Friday, June 19, 2009

Hopeless Romantic & Alone

Why do I torture myself watching romantic movies? I'm a glutton for punishment, that's for sure. The longer I am alone and single, the more often I cry at the end of chick flicks. Last week, I blubbered over Emma. Handsome Jeremy Northam plays gorgeous to die for Mr. Knightly. At the end he longingly looks into Emma’s eyes and says:

"I do not wish to call you my friend, because I hoped to call you something infinitely more dear."

Of course, then comes the marriage proposal to make you swoon.

Then last night I tortured myself with Persuasion staring Rupert Penry Jones, a knock-out as well, as Captain Wentworth, who pens these words:

"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means
as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony,
half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings
are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart
even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years
and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman,
that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you."

Well that did it! Gushing tears, and my usual complaint I pour out to God that I am still single. What cruelty! At my age, I feel robbed and cheated that I have never known lasting love my entire life. The movies usually end with me slamming down my footrest, blowing my nose, and being miserable for the next hour. Finally, I resolve myself to my fate and settle back into my reality of single life.

To make things worse, I am a hopeless romantic. I love Jane Austen, who wrote some of the most beautiful love stories ever penned. Ironically, she was a woman who never married and found lasting love in her life either, though she once had a beau. I often wonder if she wrote to live her dreams of love on a page, becoming the characters herself, and living vicariously though the quill of her pen. No doubt her inspiration came from her loneliness.

Last week I went into a local bookstore and just browsed. I happened down the “Romance” aisle and could barely move around all the women checking out the books. Like forlorn souls begging for love on a page, they drooled over covers, read pages inside, and walked off with a few in hand to the cashier. It was an interesting moment of human study. I guess I’m not alone. The number of romance novels that sell in one year is astronomically in the multiple millions. Women read to fill holes in their lives by imaginary situations. Whether they are married, widowed, divorced, or single it doesn’t matter. Every woman wants romance.

Of course, then comes the reality. Our real life experiences often lack the men who look like Fabio, the romantic music playing in the background during a kiss, a man sweeping us up in his arms and carrying us off to the nearest bed for hours of passionate lovemaking. We sure love to dream about though, don’t we?

Well, I’m not a romance novel reader frankly, though I’m trying to write my first romance novel. I pretty much stick with movies dealing with 19th Century romance, because I love and long for a period long gone where women wore gorgeous gowns, men bowed in your presence, and everyone was polite and courteous in social settings. It’s a world that no longer exists.

Well, I’m not sure how the rest of you deal with romance either on screen or in a book, but I know that it both comforts and tortures me in a variety of ways. I guess next week I’ll watch Pride & Prejudice and blubber over that one. Nothing much else to do!