I have a friend from West Virginia that sends me all manner of political propaganda. Most of it is Pro-Romney. I finally asked her to stop.
"Why?" she asked. "You're Mormon, you must love Romney."
"Actually," I said "I'm a democrat."
"I didn't know that Mormon democrats existed," she said in awe.
I thought her astonishment was pretty funny, though I was used to it from my non-member friends. But that conversation got my head turning (and credit for the blog post idea goes to Kasey). How many things are real that we believe to be fantasy? And how many things, which we strive to be, are pure myth?
First up, the liger. Though Napoleon Dynamite might dream and doodle it as a mythical beast, it actually exists. It is truly the offspring of a tiger and a lion. And unlike mules, they can actually reproduce.
And there is actually some truth to our Halloween monsters. Scientist believe the tales originated from sufferers of porphryia diseases. The symptoms can include, hairy and distorted bodies, aversion to sun and silver, and - wait for it - a propensity for blood.
So what isn't real?
Perfection or anything even remotely close to it. The perfect child, the perfect mother... do not exist. And yet, we all lament that we are not this ideal myth. That our kids are not like the little angels that live down the street. Yet that mom who lives down the street would probably confirm that her kids are more hell than halo.
Another bad one -- the ideal body. Even supermodels have the audacity to complain about the hugeness of their pencil width thighs. I bet even Barbie would moan about something if her lips moved.
As writers, we often keep tweaking, revising, and deleting -- waiting for that perfect story. But as long as people have opinions, that story will never exist. When I was compiling the essays from our contest, I noticed that some of the pieces that really resonated with me, may not have struck the same chord with another judge. The same also happened in reverse. Writing is an extremely subjective process. What one reader/agent/editor turns their nose up at, another person might grip the pages and never let go. Harry Potter anyone? How many agents lost their jobs after passing that one up?
Whether someone's looking to be a better mother, woman, writer, or whatever... leave the fantasy on the page, where it belongs.
And as for the reality of the unicorn... if my daughter has any say -- totally true.