Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Bodice Ripping for the Ages

Real life isn't a romance novel. Which any single woman can tell you. Or married ones can tell you the same thing. But more on them next time.

The whole premise of these books is completely over the top anyway.

Amazingly beautiful, extremely intelligent, and sassy (the women are always sassy), woman just hasn't met THE ONE.

Insert dream man who is equally attractive, perfectly sculpted body, kind and generous to a fault, and you've got your two main leads. Their names must be as exotic as the tropical island they live on together. Women have names like Raven. Men are Ridge or Thor.

Because romance novel characters are never Bob and Sally. That's just not romantic.

Having read my share of the romance genre in high school, I can assure the plots never twisted in this way:

Guy finds girl on a social networking site. We’ll call him Thor.

They were former high school classmates, and it's 20 years later. Thor and Raven strike up a friendship, which the relationship turns flirty, and then guy asks girl out.

The plot glitch?

He lives several hours away, but makes the trip and the date is by all accounts a success. Thor and Raven continue chatting and it seems like this is heading somewhere.

But it reaches an impasse when Thor is invited to return for a visit and he explains he can't make it. But wants to know if they're dating.

Raven isn't sure, but wants to spend more time together and offers above mentioned invite, which is rebuffed. In the meantime, hours upon hours are spent talking, instant messaging and texting.

After several months, Raven has had enough of the status quo and tells Thor she'd like to date him. Thor says, I'll have to think about it.

Thor has fallen off the face of the earth.

2nd plot twist:

Raven is sad. But knows she needs to try again, so with the push of some good friends puts out a personal ad and gets a ton of responses. So she isn't really into it, but tries to go along with it.

After a few weeks one guy, we'll call him Quinn appears interesting, smart and funny.

They begin talking and decide to meet. After the date, Raven has a freak out and realizes it's too soon and she shouldn't be dating anyone.

She tells Quinn of this, who is understanding.

Does the story end there? No.

Raven has a change of heart and explains to Quinn.

He is amazingly responsive and they agree to slow down and see how it goes.

A few weeks go by and Raven is now ready and likes Quinn, who all along appears to like her, and tells her often.

They've agreed to meet and talk about it if both are ready to go forward. No, not with marriage or anything serious. Just to see if they'd like to date. Have some fun.

Raven asks Quinn to meet up. He initially says yes, and then later in the week, Raven is broken up by Quinn via text message. A modern tool that hasn’t made its way into romance novels as a plot device.

But it is out here with the real people.

In the novel, Quinn will have a change of heart and realize he can’t live without Raven for one more second.

In real life, Raven is sad right now. But she is on her way to get her haircut. And she’ll continue to live her life the best way she knows how.

And that apparently does not include men named Quinn, Ridge, or Thor.

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