Original draft: August 18, 2014
A few weeks back, my team at work attended a writing seminar, a full-day of learning new writing tips and techniques, and obviously competing with each other to win a grammar quiz (I think I came in 4th). We took most of the advice seriously, but as a team full of snarky individuals, we let a few jokes run away with us. In particular, the woman leading the workshop chastised us a little for the colloquial use of the adverb form of “hope.” E.g., at one point, I mentioned “Hopefully they bring lunch soon, I’m about to eat my notebook” and her response was “They are not going to bring us lunch in a hopeful manner.” We let that be the joke of the day, calling each out for saying both “hopefully” and “hopelessly” in any context, like “you are not eating the last Reese’s in a manner devoid of hope” and “that document is not, itself, full of hope.” As the joke has died down in the weeks after the workshop, I’ve continued to notice how often I use both hopefully, as well as hopelessly, in context that I’m sure would get me chastised by that instructor all over again.
I am the product of high school sweethearts who still love each other almost as much as I love Sun Chips, and the byproduct of a generation raised on Disney princesses and rom coms. My extended family is rambunctious and loud and we all adore each other, relishing our “small family get-togethers” that practically require a banquet hall. I’ve watched two friends stay in love over so many years, despite ups and downs, and I’ve watch two friends meet and fall desperately, quickly and completely in love. I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by all of this amazing love throughout my life. The unfortunate side effect of this is that I have a tendency to let my imagination run wild with the possible notion of a love story of my own. I am, what some would classify, hopelessly romantic.
It’s an interesting way to describe someone, qualifying romance with something that inherently means “causing despair.” In that sense I think it’s a good term though.
The funny thing is, I’ve had all the makings for these amazing wonderful stories, college love, the boy on the subway. And I suppose for a time they were, in their own way. But as the aforementioned byproduct of the princess and happy endings generation, I never accepted that the stories continued long after the characters find each other against all obstacles and fade to black with true love’s kiss.