Tag Archives: romance

Romance, fluff, and other stuff

13 Feb

I can’t quite remember when I first started reading Harlequins; sometime in my late teens, I think.  I had never thought of them as worthy reading material until I saw that they were regular fare for one of my smartest friends.  Oh yes, and I had a roommate who had to read one and analyze it for a university course.  So I gave them a try and they soon became an occasional part of my reading diet, sorta like a literary bag of chips: not much substance, done with quickly, and guiltily satisfying.

The trouble with reading Harlequins is that consuming too many is unhealthy.  Seriously.  One summer I was reading quite a lot of them and I could actually feel my view of the world getting skewed.  I knew that the way relationships are portrayed in these books was completely unrealistic, but I was getting sucked into the idealism.  I decided I’d better leave off the Harlequins if I didn’t want to damage my real-life relationship, and I went back to my staple of children’s literature, which is at least wholesome.

I still occasionally read a romance novel on holidays, though usually ones with a little more substance to them than the Harlequins.  And these days, there’s always some “chick lit” available if a different kind of fluff is called for.  But, just as healthy meal preparation has become more important since Jade started eating with us, reading choices in these times of limited leisure time are also more — I don’t know, what’s the word? — nourishing.

I guess that makes me a bit of a snob, but when faced with scarce resources — and time is certainly that — one must be at least a little picky.  Of course, one of my main sources of reading material these days is not from books at all, but from the 40 or so blogs I’m subscribed to in my feed reader, the majority of which are mommyblogs.  The neat thing about it is the ability to interact with the “characters” I’m reading about, getting to share ideas and to commiserate, which is something I find truly nourishing.  Even when I end up going to bed late after catching up with everyone.

What are your favourite reads?


12 Feb

I’ve enjoyed all the comments you made on the “First Kiss Controversy” post, so I am inspired to continue the Valentine’s week theme today.

I once heard a guy on the radio saying that if he’d been a teenager in the days of the rotary phone (hey, we had one of those!) he would never have gone on any dates.  It takes so much more time to dial a number on a rotary phone, he said he would have lost his nerve before getting to the end of the number.

The story makes me laugh, but it has a ring of truth to it.  I think back to my high school dating years and the amount of time I spent crafting perfectly-thought-out notes to guys about my thoughts on our relationship.  This often involved a rough draft with many revisions and transpositions and crossings-out, and then a “good copy” written out as neatly as possible.  You can imagine the hours of work that took.  But it was important to me because I knew I wouldn’t be able to articulate all my thoughts in a face-to-face.  (I like to think that I’ve matured since then, both on the over-analysis front, and on the ability to have a good, frank discussion on important matters.)

Anyway, where I’m going with this is, I wonder how it would have changed things if e-mail had been available at that time? Or texting, or whatever future development it is that Jade’s going to be growing up with?  In high school, I once used a letter to break up with a long-time boyfriend.  I know that sounds cold, but I couldn’t face him when I’d just found out he’d slept with some girl. (AFTER I’d already forgiven him for doing it with another girl months earlier and made all the harder by the fact that I was still a virgin.  Ah, the drama of high school.)

But doesn’t a break-up by e-mail seem even worse?  Somehow the time and effort it takes to craft a hand-written letter offsets at least a bit of the coldness.  Plus with a letter you could actually decide to sit with the person while they read your point of view.  As a teenager, would I have made a distinction between a letter and an e-mail?  Would I even think of hand-writing anything?

What about asking someone out?  Would e-mail make it easier for someone to get up the nerve?  The first guy who was ever a “boyfriend” asked a friend to ask me out for him.  (God, it makes me laugh to remember this stuff!)  Maybe a text message would make the whole thing less stressful.

Whew!  All of this makes me glad to be out of the dating game.  But I do wonder what the minefields of romance will look like for our kids as they start growing up.

Okay, maybe I’m not over the whole over-analysis thing yet. 😉

First kiss controversy, my eye!

8 Feb

Have you read my husband’s version of events for Valentine’s day 10 years ago? No? Well, I’m just responding to his silly story, so if you want to follow along, go on over and have a look.

Go on, I’ll wait right here for you.

(Hums a tune. Whistles. Looks around at all the paper scattered on the home office floor. Right, I really should file those.)

You’re back? Hi! Welcome back. Okay, so here’s the evidence:

Damning Piece of Evidence #1
Yes, we were all sitting around in Loeb lounge and conversation turned to Valentine’s Day (I don’t think anyone broke any silence to start the conversation, actually, but that’s not important). Yes, Michael offered to make dinner. But when he says I “hesitated”? No, no, no. There was no hesitation there was outright refusal. Adamant refusal. For several minutes, at least. I was not interested in any serious dating after the relationship I’d just ended.

But Michael was insistent. Persistent. Pesky, even. Finally, I didn’t have much of a choice but to give in. What kind of guy spends this much time wearing down a girl he’s not romantically interested in?

Damning Piece of Evidence #2
Cornish hens with a red currant glaze? Wild rice? Sparkling juice and mood music? Candlelight and a dark room? Excuse me, this is your idea of NOT a date?

So yeah, do you blame me for thinking he was looking for a kiss when he reached his arm up with his head in my lap? So maybe I’m responsible for kissing him first, but still, he started it! Isn’t this obviously a deliberate attempt to set the mood and lure me in?

Not to mention the fact that saying he really wasn’t interested is pretty darned insulting. Nyah, nyah! So there.

Aren’t we a romantic pair?

Anyway, the point is, you have no choice but to find him:

  • GUILTY: of plotting to get me to date him (and eventually marry him)

If you somehow think he’s not guilty, well, then you must think he was one naïve young man or something, so I’d like to hear exactly why you think he wasn’t scheming.

    It’s up to you to decide.  Have your say!