Posts tagged ‘Friends’

Call Me Emma: Or How I Once Signed A Friend Up For eDating.

Zoosk. eHarmony. jDate. There are literally thousands of online dating sites out there just waiting to bring you to love. There’s one for all you Christians out there looking to “Find God’s Match For You.”  Or if you’re Jewish, you can “meet Jewish singles” on another site.  You can find true love. Fake love. Instant lust. And if you are a billionaire, then Bravo will help you find your next trophy spouse. Yay?

But back in the olden days when people actually used telephones to call people and when mail actually used a stamp, the term “matchmaker” applied to a person not a website. I know. Those days were so weird. I mean imagine people meeting people through other people. Woah. And during those long-ago times, people used to make matches for a living. Yes, matchmaking was once a noble profession extending back before the beginning of time.

As I learned from Mulan, a completely reliable and 100% historically accurate Disney film, matchmakers brought honor to us all and were “scarier than the undertaker.” However, some matchmakers were a lot more benevolent. Jane Austen’s Emma certainly meant well in her own selfish way. And I am sure Shakespeare’s fairies really weren’t that bad. They just wanted to bring on the love. Can you really fault them?

I can’t fault them. Matchmaking can certainly be fun. Just ask my college friend Amanda. While visiting me yesterday in NYC, Amanda and I got to reminiscing about some of our more memorable educational memories. Like the time I decided to try my hand as a new age Emma and sign dear Amanda up for an online dating site.  Note to all you people out there in the universe: friends do NOT like it when you sign them up for sleazy dating sites without their previous consent.  I have no idea why not, but needless to say, Amanda was not pleased at the time to be receiving “flirty” emails and messages from random men on a random site (though in my defense I did not use her real email, include her real name, or her real address). You never know where loves gonna come from, Amanda, maybe it’s gonna come from that plumber living in central Maine…

While my first matchmaking attempt obviously failed, one of my favorite romance novels recounts the astounding success of Annabelle Granger as a matchmaker extraordinaire, so if you are looking for a little meddling inspiration, try picking up Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Way better than a dating site. Plus, you can get a few pointers for your own matchmaking endeavors. Example: matchmaking yourself might just be the best plan of action….

Romantic Question: What you ever tried to match-make a friend? If so how did your attempt go?


August 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

Little Big City

I feel like I am in a Western showdown.  Where two men face each other across the dirt packed main street, the big town clock slowly ticking down the time in a most dramatic manner. Tick. Tick. Tick. “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us,” one man says, his dusty fingers itching towards the gun hanging at his side.

You know the image. It’s classic to every single Western ever made.  Only, I’m…

  1. Not a man
  2. Not a gunslinger
  3. In New York City

And yet I feel like I’m in a showdown where this city just ain’t big enough.

My life? I hope not!

Everyone talks about how big New York is, and I mean they do have a point. After all there are like what over 8 million people in this city? But it doesn’t matter.  It’s still a freakin small area of land. And whoever says it isn’t is a liar.  Either that or I am just destined to always run into people I know while out and about…

Let me tell you a story.  Two weeks ago I was down in the Lower West Side doing some shopping and eating with a friend, and we’re talking as I explain my theory that New York really isn’t that big. And BAM–we run into someone who lives down the hall from us–note we all live in the Upper West Side so it’s not like we were just in the area. Then not 5 minutes after we see our neighbor, I run into my  freshman year roommate.  So random.  We rarely ran into each other on a small campus with like 2,000 students, yet we managed to run into each other in freakin New York City.

But these are not singular circumstances. Oh no! My best Ria was living in this “city” two years ago for a summer internship, and there she was walking home after work one day and she literally bumps into three people from our college on the street. Drama was it was three people who she didn’t necessarily get along with.

The same? Maybe...

So yeah. Lesson learned from Ria? Make sure you check your book of potential nemeses before moving to New York because you just may see them walking down the street!

July 24, 2011 at 1:39 pm 2 comments

As We Go On…


In honor of this day of days–and since you probably are all too busy to be reading some blog post.  Here are two videos for your viewing pleasure!

Whoop whoop for my post-grad friends….

And nothing says “graduation” like a little 90’s and a lot of cheese…

May 22, 2011 at 6:49 am 1 comment

Um Excuse Me?!? We’ve Just Met…

My roommate has recently become addicted to the Sims Medieval.  And by addicted, I mean she’s literally addicted.  Yesterday, we were just sitting in the living room when she yells, “I missed it?!? I had sex and I missed it.”  Now without any context that statement sounds a little…well…serious and personal. But she was playing the Sims, so it’s all good. Well not for her character, a medieval queen who just had a bastard baby with a peasant man. Not exactly a knight in shining armor there.

But like most things in my life it got me thinking….about romances.

See, when I interned at RT this summer, they gave us books.  It was like heaven.  A heaven filled with romance novels.  Down in the basement, there were these boxes of books just waiting for me to read them.  Oh lovely.  And my co-worker, fellow intern and displaced Southern girl with a love for romance–essentially my friend soul mate–Spencer, well she knew of my Highland obsession and my tendency to love historicals.  So one day a book came up for the taking, a historical that looked like something I would like, and Spencer nabbed it for me.  It was Stephanie LaurensThe Brazen Bride.

Never made it to the bride part of the book, just the brazen

So there I am happily preparing to become engrossed in a world of romance, danger, and passion–everything the book promised me–when something in the book brought me up short. It was like running into a romance brick wall.  BAM.  I was out of my happy romance world, thrust out by some thrusting bodies.

Wait, what are you talking about Lizzie?  People have sex all the time in romances.  Why are you being such a prude?  Reason:  I was literally in the first 20 pages and they were having sex! The hero washes up on shore almost dead–they actually thought he was dead–and he has amnesia, but that doesn’t stop our heroine from having sex with his semi-conscious body that first day.  The first day.  Again, the first day.

I was like, “Ummm, excuse me?!? But we’ve just met, and if I’m not mistaken he’s delirious, fevered, and without a memory, not to mention weak, bloody, and one step from death’s door. And we’re having sex with him?!? Seriously?!? I feel so dirty.”  Like my roommate, Laurens’ hero had sex and he completely missed it!

Our “heroine” pretty much takes advantage of the situation, and while she–the character–makes the argument that he initiates the encounter, I still feel it is in bad form to sleep with a man a. who doesn’t know what he’s doing because he’s been bashed in the head and b. who you’ve never even exchanged one word with.

I really don’t care how skilled his hands are. Bad heroine! Bad! Shame on you! And as I often become the character when I read romances I felt like I had just semi-assaulted this poor washed-up man.  The guilt.

As much as I love a good steamy scene–let’s be honest here 89% of you agree with me here dearests–I do have some standards. Gah. Here’s some advice dearest heroines! Heed it or I may add you to my TSTL list!

  1. No sex with someone who won’t remember it the next day due to head trauma.  Call me crazy or prudish or picky but I want my heroes to remember the heroine in the morning. Revolutionary idea!
  2. No sex in the first 4% of the book.  I mean it’s just not proportionate.  I like to at least pretend that the sex means something–even if it’s just irresistible lust, but I want them to at least try to resist it.  Some build up would be nice…
  3. No sex within the first 24 hours of finding them washed-up on the shore near your house.  I feel like they may need some recover time.
  4. No sex if you’ve never even said a word to them. A friendly, “Hi, my name is…” might be nice before everything.
  5. No sex with semi-conscious, feverish, delirious men who cannot really consent…there’s a bad word for this Ms. Laurens, a word that shouldn’t really be applied to our HEROINE.

Now I don’t really think these rules are that hard to follow.  Sex too early in the book? One of my biggest romance pet peeves.  I love the “foreplay,” the uncontrollable desire that the characters fight, the build-up in passion and sexual tension.  If you have sex right away, what’s there to look forward to? I know that’s blunt, but hey, I’m in a blunt mood right now.  Plus, if you have your steamy scene right off the bat? It’s hard to sell it as being anything more than sex, and as a romance reader, I prefer my steam with a large dose of emotion. Brazen Bride made me so frustrated, I couldn’t even finish it.

Yeah, romances have sex it them–most of the time–but that doesn’t mean they need to have it within the first 20 pages.

Romantic Question: How soon is too soon in a romance novel? Do you need more than a casual “hello” before your characters jump in the sack, or do you like me like them to have a sizzling courtship of a sorts?

April 27, 2011 at 11:58 pm 4 comments

An A on My Hamlet Paper

Something my roomie shared with me today.  So true! I once wanted to be a college professor and have written about Shakespeare and death…

April 14, 2011 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

Green Is the New Blond: Seeing Romance Plots in Everyday

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!

April 3, 2011 at 2:59 am 3 comments

Deal Breakers: Putting Up or Giving Up

My friend Sarah (the same Sarah who compared men to nuclear power) has decided that she wants to write romances. Problem?  She’s never really read one.  Apparently, I just make them sound so EPIC that she can’t help herself.  Therefore, for her birthday a month or so ago, I decided to give her something useful: two shining (and randomly chosen) category romances from Walmart.  Now, not having read the books myself, I decided to just pick two that sounded like Sarah-friendly plots: meaning no secret babies or pregnancy scares.  What college aged girl really wants that on her mind before she goes to bed? Shudder. Think of the nightmares!  My picks? Kathy LyonsIn Good Hands (Harlequin Blaze) and Margaret Way‘s Olivia and the Billionaire Cattle King (Harlequin Presents).  How could I say no to those titles?


Apparently those hands are Best Ever

Well, she read them over Spring Break and loved them. Of course. Which made me think, “Geez, now I want to read one!”  Thankfully, Sarah is not an only child and knows the fine art of sharing, so this morning, instead of studying, reading the Kubler-Ross book about dying people for class, or being generally productive, I decided that the best course of events was simple: read In Good Hands.


Now, I love a nice elevator sex scene as much as the next gal, and Lyons certainly delivers the goods in the book, but I kept thinking as I was reading it: why does hunky, hunky, hunk Roger stick around with the heroine Amber?  Sure, she’s flexible and sexy and I admire her kind-heart and desire to heal people. And, okay, she’s a homeopathic healer and he needs medical help. And, I get that the sex is apparently Best He’s Ever Had, but in order to “heal” his dangerously high blood pressure, she puts him on a “living food diet” meaning this:  “Food that has not been cooked, processed or damaged in anyway…as in fruits, vegetables and nuts.”

Garfield must have dated Amber too!

Okay, see this is where I was like “wait what?”  There are less drastic ways to go about balancing the body than only eating raw foods.  Right? Really, I mean maybe she could have weaned him off of his red meat? But no, she meets him, they have sex in the elevator, go back to her home, and BAM, Amber decrees that he can only eat “living food.”  Her way of the highway.  And Roger agrees to it! My favorite quote of the book,

“Four days later, he was still grinning…Sure, he would kill for something meaty to sink his teeth into… But all in all, the daily sexual adventures were more than making up for the other inconveniences.” (115)

So this got me thinking: how much would I put up with–how may “inconveniences”–for Best Sex Ever?  Let’s disregard the whole, “high blood pressure” aspect of the book.  Would you give up bread, pasta, cooked food, chocolate, cupcakes, beer, vodka, Cheetos, and basically most things yummy for awesome sex?

I was telling my friend Steph about book, and I was like, “I don’t know if I would go that far for someone I had just met, no matter how awesome.”  Apparently, I am in the minority! Steph was like, “Trust me, I’ve put up with a lot for good sex! It’s worth it!”  Then my friend Kim chimes in with, “For the best sex ever? Yeah I would go on a raw diet. Lizzie, it’s the BEST. SEX. EVER.”  Wow. I mean I get putting up with small things: like his annoying habit of cracking his knuckles, his friends who talk and chew at the same time, clipping his toenails on the couch, or even something big like having to call his mother every night at 9:00 regardless of what you are doing! Those, I get.  Sure, they are annoying and some a little creepy/gross, but giving up practically all food? Nope.

The things that come up from romance novels.  Whoever says that they don’t make you think has apparently never read one!  They are filled with Important Life Questions. But what do you think dearest friends? Am I totally delusional or does Roger have the right idea in this romance? Food or sex? Choose wisely!

March 30, 2011 at 9:51 pm 2 comments

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