Welcome! If you’re here, I hope you’ve come from Katie O’Connor. This week’s questions comes from Jenna Da Sie, and she asks this: “Romance. There are so many different meanings. What does it mean to you?”
Well, when I first read this question, I got the lyrics from Human Sexual Response’s What Does Sex Mean to Me? stuck in my head. Which is made all the more disturbing by the fact that it’s been over a week, and that particular ear worm (and the one god-forsaken line I know) has been running on a continuous loop in my head ever since.
In any case, thinking of this question… It’s loaded, for sure. This question could be interpreted in a variety of ways. I mean, are we talking books? Well, in a romance novel, you have a couple who meets, fall in love, have a variety of difficulties, and then, in the end, wind up with their happily ever after. Of course, that’s over-simplifying it, kind of like if I described literary fictions as “blah, blah, blah, convoluted mess, sadness. Pain. Misery. Death. The human condition. The end.”
So… for me, the genre of romance is, just like lit fiction, about the human condition… but, the better part of it. That’s what I like about it. My life has enough turmoil in it, what with jobs and school and kids and husband; when I read a book, I want the best parts of life to go into it. I can’t read a book built entirely on misery anymore, because I just don’t have it in me be sad when I read (that sounds rather dull and trite, doesn’t it? Ah, the human condition sometimes is that way, right?) I want a happy ending, I want to know that, no matter what is thrown at a character, it will all work out, because my life doesn’t always fit into those nice parameters. No one’s does.
As for romance in real life? Well, I suppose that changes as one ages. Gah, when I was significantly younger, it was grand gestures of undying affection. Think Say Anything. I mean, for real, I wanted to marry John Cusack. Or, if we’re going with strict 1990s references, a sensitive ponytail man (as in Singles, but I would have happily taken Cameron Crow, too), who would write poetry about me and sing my praises and tell me how utterly fascinating every word I’ve ever spoken truly is.
Only the majority of what comes out of my mouth is hardly fascinating, and I never met a sensitive ponytail man; I married a cop.
So, romance is in the little things. It’s in the face that he will let me sleep in on a Saturday, or that he might make me coffee in the morning. Sometimes, he’ll do the dishes, and I would seriously weep over how romantic that is. Or he’ll take the car to get it registered or get the oil change, or he’ll check my tire pressure when I’m about to go on a long drive. It doesn’t sound romantic, and it doesn’t sound all “knight in shining armor” romance novel worthy, but I assure you, after 18 years of marriage, two kids, a mortgage and two jobs, it really, truly, honestly is.
Why not head on over to Jenna’s page and see what she had to say?