with that. I'm here and when I'm not, well I'm not too worried about the future either. Gotta admit I envy my dogs sometime though because each walk is going to be the best one ever and each meal is anticipated the same way.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Happily ever after is a pipe dream in my humble opinion. Life is full of ups and downs....how do you cherish the happiest moments in life when you don't have any unhappy ones?
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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