As a teenager, I always loved when an author described the heroine as having tendrils of hair that had come loose from whatever updo she was wearing, be it a braid or a chignon or ponytail, etc. As I’ve gotten older, though, and had my own hair have those loose pieces more and more, I find it not so romantic.
Do the girls in books not have the problem of those hairs sticking to the back of their necks or tickling their cheeks or being an out-and-out nuisance?
I got to thinking about this more, so I began to make a list of other things that sounded romantic in the books, but I didn’t really enjoy in real life. I bet you can think of a few, too. And some of my other author friends chipped in a couple more ideas to add to mine. See if you agree with any of these (in no particular order).
- When a man digs his hands into a girl’s thick curly hair while they kiss, it sounds like something that would be nice. However, even with my mostly straight hair, sometimes when my husbands fingers burrow in, all I get is tangles and knots. Not so sweet, despite the kiss that went with it.
- I’ve noticed a lot of characters licking their lips before a kiss. Have you ever kissed someone with wet lips? Maybe my four-year-old son has ruined the image of this one for me. Ha!
- Rose petals scattered in a path through the house or all over a bed for a romantic proposal scene sounds amazing. But, now that I’m the one who has to clean my house, all it sounds like is a mess. And those things tend to leave tiny pieces you’d be finding forever.
- In college, my husband and I would go for walks even when it was freezing outside. And while the idea sounded romantic, the reality of it wasn’t because we were shivering so hard our teeth chattered. And our noses started running. And in books, that never happens, for some reason. Even when it’s below zero in the books, the characters go out for a romantic walk.
- In a similar manner, let’s talk about walks in the summer. Because, I don’t know where you live, but where I am, it’s HOT. And being outside for any length of time, including the early mornings or late evenings, if the heat doesn’t get you, the mosquitoes will. My husband hates the fourth of July for that very reason, although I always considered fireworks scenes romantic.
- In a lot of books, the man likes to use his finger to draw circles or hearts or whatever on the girl’s hand or shoulder. Having that done in real actually gives me a case of the heebie jeebies. There’s something about it that makes me cringe and I have to jerk away and ask my husband to stop. Maybe that’s just me.
- One more pet peeve of mine: electricity. In so many books now, every time the man and woman touch, electrical currents zap through their hands or arms or whatever. And all I can think about is static in the winter time. Ha! I’m actually glad that one doesn’t normally happen in real life.
Don’t get me wrong. None of this is going to keep me from reading more romance novels. I’ll probably even include a few of these in the ones I write. Because even if it’s not as romantic in real life as it is in a book, it doesn’t keep us from going back for more. ;-)
So, what do you think? Have you ever thought of any of these before? Got any to add to the list? What sounds romantic to you in fiction that doesn’t come across quite so heavenly in real life?