It’s time once again for me to acknowledge those wonderful clichés in romance novels and movies. I use them, every romance author I know uses them, and you know what? I love them! But they’re clichés nonetheless. And weighing in at Number One…
Extraordinary nooky. There’s not a lot of mediocre sex in romance novel. Well, it may be alluded to as in I don’t know what the big fuss is over sex! until, of course, Our Hero comes waltzing into town. And then she shall know what the big fuss is, oh, yes! And it’s always wonderful. No one ever says, “Hurry up, okay? Letterman’s starting.”
Fabulous apartments in Manhattan. How is that so many barely-employed people can afford lofts in SoHo? How many great-aunts must’ve died to will them those rent-controlled palaces on the Upper West Side? Remember Friends? Please. A waitress at a coffee shop could not afford even to look at Manhattan, let alone live there. Not unless she had a generous and dead great-aunt, that is. How about the movie Hitch, one of my favorites? A reporter lives in a huge apartment. Huge. She lives there alone. A reporter. (Pause for laughter).
Thoughtfully prepared meals for one. Does no one eat Kraft dinner anymore? Shovel in iffy yogurt whilst standing in front of the sink? Does a person really set the table for one, light a candle, and pour a glass of wine, then sit there and eat? I don’t. I whip up my favorite orange food, take the pot and the wooden spoon, plunk down in my chair and fire up Real Housewives for a half hour of soul-damaging trash TV. And I love it!
Single, available men littering the streets. When I was single, not one of my friends ponied up an array of handsome, single, straight, employed brothers. Clearly, I should’ve traded in my friends, but I’m loyal. Sigh. Nor did I ever live next to a firehouse filled with attractive single men. Nor an Army base filled with same. Nor a boarding house, though to be honest, if a guy told me he was living in a boarding house, I would wonder about his prison record.
Ah-choo! No one gets truly ill in a romance. Might our heroine (but never our hero) barf after over-indulging on the old pink martinis? Sure. Will she ever get food poisoning, requiring not just a toilet, but a wastebasket too? No. She will not. Might she sniffle adorably while clad in goofy pajamas and murmur the words I glub oo, which the hero will know truly mean I love you? Yes! Will she cough so hard she vomits? No. In romance novels, “in sickness and in health” really only means in adorable sickness but mostly health.
Well, we read romance novels for escapism, right? What could be nicer than a world where we really could afford those fab apartments next to firehouses populated by straight, single men? Leave a comment about your favorite aspects of a romance, and I’ll send one of you a signed copy of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, in which Our Hero is adorably injured, Our Heroine lives in a place she should not rightfully be able to afford, and the two of them have extraordinary nooky.