…And they live happily ever after

Admittedly not very high on the news radar and not life-changing to anyone but them, I found myself thinking about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “stepping back” from the royal family. (I’m sure Harry has a last name, but you’re probably not confusing him with other Prince Harrys.)

I’m a fan of rom-coms, Korean dramas, Austen/Bronte novels, and all things with a happy ending. I counter my wild romantic notions with a healthy dose of cynicism and skepticism. I can differentiate between fiction and fantasy. These stories do not happen in Real Life.

Enter Harry and Meghan starring in their own rom-com Starstruck.

Meghan is an American divorcée who works for a living and has a difficult family. She has a good attitude and a bright personality. She is Every Girl. One day she meets this guy. He has a history of being a bad boy (wounded boy who lost his mum acting out), but turned himself around and served in the military (for real, two tours in Afghanistan) for ten years flying helicopters. He’s good looking and seems to have a lot of money. And it turns out he’s a British prince. He’s a composite of every male character in every rom-com, chick lit, romance movie/book/series.

They get married in a fairy tale wedding. And they live happily ever after.

Until . . . the sequel in which Harry decides to leave the royal family (dun, dun, DUN!). The British media have dubbed it Megxit.

The romantic in me is a bit sad that the fairy tale fell apart. The feminist in me is quite happy and is able to spin this in a good way for my romantic side.

So Harry’s not a prince now. He’s still most of the romantic package (bad boy, wounded soul, veteran, pilot, has money, etc.). Meghan no longer has to sit around looking pretty at the behest of the queen. She can fulfill her own dreams and live her own meaningful life.

The best (read: romantic) part is Harry chose her. He didn’t wimp out and buckle to his family’s wishes, and he defends her against the media (in the UK the coverage tends to be borderline racist and mean toward Meghan). He is going to be the supportive husband she deserves and the father Archie deserves. He is their champion, not their savior.

In fairy tale terms, Cinderella marries the prince and becomes the CEO of her own environmentally friendly cleaning products corporation. The kingdom becomes a democracy with elected officials and Prince Charming gets to use his private tutor education to help those less fortunate (like the shoeless, for instance). He could even take on the responsibility of raising the kids and making sure dinner is on the table every night.

Harry and Meghan’s story is the kind of feminist romance I’m happy to celebrate. And in Real Life too.

As the story continues to be written, let’s let them live happily ever after.

Move over Paris, Jerusalem is the City of Love

In the evening I opened the window to let in some fresh air after sitting in air conditioning all day.  Suddenly I heard loud buzzing and gargantuan hornets were flying around trying to get in my window.  I ran around screaming and waving my arms.  After pulling myself together I leapt to the window and shut it.  Looking out the window, I saw that there is a hornets’ nest inside my neighbor’s wall.  Yikes!  I’m keeping my window closed for now!

This little story is a metaphor for how I feel about the news in the last few weeks.  So after running around, screaming, and waving my arms, I’m shutting my metaphorical window on the news and am going to write about something else entirely. Something nice.

In a few weeks, we are going to be having a holiday of love called Tu B’Av.  It’s not exactly the commercialized Valentine’s Day of the US, but it has some similarities.  In preparation, the city of Jerusalem launched a website allowing people to pin hearts to a map of Jerusalem and tell their love story.  (I’m giving the whole link because I like the name of the site: http://www.jerusalemlovemap.co.il/)

love map

The various shades of pink and red reflect different kinds of stories: first meeting, first date, marriage proposal, perfect date, and, in a twist on romance, the last kiss.

I clicked through some of the stories and here are two that I liked.

Think romance is dead?  Not here.


By E. and R.

In summer 2010, I was a little wobbly after leaving a Jerusalem bar and saw a woman sitting on the sidewalk with her friends.  I talked to her and pestered her a little and went on my way.  After 50 meters, thanks to a little liquid courage in my veins, I turned back to ask for her phone number.  At the end of February 2013, I came back with the same girl and asked her to be with me forever.  She agreed.  We’re married and happy for the past three years.

love story

And then there is the humorous.

First meeting

By Anonymous

Unbelievably, we met in a car accident on the Begin Highway.  My car was a total loss and was not drivable.  She drove me home after we exchanged information.  I did not have the heart to sue for an insurance claim, but used her number to invite her on a date.  We’re happily married today and laugh when we pass by the garage.

car accident

I think this idea is marvelous.  It’s cutting edge and a fabulous use of social media.  (Have I mentioned recently how much I like our mayor?)  All the citizens of Jerusalem are thinking about love stories instead of violence and attacks.  Jerusalem can be the city of love; we just have to get together and make it so.