Thanks for nothing, Louisa May Alcott.
My Grandmother Henson gave me the book Little Women on my tenth birthday (a treasured possesion. She wrote lovely things inside it.) I started reading it the same day. Ten days or so later, I came to the part about Laurie asking Jo to marry him. Jo said no. I was so horrified and taken aback that I reread the scene four times. I thought I misunderstood.
I was distraught, but there were many pages of the book left. All this will be remedied in time, my ten year-old self told my ten year-old self.
And then, on that fateful Thanksgiving morning of 1987- I read the scene where Laurie sweeps into the room with his new wife- AMY!
Ah! The gnashing of teeth! The inner wailing! The tearing of hair! Not that little twit! If it can't be Jo- maybe Beth. But not Amy! Never Amy!
Thanksgiving was ruined.
I wanted to throw the book but I couldn't! It was too precious to me.
I suffered, of course, in silence. Bitter cranberry sauce from the can, how you torment me to this day. My Grandmother never once asked me where I was in the book. Who my favorite character was. (JO. Of course. JO.) Or if I even liked it. People often remarked about how I liked to read but no one ever engaged me in a conversation about what I was reading. This continued until college.
In college, and since- I have heard at least five other people (okay, they probably have all had vaginas) say that they were incredibly upset that Laurie and Jo did not get married. That Laurie married that little minx, Amy. I cannot tell you how delighted I was when I heard these book-nerd confessions. I thought I was the only one! I may as well have been. Floating alone in a galaxy of books for almost the first eighteen years of my life.
All that to say- I am thankful for all my nerdy literature friends. So thankful. And for all of you who respond as passionately as I do to "fiction".