Think Aloud explores book-related discussions encompassing reading, writing, blogging, and perhaps newsworthy content. The focus is to push the boundaries, stretch the mind, and encourage dialogue within this community. Let’s all think out loud.
Ships Don’t Sink…
They Turn Into Shipmarines
Happily-ever-afters don’t restrict the possibility of [previous] ships happening in the future.
Let’s be honest now—
Stories following ships you can ride-or-die with typically make for better reads. Unless you don’t agree with the main canon. Then the entire “shipping” dynamic nuances the overall likeness to a story.
This is a problem reader’s face when their potential “one-true-pairing” treads murky waters and ends up sinking. Devastating, right?
But you know what? While the story might “suggest” your ship has sunk, until it’s known that the characters riding your Love Boat have legitimately died (which I highly doubt), let me tell you that your ship has actually evolved (…devolved?) into a fucking submarine/shipmarine.
I repeat: your ship has evolved into a shipmarine.
That’s right—end-game relationships of any story have a chance at imploding. Slim, maybe, but it’s a chance nonetheless. (I’m sorry if your world is crumbling now.) If/when it does happen: what an opportune moment to will your submarine to re-emerge squeaky clean, with its missiles of feels at the ready for another round of ship wars. You are the captain of your ship after all.
This is why people can’t have nice things; realistic fiction is a bitch and what no one tells you is that the happy-ever-afters, sunsets and rainbows, and “happy go lucky” shit on the last page could be part of a bigger story reflected in the drama that fills up your social media feed or the rising divorce statistic (assuming marriage is end-game—you don’t need some document to be happy).
Hope is the game here.
Not the hope that their ship combusts (that’s just rude to egg on) but rather the hope that the possibility of your ship [still] exists; perhaps in a parallel universe or just later in life. This isn’t to say that characters with unrequited feelings should stake it out until [something] happens. No…that’d be stupid (and rather creepy). Instead, the focus of being a shipmarine is that the romance-driven narratives dealing with the “years later” aspect of a teetering relationship is a realistic story of contention.
A possible timeline to not give up on.
Things happen; life happens, and if it does, then submarines revert back to ships for all to see. Because really: high school sweethearts, princes and princesses, star crossed lovers, bad boys and good girls, and everything in-between—however you want to slice this relationship cake—everyone is fair game to Cupid snapping that love arrow of his that once bound a couple. And when it happens, maybe you can hear the gratuitous laughter of cynical realism.
Cupid’s seriously a bitch.
*dropping dat mic*
1) What is your opinion on “happily-ever-after…the end” endings? Do you ever consider future “what-ifs”?
2) What merits a “shippable” couple to you? (The bantering? The slow burn? The balancing of personalities?)
3) Have there ever been ships [you didn’t enjoy reading] that made you stop reading the story altogether?
4) Favourite ship? Worst? Somewhere-in-the-middle?
And you should totally share this post with anyone who is feeling under when ships sink (because they don’t!).
As always, think aloud.
This just happened. It might seem like I’m anti-romance—I’m not—just trying to shed some light on realism. There’s a quote from Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (2014) film that basically exemplifies what I’m trying to say:
“You know how everyone’s always saying ‘seize the moment’? I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking it’s the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.”
I’m hoping I can finalize my ideas for a follow-up post to the ideas presented here. (I would love to make this feature a Thursday thing but I can’t think of ideas and write it fast enough.)