The Three Graces are experiencing a meltdown, and all that seems to be left is me, Thalia, the grace of good cheer. Aglaia has lost her splendor, and is now drowning her sorrows in a basement bar. Euphrosyne lost her sense of humor several months ago when she was dumped by a chump who preferred to kneel to the false god of work.
It hasn't been much fun around them, but I've persisted in being cheerful, despite my own doubts about the long term possibilities of love and happiness in this life. Good Cheer, in my book, as well as the key to survival, is taking the good times when you can get them, and weathering the bad ones in good humor when they come. Creating reasons to celebrate even when fortune doesn't seem inclined to be generous. I'm a short term pessimist, bad times, and bad things are inevitable, but in the long term I'm an optimist, things are always bound to get better (even if they get worse, first.)
Sadly, neither Aglaia nor Euphrosyne can muster any optimism when things aren't going well. Both of them seem convinced that they are destined never to find love, that they will slowly wither, fade, and die alone. So much for immortality!
Now Aglaia tells me she can no longer spend time in the company of Euphrosyne. "She's so depressing," Aglaia complains. "My satin is losing its sheen, my velvet is getting threadbare, I can't take it anymore. Her gloom is tarnishing my splendor."
Meanwhile, Euphrosyne can't understand why Aglaia is avoiding her. "I don't understand why she keeps declining my invitations," she moans. "Just because she's moulting is no reason to stay away from my pity parties."
What can I do? As the Grace of Good Cheer I lie. I tell Aglaia that there is sure to be a splendid new coat beneath the old one: peacock feathers to replace her crows wings. I tell her that of course Euphrosyne doesn't notice her sudden change in both appearance and behavior, she's too wrapped up in trying to repair her rusty sense of humor. And to Euphrosyne, I laugh at all her ironic statements as though they were jokes filled with helium, instead of nails in her lonely coffin.
But what is Good Cheer, without Mirth or Splendor? Does she become frowsy with cheap drinks, and cheaper sex? Does she become vulgar with her forced gaiety, or gluttonous with gorging? Who is Good Cheer without the other two graces? Does she find new friends, or does she dine alone?