Saturday, April 23, 2011

Six Foot Four and Violet Eyes

Why do we read romance novels?  For entertainment?  For an escape from reality?

Whatever makes us to it, to bottom line is that romance novels give us pleasure.  The men in the books we read (and write) do and say those strong-willed and strong-hearted acts and words that we often don't see on the bus, sitting in traffic, in our office buildings or outside in the backyard (no offense to our dear spouses and partners!).

The books we read give us men who are men, to use a tired old cliche, and women who are free and independent, spirited and adventurous -- women we want to be, let's face it, and often can't.  Sure, I can work up the courage to ask for a raise next time I feel I deserve it, and after researching the how-tos and what-fors endlessly on the internet.  Maybe I'll even get the raise (fingers crossed!).  But I don't know if I could everything I know for the love of a man.  I don't know if I could venture into an uncharted land in search of intrigue and end up in a stranger's bed.  I don't really think I want to find out.  But the books we read let us do that.

We can see the exception to our workaday rules in the romance novels we love, where every man:
    • is at least six feet tall (and often taller);
    • is handsome (runners up: craggy, "vital" or rugged);
    • has muscles; and
    • carries about him an "air of" sophistication, power or raw sexual energy.
The women we imagine ourselves to be are just as fantastic.  These heroines are:
    • young;
    • beautiful;
    • plucky;
    • violet-eyed (runners up: turquoise, azure, emerald etc.); and, invariably
    • trim, slender, or voluptuous (but never as a euphemism for chubby).
We get older.  Our violet eyes fade.  But our heroines are eternally young and lovely.  Entertainment?  Escapism?  How about just pure pleasure?

Photo courtesy of Jomphong at

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