Posts tagged ‘romance’

Not Dead Yet

Sometimes there are these little moments that reaffirm your faith in mankind. Little moments where for that brief shining second you pause and think, “Huh. That was nice.” And once more you believe in mankind’s ability to be nice.

And I do mean mankind. See, these moments  of affirmation are more precisely moments where you forget all the arguments for why chivalry is dead, why gentlemen just don’t exist anymore, and why your perception of all male-kind looks a little like this:

Sorry men

I know it’s not fair to all the men out there who don’t live the Jersey Shore/bro/douchbag lifestyle, but there comes point in every girl’s life where the phrase “men are pigs” becomes a mini-motto. That is until you realize  that maybe, just maybe, you’re being too hard on mankind and that maybe they can be gentlemen. Like when a man holds the door open for you, offers to help  carry your groceries, or even lets you go first in a crowded line.  Is chivalry dead?

Some argue...

Today was one of those days for me. There was this moment that made me take stock and reevaluate the dudes around me. And I came up with a new theory. Gentlemen do exist, but instead of riding their white horses and limos–I’m looking at you hooker-loving Richard Gere–they actually ride the subway. The urban steed of chivalry and politeness. And its opposite.

See today, I saw three instances of chivalric behavior on the subway during one trip and two connections.  First, this big, tattooed, bro-looking guy gets up out of his seat and offers it to the young girl standing next to him, saying, “I’m a guy” as his explanation.

Woah. And he wasn’t the only male on the subway to forfeit a seat for a standing woman. I also noticed that most men also let women onto the subway first, off first, and sometimes even try to hold the doors–though they get yelled at for this. It was an eye-opening trip that was topped of when I got off the train at my stop. The young guy in front of me gallantly held back and offered to let me go through the turnstile first. I know. Mind blowing.

So yeah, maybe the gentlemen best seen in Regency romances are a thing of the past–thank goodness because the trade-off was the right to vote for women– but chivalry isn’t quite yet dead. It’s just underground. In the subway. So ladies, next time you start to think that all men are assholes, take a trip to the metro, it’s the place to go to find modern examples of polite gentlemanly behavior.

 

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September 28, 2011 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

Who You Calling A Spinster?

Juliette married her love at 13. Ariel swam into the arms of her Eric at 16. Bella fell irrevocably in love with some dead dude before her 18th.  Hell, even my literary soul mate, Lizzie Bennet, snagged her guy before she reached 21. Do you see a pattern here? Cause I do. And it’s a “Lizzie may be a spinster according to romances” pattern.

Spinster:(spnstr)

n.
1. A woman who has remained single beyond the conventional age for marrying.
2. A single woman with many cats and no love.
3. A person whose occupation is spinning–as in Spinning Class? As in Cougar? Maybe
_______________________________________________________________

Now look at that definition, look at the “conventional age for marrying” according to romances in general, and now look at your own life.  Is it just me or is anyone feeling mildly annoyed at the idea that they have to find True Love before they reach 25?

Cause I do.

Here I am, 22 years-old and unmarried, and according to some of the books in the genre I love so much, I am practically a spinster.  More than that–I am a willing spinster. Jesus, imagining myself married is like imagining a train/car/airplane wreck all into one. It’s scary.

Which is why I have to say, I love me some love stories featuring older characters. Not like Titanic-lady Old. That’s just crazy, but something a little more mature. My HS infatuations didn’t last more than a week much less All Time, and it’s silly to only read romances where they do.

One of my favorite Love Outside of Teenage Years romances is Nora Robert’s The Villa, a fun, suspenseful romance where love spans three generations of Giambellis women: Tereza the grandmother, Pilar the mother and Sophie the daughter. All three women are completely relatable and aren’t perfect when it comes to love.  Tereza was widowed at a young age.  Pilar’s husband left her for a younger woman. And Sophie is married to her work. Yet by the end of the book, all three women find their happy ending.

That’s why I personally enjoy romances that feature older characters. Because let’s face it, sometimes Regencies and Medievals … they can make you feel like an old spinster with no suitable prospects. Reality check? There is still hope and I can still find love after the ripe old age of 20.

September 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm 1 comment

These Are My Confessions

I used to hate to read.  Hated it. Like I simply Did. Not. Read. Ever. My mother was terrified that I would grow up to be functionally illiterate, something she laughs about now. But at the time—elementary school to be exact—she was sure that I was heading down a path that would lead to an early marriage, a gaggle of children, some sort of criminal record, and an inability to read or write.

Which sounds pretty dramatic now, but in her defense I think she had good reason to fear.  I would never pick a book up—unless I was stealing it from the teacher’s personal collection or the library—and I was quite popular with the little boys in my class. Yup, I was a little delinquent child headed down a path of book hatred. Luckily for all of our sakes, in sixth grade I had a teacher who changed everything:  Mrs. Passinteno.

Yada yada yada. I know what you’re thinking, “Okay now she’s going to go all Freedom Writers on us and talk about the power of one teacher in changing a life.”  But no, I’m not going to cue the dramatic “she can read!” music. I’m just going to say that Mrs. P gave me my first taste of romance.

Okay, so here’s the deal. Children grow up with fairytales, right? Right. They are in all the picture books, television shows, and movies.  Come on, I still have my Little Mermaid pillow case from when I was little. Now, what is the central element in a fairytale?

Romance.

Prince, princess, evil something, love. That’s the plotline of all of these stories.  And yet, all of the books my teachers tried to make me read growing up were about Girls in America and Boys that are Hardy.  Silly stupid plots about children being children that just were not interesting.  Reason? They were “age appropriate.”

Screw that. If you’re gonna let a little girl watch all the Disney films then give her a break and write some age appropriate children’s books with romance.  Sweet young love.

So when I finally got into Mrs. P’s class and she gave me my first Ann Rinaldi book, I realized something important: book didn’t necessarily have to be boring. Shocker. They could be fun and dramatic. Their stories could be like the stories that I loved on TV–visual, emotional, engaging…romantic.  From the first moment I opened that worn, used, falling apart paperback copy of A Break with Charity during one of our class’ reading periods, everything changed.  Books were not for stealing anymore, they were for savoring.  I devoured every single one of Ann Rinaldi’s books—up to that point–in a month and then moved onto other classics like Garth Nix, Phillip Pullman, Robin McKinley.  These authors understood my desire for a touch, a hint, of love and affection  in my books.  Genius.

So yeah. Romantic plots are the reason why I am not the very thing my mother feared I would become. A grand book thief with huge library fines.  By seventh grade I was reading other romantic plotlines — less age appropriate– with Mary Higgins Clark, Iris Johansen, and Elizabeth Peters, but I think my mother is eternally grateful to Mrs. Passinteno anyway.  She laughs about how once I started reading, I couldn’t be stopped, skipping the normal young adult books and heading straight to adult fiction before sixth grade was even finished.  My question: if Barbie has her Ken, Cinderella has her Prince, and Cory has his Topanga, then why do people insist that books should be romance free? Nothing else in our culture is. . .

September 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment


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