What Is Romance?
I saw a cartoon in my morning paper today which made me think as well as gave me a good laugh over my coffee while I was waiting for the laptop to boot up:
Two men talking in a bar:
Guy 1: My wife wanted to put some romance back into our marriage, so she asked me to dress up and make love to her like they do in the movies.
Guy 2: Sounds OK. What did you do?
Guy 1: I put on a boiler suit, fastened a tool belt to my waist, climbed a ladder and waved at her through our bedroom window while she was getting dressed.
Guy 2: Did she let you in?
Guy 1: No – It turns out we like different movies
It occurred to me this is also indicative of the type of books people read and what individuals see as being ‘romantic’, and what they don’t. Some people like explicit sexual encounters and see these novels as contemporary romantic. It’s becoming the norm in the stories I have seen lately that couples meet, have sex, then, if they still find each other attractive the next morning, start to form a relationship. If not, they move on. No wasted time, emotions or recriminations.
I’m old fashioned enough to think there is another, better way to embark on a relationship. I write historical fiction and of course there is a set order in which a couple will progress their relationship. The circumstances can vary, i.e. unconventional meetings where they are not necessarily introduced by a social equal – daring eh?
A popular scenario is a chance encounter in a dramatic situation where the heroine makes an impression on the hero, and then disappears, only to be formerly introduced at a ball or social gathering, allowing them to pursue an alliance without loss of reputation.
Today's ‘twentysomethings’ appear to have broken most of those traditions. Sometimes, I wonder if this is progress and are relationships ultimately better and more committed because of a more casual approach?
Or are today’s singles more confused now about what’s expected of them because the ‘play hard to get’ and ‘don’t sleep with someone on a first date’ guidelines have been ditched? Could this also be why there is an increase in demand for romantic fiction because it’s lacking in real life?
Now back to NaNoWriMo,or I shall be guilty of being the hare who got a good start but let everyone else overtake them on the last stretch.....