Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Romantic At Heart...

...is not how anyone, including myself, would describe me.

I've always kind of known that about myself. I was about 90% sure that I didn't have a traditional romantic bone in my body anymore but I recently became convinced that I'm 100% sure.

And it was all because of this book:


Yeah, a retold story of Alice In Wonderland. A Young Adult novel is what convinced me.


I had seen signs of it for years and years.


There was about 3 or 4 years during my teen years that I was OBSESSED with romantic novels. You know, the ones with the smutty covers of bodice ripped women with their heads thrown back to where their long flowing un-naturally colored hair was literally dripping down their backs while some Fabio looking hunk in tight britches and no shirt looked like he was going to absolutely devour our "heroine".
Yeah, those.


I eventually got sick of those and settled into a routine of crime thrillers and mysteries. This lasted for about 10 years or so. This was during my 20's.


I was pregnant with LOML when I started hearing about the phenomenon that was the Harry Potter books.


But, being an adult and all, I didn't think they'd capture my interest and I didn't bother to read one.


My aunt and her step daughter were really into the books and even got my grandmother hooked.


When I was grossly pregnant and up visiting my grandmother one holiday, I ran out of books to read and saw the first Harry Potter book sitting on the piano. For lack of anything else to read, I picked it up and started the book.


I literally did not put it down until I finished the last page. I had not read a book like that in years. I was fascinated by this imaginary world and the cast of characters drew me in like no other.


I became an instant fan. So much so, that when I got back home to New Orleans, I immediately went out and bought all the books that they had out at the time. And at that time, it was only the first three.


I was desperate to read the fourth, but, like everyone else, had to wait...and wait...and wait.


Needless to say, I became a HUGE fan of the not only the books but the movies as well. I waited up til midnight to get the books at the local bookstores. We have a tradition of always going to see the movies on opening night at the Prytania Theatre in New Orleans. We always sit on the balcony on the front row. It's grown from my aunt and I to include LOML, Vicki and others.


In the past couple of years, I've gotten hooked to the young adult novels that came about after the Harry Potter books proved to be so successful. I read Artemis Fowl, A Series of Unfortunate Events (most of them, haven't finished it yet), Eragon and Eldest (haven't read Brisingr yet) and Inkheart (need to get the rest of this trilogy).


I'm almost done with the book pictured above and am absolutely ADORING it and can't wait for them to turn it into a movie. I also need to get the second book in the series and am on pins and needles for the third book that will be released later this year.


While reading this book, I realized what it was that made me like these books so much more than the Twilight Series.


There's no romance.


They're not primarily a romance novel. They are not intended to tell a story about everlasting love. They're not about two people and their "journey" together.


They're about action and magic and a HUGE cast of characters. Some of the book have romantic issues in them. Harry and Cho (and Jenny), Meggie's parents (and Dustfinger) in Inkheart, Eregon and Arya in Eragon, etc....but the story in and of itself is not a romantic tale.


And when I started thinking back on the books I was reading AFTER I got disgusted with romantic novels, I realized that for the most part, they, too were like that.


In fact, when I started thinking it over, I realized that I tended to skip over the romantic parts of the books. If two characters started making out and it was leading to sex or some sort of romantic interlude, I'd just skim over that part and get to the next chapter.


After so many years of reading romance novels, it all started to sound the same.


You know, the "their eyes met across the room and with just a tilt of his head towards the bedroom door, she made her way across the room. When she entered the doorway behind him, he shut the door, threw her down on the bed and ravished her body" type of crap.


I mean, how many different ways can you say that they had hot animal sex or made sweet romantic love before it gets redundant?


This also led me to start thinking about other ways in my life in which I am not a romantic.


Songs? Yeah, for the most part, slow romantic songs are always bumped in favor of something with some bass or some twang. I'm not totally cold hearted. There are a few romantic songs out there that I like.


Like, um....well, uh...


Hell, I know there's a couple, but for the life of me, I can't think of one right now.


Movies? For the most part, I prefer action, mysteries or most importantly, comedies. I like a few romantic movies.I love Pretty Woman. And.........well, I'm sure there's a couple of other ones.


Shit, I'm really NOT a romantic.


I also realized that I'm incredibly uncomfortable with romantic gestures.


The thought of a candlelit dinner in a posh restaurant with a man I love is horrifying to me.


The thought of a man buying me some sexy lingerie or flowers or jewelry absolutely has me squirming even worse than when I see a roach run across the floor.


If and I mean IF, I were to ever get married again, a traditional wedding would send me screaming and running into the next state. A white dress, a tux, flowers and a church are scarier to me than Freddy Krueger and his buddies.


I didn't even like having witnesses at my courthouse wedding. And that was my mom and his best friend!


I read on blogs about other people's weddings and the romantic things their hubbies did for Valentine's day and I can "see" the excitement in their words and I think it's wonderful and sweet and delicious.


But......it's just not my cup of tea.


I've tried to analyze where this all stems from and there are a few signs in my past that might have led to this, but overall, I think it's just the way I am.


And I'm fine with that.


Later,


Mama Dawg

16 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

Lo

i'm the same way. i was so uncomfortable during the ceremony that i started laughing. uncontrollably. that caused my husband to laugh, and then the wedding party. yeah. most people cry. that makes me cringe. sexy to me is letting me sleep in and changing my oil on a whim. or doing the dishes without me having to nag. or. not forgetting to pick up milk. or booze. yeah, those are romantic. hehehehehe. :)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher

If and when you get married again, I'm thinking a full out magic wedding, Harry Potter style...

Jaden Paige

That would be great! Harry Potter wedding... Maybe you could get the hubs to dress up as Dumbledore, that would really kill the romantic vibe. Or Snape. ;)

I bet you'd like PS: I Love You, though. Best romantic movie I've seen in.... hmm... like, ever maybe?

Yeah, it's good.

Mama Dawg

Jaden-I read the book. It was ok. And I don't like Hilary Swank so I don't think I could suffer through the movie!

Jess

Fear NOT! I am totally not a romantic...as a matter of fact the thought of romance usually makes me gag a little...lol, just kidding. No, really, I like the idea of romance, but keep your flowers (though I like getting them if you send them...very beautiful) and I love the idea that someone is thinking about me, but if you wanna be "romantic" with me...let's go kick it at a bar somewhere, sing some karaoke, go eat some mexican food and see how many people we can make fun of. That is my kind of romance!

OH and there is an award at my place for ya!

Gaston Studio

One of my daughters has been reading what I call trashy romance novels all of her life, but she is also heavily into fantasy, magic and sci fi. It's not that she's so much of a romantic at heart; she says it's because she wants to KNOW in advance that the ending will be good and all will be well!
I say what's the fun in that, but it's her mind and her choice.

Now I'm a romantic and I love all that hoopla, but I primarily read about serial killers which absolutely fascinates me if well written.

I think Pseudonymous has the right idea, for you next wedding, make it totally magical!

Heather

I love all of your book choices....I've read them all...One I thought you might like is by Scott Westerfeld..it's four books in all and starts with Uglies.

Diane

i think i WANT(ed?) to be a romantic but maybe life has just completely ruined it! :(

i need to take up reading again...

Cocotte

Um....I think I'm your complete opposite!

Krystal

I think of myself as a romantic at heart - truly - i do - but there is something about those books that make it seem unreal kwim? oh and harry potter wedding theme - i am so there!

Teri

Right after the first Harry Potter movie came out, the kids and I got interested in the books. I started reading them every night before the kids went to bed. I was hooked right away. It was like my brain had finally awakened after many years of kiddie books.

I also do not like passion novels. But I have to admit that I have a favorite romantic movie. Somewhere in Time. Love it.

steenky bee

Sometimes I am addicted to the smut in the form on Harlequinnes. I finish them in a weekend and then I'm done. I do the same thing with the Lifetime channel. I can only take so much bodice-ripping.

LilliGirl

I have an award for you over at my spot. Stop by and pick it up. :)

Melanie D

I'm with you on the wedding thing! I was married on the side of a mountain in my jeans and a tshirt, the thought of a big white gown and the works frightens me to the core!!! What also scares me is the fact I have to be a bridesmaid this summer and wear pink!!!!! UGH!

Bobby G

Im a hopeless romantic! Im damn near cheesy, however, I cant stand romantic books/movies...

Rhea

I was so into romance novels when I was younger. Now I prefer something more...I need action and mystery and I love supernatural. Pure romance just doesn't do it for me.

Harry Potter changed my reading forever though. It awakened the reader in me again.

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