Green Is the New Blond: Seeing Romance Plots in Everyday

April 3, 2011 at 2:59 am 3 comments

A few weeks ago, my friend Ria’s mother came up to visit.  Over the typical “getting to know you” brunch–involving the our favorite local diner, made-to-order donuts, and hashbrown casserole so good it makes you sigh–she asked me that dreaded senior year question: “what do you wanted to do after college.”  Eick.  Over the past year I have been getting that question a whole lot.  So after a while, my answer has gotten pretty automatic. “Oh, I want to work with romance novels.”

Now, instead of giving me that look–the one that says “and here I though you were a smart young woman”–and replying with the polite equivalent of “what’s a girl like you doing with a book like that,” she calmly replies, “Oh! I have a close friend who loves romances.”  Wait. what?!?  Where was the double take? The embarrassed laugh? The questioning look?  Did she just calmly accept what has taken me and my parents years to come to terms with? We still haven’t told family members that the book magazine I interned with over the summer was formerly Romantic Times. Woah.

You are green with envy at the awesome wig, I know

Okay, so yeah, Ria’s mom was refreshingly non-judgmental about my ambitious goals, but on a whole, it was just a small blip in the craziness that was midterm week.  She left shortly after that brunch and I moved on to the deadlines and papers and exams.  Then a week later, I get a facebook notification.  “Ria’s Mom has commented on your profile picture.”  Interesting.  I mean honestly it is an epic pic of me in an awesome green wig in honor of the St. Patty’s day celebration a school.  But still I didn’t exactly expect her to comment on it.  Just one line. She asked, “Do heroines in romance novels typically have green hair.”  And I started to think…hmmm…have I ever encounter one with green hair? Let me think before I post a hasty “nope, not normally.” Let me see…

Yup.  Jennifer Crusie, Getting Rid of Bradley.  The heroine accidentally dyed her hair a nice mossy green. Bam! Under a minute. Connection made. Book secured. Success!

So I quickly go start typing a response comment in the little comment box, all the while thinking, “Wow, who would have thought that there would even be a character with green hair much less that I would know who she is?”  So there I am patting myself on the back for a connection well-done, when I realized: I could be that character.  She had green hair.  I had green hair.  She loves dogs.  I love dogs.  She loves a cop.  I love all cops. OMG! The same?  Well, not quite, but still.  It got me onto this path.

See, people ask me all the time what I like about romance, and I reply the passion.  I love the build up, the emotions, the crazy screwed up interesting characters who are sometimes so real I mentally continue their stories through mind fanfiction–as in I mentally not physically continual their stories in my own fictional tales.  Try reading Christine Feehan’s Dark Series and just try not to write your own mental fan ode to her sexy Carpathians.  Oh, those sexy hunky men. So Alpha. Yum.

Such a stud muffin

But the whole “green” hair incident made me realize the main reason that I love romance novels:  no matter where you are in life or what you are doing, you can relate to some element in them.  I can see myself in the heroines.  My crazy stories match their crazy stories! (Heavenly music!) Ok so sure, I am not a psychic woman who finds herself the lifemate of a sexy 1,000 year old Carpathian.  And yes, I am not really, a green-haired woman with a terrible ex and a super sexy cop popping up in her life–if only–but as I hope this blog has demonstrated, these stories still have aspects that connect to my life in the most random of ways.

Linda Howard loves strangers….strangers love me.  Category romances deal with the “accidental” date/marriage….I never know when I am on a date. Jennifer Crusie calls men muffins/donuts…I compare men to cakes/cupcakes. People fall in love and get concussions….my friend has “love concussions.” I sleepwalk….one of my favorite heroine sleepwalks. Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ character sets a lot by lists…I can list until the cows come home.  My life and romance novels go hand-in-hand, and no matter where I am in my life, I can always find something to relate to in the genre I love the most.  Sure the sex is nice, but the passion, the romance, the off-the-wall plots, those are the things that keep me coming back.

So dearest reader, do you agree?  Why do you read the romances? Or why don’t you read romances? Is it all about the sex, or do you find aspects of yourself in the characters?  Do you find connections between your life and the lives of your favorite heroes and heroines?  I certainly do, but then again, I have been told often enough that I can be a bit strange!

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Entry filed under: Ramblings on Romance, Random Life of Lizzie. Tags: , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Spencer  |  April 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Lu-u-u-uv this post! And here I was, thinking I was crazy for comparing my own life to a romance novel 😉 I think your green-hair reference only solidifies the fact that you are, in fact, a romance novel heroine through-and-through! And PS, I LOVED that you made the Crusie reference in 2-seconds flat.

    Reply
  • 2. DD Symms  |  April 5, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    This is great. We can feel self-conscious about our decision at any age and at any stage in life. You express this well. I do like Happy Ever After endings borne out of conflict because they inspire me to love and live positively.

    Reply
  • 3. (Stray) Puppy Love « Roaming through Romance  |  April 11, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    […] after she finds out that her (now ex) husband cheated on her. “Mixing it up” includes a bad dye job and — you guessed it — taking in a stray. “So, I’m changing. I want to make my […]

    Reply

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