I had a hard time with the topic this week. I’m happily married now, but I’ve had my share of bad times in the love game, and who wants to go there again? Yes, I’ve been dumped flat on my proverbial. Yes, yes, yes, I have spent evenings with Patsy Cline and a bottle of Shiraz. Yes, my husband can still push my buttons.
But then I started thinking about my favorite novels, and it cheered me up to no end because, friends, while my love life might have sucked, it never sucked as much as, say, Emma Bovary’s. And, so, I present the Love Sucks Valentine Awards for Heroes and Heroines of Literature. Even if you’re cueing up Patsy as we speak, it can’t be this bad.
For making Very Bad Choices for Very Good Reasons: Anna Vronsky
For being the Ex from Hell: Madame Merle from Portrait of a Lady
Best Star-Crossed Lovers: Romeo and Juliet
Runners Up: Cathy and Heathcliff
For figuring out that love really doesn’t have to suck, after all: Elizabeth Bennett
Best Martyr for the Cause: Hester Prynn
Best Unrequited Lover: Jay Gatsby
Best delusional pervert: Humpert Humbert
Runner Up: Gustav von Aschenbach from Death in Venice
Best Temptress: Deliliah
And finally, the All-Around Medal for Stalking, Inappropriate and Misplaced Affection, Bad Timing, Self-Delusion and general Kick-Ass Bad Girl Behavior: Scarlett O’Hara, of course. No matter what your love drama is, you can only aspire.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Who’s in your Literary Love Hall of Fame?