Okay, this is a unique post. It's also hilarious. Welcome author J.M. Kelley to Four Strong Women!---Faith
I write romance. I’m often asked why I chose that particular genre, and I have several perfectly accurate responses to that question. The truest answer, however, is one I tend to keep to myself, since it’s not very…romantic. The real answer has a lot to do with the simple fact that the everyday man, well…let’s just say guys tend to leave me either scratching my head in confusion or banging it against a wall in frustration.
See, I’m single. A serial monogamist. Well, a reformed serial monogamist, since the only deep, meaningful relationship I’ve had in a while has been with my Facebook account. I don’t get out much, okay? But every once in a while, I have the opportunity to interact with the male species, and it’s always such a shock to the system when I’m reminded that the men just don’t act like romance novel heroes.
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In a romance, your hero will know when you have something on your mind. He may not necessarily try to suss out what the problem is right away, but he knows. And he will try to cheer you up or wait for an opportunity to present itself in which he can ride up on his white horse and save the day just in the nick of time. In real life, your beloved will see the evidence of emotional turmoil on your face and say, “What’s with that look? Got gas?” If he’s especially motivated, he may offer you a Tums.
In a romance, your hero will see you gazing longingly at him across the room and realize that you must have feelings for him. And that he has feelings for you. He will walk determinedly across the room and sweep you into a lusty embrace that would put all other lusty embraces to utter shame. In real life, your beloved will catch you looking at him and immediately check his fly. Then he will forget he ever caught you admiring his average, but pleasing, physique. Also, he will remain completely oblivious to your affections, and turn to ogle the cleavage of an approaching skank in spandex.
The romance hero will want to discuss your feelings. The real-lifer will want to discuss the knock-knock joke his best friend from high school just texted him.
The romance hero will hold your hair when you’re sick. The real-lifer will take a picture of you draped over the toilet bowl, and then promptly post it to Facebook.
The romance hero will buy fine wine and chocolate-covered strawberries for an intimate night together. The real-lifer will strongly consider Taco Bell before grabbing a bucket of KFC, and then try to turn on the Yankees game in the middle of dinner.
The romance hero will sit quietly by your side, sharing a silent moment of love, bliss, adoration, and contemplation about your future. The real-lifer will try really hard to hide a nose-pick as he mentally debates whether or not he’s going to buy a Carolina Panthers hat this coming weekend.
The romance hero will buy you a precious diamond. The real-lifer will buy you hedge clippers.
It’s maddening, being a romantic at heart. I want to be wooed! I want to be swept off my feet! I want roses and wine and violins playing softly in the background! So why, if I know first-hand that men conceived in Times New Roman 12-point font can’t ever be eclipsed, do I still think I might want to have a real-lifer of my own?
I’ve got a rationalization for this. I do.
Even the most fascinatingly complex romance hero, in real life, would be boring. Boringly perfect and sexy and talented and charming and…and…
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Boring. Yes. Boring. I think most readers and writers of romance know the score. In the end, the fantasy is great. A fun escape from day to day life. A vacation from the mundane. But fantasy doesn’t sustain. It runs out of steam very quickly.
In the end, we just want (or already have) a normal guy who might someday achieve a glorious moment of knight-in-shining-armor. Maybe they’ll even achieve two or three in the course of a lifetime. And most of us are okay with that. Reality can be quite nice, after all.
We’ll take the stupid jokes and the Yankees worship. Because it came from the boy who, despite the nose picks, the obliviousness, and hell, even despite the damn Taco Bell, can win (or already has won) your heart. Even if his fly has a tendency of slipping open at the most inopportune times, if he’s willing to stand by your side through thick and thin, it’s okay.
The Beatles were right. All you need is love. Love and hedge clippers.
For more from J.M. Kelley, please visit her website at www.jmkelleywrites.com.