Following on from the rancher's view of the happy-ever-after, here's one presented to a racing driver hero by his friend, Jerry:
"The way I see it, [...] marriage is a lot like racing five-hundred miles at top speed. The only sensible way to tackle that big a challenge is a lap at a time. Right?"
"Well, the only sensible way to tackle marriage and forever after is a day at a time." (Varner 166)
It's a metaphor which suggests that marriage, and the happy-ever-after, will continue to throw up challenges, all the way to the finishing line. Dan, the racing-driver hero, adds an extra touch of realism to the metaphor by observing that some cars are more likely to reach the finishing line than others:
Though he tackled his five-hundred-mile races a lap at a time, just as Jerry pointed out, he did it in a dependable car, with good tires and plenty of fuel. If he and Torie tried to tackle marriage, whether a day, an hour or even a second at a time, they would be doing it unprepared - without the two most important prerequisites: love and a willingness to compromise. They would not be able to survive the long haul; they would not win the race. (172)
Shortly after this, of course, they discover that they do indeed have enough love to fuel them all the way to the end of the race, along with an ability to compromise which will make sure the wheels don't fall off their romance before they reach the finishing line.
Varner, Linda. A House Becomes a Home. New York, NY: Silhouette, 1991.
The photo is of "NASCAR driver Scott Gaylord's car, when he ran in the Winston Cup race at Sears Point in 1991" and was made available under a Creative Commons licence by Jay Bonvouloir. I came across it via Wikimedia Commons.