Sometimes I just have the urge to write. It’s 12:38 in the morning and my fingers are just itching to move across the keyboard. I’ve started and finished two romance novels, which I bought today after walking to B&N since Doris is out of commission, in the last 11 hours so that’s what I’ll write about. The other stuff that I’ve mentioned (and haven’t written about) doesn’t sound very appealing to me right now. I’m just typing as the words pop into my head so if it doesn’t make sense or if I’m repeating things from a previous post, which is quite likely, I apologize.
I’ve made it not secret that I like to read romance novels. I discovered them a few years back and got hooked. Initially it was just women’s literature, or “chick lit,” (and I honestly can’t remember how I got into that…I’ve always been a fantasy type of gal). I segued into romance because I was looking for more books by an author and discovered the romance novels she wrote (romances are almost always written by women). So, what’s the difference between chick lit and romance? Besides the obvious one where romance drives the plot of one and doesn’t necessarily need to be part of the formula of another, of course. In my opinion, it’s one thing: sex.
I’m not going to deny it. When I first discovered romances, the sex scenes were part of the reason I got hooked. Having mostly read fantasy books from the teen section of the bookstore, the extent of action I read about up to that point had been that squishy feeling you get in your stomach when that person was around, holding hands and maybe, maybe a little bit of kissing. Needless to say, having the act described in extremely graphic detail was new to me. I was intrigued. I even had my boyfriend at the time read one–it was probably the first or second one I’d ever read. He didn’t have much to say about it. He just shrugged and said it was alright. I still don’t know what he really thought–though by now, with his less-than-stellar memory, he probably doesn’t even remember.
And while it was the sex that originally sucked me in–especially after I became single (it’s nice to see somebody’s getting a some action, even if they’re not real)–that’s not why I continue reading them. Romance novels are very formulaic: boy and girl meet or re-meet; boy and girl feel immediate attraction or renewed attraction; boy and girl are reluctant to get involved but eventually do; boy and girl screw it up somehow; boy and girl make up and live happily ever after. I know it sounds like it would get boring to read different versions of the same story, and I’ll admit that it does sometimes. But it’s also nice to read something where the protagonists do end up with their true love.
This gives me hope. Hope that my better half is out there somewhere. Hope that romance is not dead. Hope that there are good men out there.
Romance novels give me a better idea of what qualities I want in a partner. I’m not talking specifics like career choices or physical appearances. I’m talking about a man’s character, how he treats others and most importantly, how he treats me. Romances help me not become cynical. Although, I honestly don’t think I was ever in danger of becoming that way, despite my relationship experience, my violent tendencies and the remarks and advice I’ll make and give (repeatedly) to others–I just believe people who treat others like shit deserve to be treated the same way.
And of course, there’s always the Grand Gesture. You know, public declarations, making a spectacle of yourself, giving up the most important thing in your life for that special person. That kind of stuff. Not all romances end with a GG but a lot do and it makes me wonder if people, men and women, do that kind of stuff in real life. My gut tells me no. It’s called romantic fiction for a reason. But then I figure there are probably some people who would do such things. Maybe not as grand as the ones in romances but significant gestures, nonetheless.
I’ve just read a series about a family where every single story ends with some sort of Grand Gesture and with all this gesturing, it made me wonder whether or not I’m a GG type of girl. I don’t think I am. I’m the type who appreciates the little things. But I don’t think I’d say no to a bit of gesturing. But I think it’d have to be one of those completely-random-just-because gestures. Birthdays, holidays and anniversaries don’t really count because something is usually expected to be done on these days anyway. It’s the ones you don’t expect that mean the most.
Now, all I’ve got to do is find a man to do the gesturing.