Might as well trot out the romance writers. Every year it is the same thing, suddenly the media finds us interesting, they want our thoughts, our opinions on love, romance and of course, the big V-Day. Well I say, Ba-humbug!
Okay, so I am a little cynical about this holiday that has been foisted off on me just because of my chosen profession. But really, if I held the secret to everlasting love and how to make the perfectly romantic night, do you think I would share it? Because then everyone would be doing it and then it would be ordinary. And the funny thing about that is that truly, love is found in the ordinary days of life, not in one night, once a year.
What I have figured out about romance, and I suppose I have learned it from writing romance is that what we are expected to do (cards, flowers, dinner out, high–read: unrealistic–expectations about one single day/night) are just wrong. Because here is the real secret to romance: it is work. It is being patient when you want to knock that special someone upside the head for being _________ (fill in the blank with your own relevant annoyance), for doing your darndest to see things from their point of view, and finding the happiness in being simply content with a life that moves smoothly along.
Now there is nothing wrong with a special night out, with a romantic date, but honestly–on Valentine’s Day? Then you are stuck with some prix fixe menu, hurried table service, and everyone else around you forcing themselves into a state of perfect romance that is just, well, forced.
Romance is about the little things that don’t require a huge amount of planning or money, but mean so much to that person you’ve chosen above all others. Things like remembering to say “Thank you,” holding a door open, cleaning up a kitchen when the other left it a wreck. You all know me, there is nothing I find hotter than a man who does laundry.
In a romance novel it is that chosen moment when the hero does something small and personal for the heroine. When he saves the day not in some huge heroic fashion, but like St. Maur did in Mad About the Duke when their carriage overturned and it appeared his planned outing with Elinor was going to be a wreck:
- Just then, St, Maur came bounding through the door. “Excellent news, my lady!”
“The carriage is fixed?” she asked, hoping for a fast getaway before these ladies got out the stocks and enforced some ancient decency laws.
“No,” he said. “It’s an utter ruin. But I managed to salvage our picnic basket.”
Now that is what romance is all about.