As a teenager or adult, being called “childish” is usually meant as an insult, but I’m pretty sure we all have an “inner child” that needs to be let out occasionally. What’s wrong with a bit of exuberance? Imagination? Having fun? At YALC last weekend it was clear that people like nothing better than a good excuse for dressing up and letting loose that inner child – everyone was enjoying it. I will definitely make a costume for next year!
Life is too serious sometimes. The daily news channels and papers seem to thrive on reporting all the misery that is going on around the world and it’s very seldom you get a feel-good, happy story. If you sat down and thought about it all, it would make you want to cry so for me the only way to escape is to read stories where everything turns out right in the end. Yep, the happy-ever-after is a must for me!
I freely admit to being childish is many ways – I love fairy tales, Disney movies, superheroes and comics, and I collect lots of childhood stuff like dolls, stuffed toys and dolls house things. Does that make me less of an adult? I don’t think so. I can still act the responsible adult and do all the grown-up things I have to do, but from time to time I need to let my mind have time off from that.
Most stories/books written are fairy tales in one way or another, some are just more serious than others. The original Grimm fairy tales were really dark and sometimes pretty gruesome as they were meant to teach us something about human nature. That good triumphs over evil. That if you do your best, you are ultimately rewarded. We all know it doesn’t always work like that in real life, but to me it should do so in stories. If evil triumphs, what’s the point?
I know lots of other people prefer stories that are more realistic, perhaps with endings that are upbeat but not quite happy-ever-after. I used to read those too, but now I find that life is too short so I check the ending before I buy a book. Cheating? Not really, because by the time I get round to reading it (my TBR pile is like Mount Everest!) I’ll have forgotten the details. All I know is that I won’t be disappointed – perfect!