Happy is he who...writes from the love of imparting certain thoughts and not from the necessity of sale-who writes always to the unknown friend.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)





Monday, January 18, 2016

Has Mr. Gray killed Mr. Darcy?




My mother once told me that I should write romance novels. She said they sell really well and if I want to become rich and famous, that would be the way to do it. I informed her that I tend to kill my characters off which would make for a very short love story. 

While I don't write love stories I do truly believe in the fairy tale. I love every ounce of cheesy goodness to the point where if it was a literal thing I have orange residue on my fingertips. The flowers, the poems, the goofy texts...all of it...sign me up.

Tonight while making dinner I had the sad cause to wonder if Mr. Gray may have killed Mr. Darcy. One of my daughters was sitting at the table with her girlfriends talking. I was only halfway listening when the friend began to describe a movie. Words like submissive and dom caught my attention. These girls are 13 & 14. When I was that age the only dom I had knowledge of was Dom...inos Pizza. 

I stopped what I was doing and had a conversation about what is appropriate for their age group. There was a lot of crying and gnashing of teeth....from me. But I hope I managed to convey that this was not a normal example of a relationship. Christian is a handsome billionaire. However, I am convinced that if this was George Constanza in his mother's basement or Bubba down in the hollars in his mobile home with banjos playing in the background that there would have been an entirely different conversation. 

I believe that a story is supposed to evoke emotion in its reader. Which this book clearly has. For that reason alone I refused to jump on the bandwagon of bashing the book. Nor am I bashing it now. But what I haven't thought of until just now, after hearing my daughter's friend gush over how romantic it was, is this the new standard of romance?

Where is Mr. Darcy declaring his most ardent love in the middle of a rain storm? Or Jack Nicholson saying to Helen Hunt  “…I might be the only one who appreciates how amazing you are in every single thing that you do, and … I watch them, wondering how they can watch you bring their food, and clear their tables and never get that they just met the greatest woman alive. And the fact that I get it makes me feel good, about me.”

Or Julia Roberts saying to Hugh Grant “Don’t forget I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” 

“I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle in your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”—Harry (Billy Crystal) to Sally (Meg Ryan)

 “…If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love … I love … I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”

Long live Mr. Darcy.