Susana, thanks for having me today. I don’t often editorialize, but I just couldn’t let this go by without a comment or two. I call this post
A Defense of Romance
I read a blog post recently by a romance Scrooge in which he condemned romantic love. The author blamed romance novels and movies for high divorce rates, among other things. Really? As a writer of heartwarming love stories, I must admit I’m a little biased, but last I heard divorce rates had come down a bit because of the economy.
The blogger also attributed our love of romance to a desire to possess someone. Possess? Like in “own” or “control”? That implies some sort of abuse to my way of thinking. Romance novels have a common theme- the heroine’s wish for happiness, a wish to be loved without the grubby details of daily survival. In short, a wish for perfect love. I can’t equate that with a desire to possess someone.
Why is it that so many brides and grooms choose the words from Corinthians for a reading at their wedding? Because of movies and romance novels? Duh? Seems to me those words existed long before movies came along. And Shakespeare wrote not only Romeo and Juliet—he also wrote romantic comedies. You think he did some time traveling and read a little Nora Roberts? Clearly folks have liked this romance stuff long before modern romance novels and movies showed up.
Is perfect love unrealistic? Of course. Once the wedding is over, and that beautiful white dress is put away, we all go back to daily living with its problems and disappointments. That bloom of happily ever after fades a bit and we must adjust our expectations.
In a way, romance and getting married is like buying a new car. In the showroom that sports car is just perfect. We fall in love with it! (Well maybe guys do!) The interior sparkles and has that wonderful new car scent. The exterior shines like a brand new diamond ring. Then familiarity sets in. Dirt collects, we notice a squeak here or there, the handling’s not quite as good as we expected. What do we do? Some folks trade their car every year. That’s just the way they are. But most keep it and maintain it for a while. Ever feel nostalgic about that great old car you drove when you were young? It wasn’t perfect but it got you there. (Mostly) And the stories you could tell about it? Imperfect car it may have been and you may have wished for a new one. Don’t we all. Isn’t that human nature—to always look for something better? So, we dream—and read the car ads and romance novels. But, maybe our romance could use an oil change once in a while. Sounds to me like Mr. Scrooge could use one.
If we won’t accept a splash of dirt, or adjust to the quirks, we won’t be happy. Love is no different. Romance is what got us here and guess what? We can keep it going if we just adjust to the squeaks. The road may be bumpy on occasion, but if we don’t let that romantic bloom evaporate it grows stronger and deeper—and you know what? Sometimes it almost gets there. To perfection that is! That’s not movies, folks—love is what we make of it!
And besides—who wants to ignore that glorious romantic rush when Cupid finds us with his arrows?
About A Blanket For Her Heart
Anne Hoskins faces the most difficult decision of her life. Will she grab for the brass ring, or choose the safer, more familiar path she’s traveled since her youth? Will temptation divert her from the choice she selects? She has much to learn about herself—and tests galore to overcome. A Blanket For Her Heart is a story of courage and love, uncertainty and challenges. And an unexpected turn of fate.
He checked into the old Victorian hotel, dragged the ancient ten-speed bike from the rack on the Toyota, and headed along the shore, away from town. The route was familiar, ridden many times with his wife long ago. Back then, only two or three boats rocked quietly in the harbor. Now there had to be three hundred, rivaling Newport just across the bay. Shops and restaurants, once part of a sleepy little town, thrived on the bustle of early season tourists.
He cleared the harbor and headed south over the sandy isthmus that held the island together. The land had a name he’d seen on maps, Conanicut Island, but he called the whole place Jamestown, after the town. Passing Fort Getty, he started up the long hill he hadn’t seen since Carol died.
Proud of her riding, she’d always beaten him to the top, except once, that last time. He had teased her, laughing with victory. She had smiled and said it was just a fluke; she hadn’t had her vitamins that day. A first warning, it had gone unrecognized.
That was a long time ago, before he met Ellie and before she dumped him last year. Inactive since then, the last of the climb he had to do on foot.
Back on the bike, he pedaled toward the lighthouse, up and down the rolling hills. The New England air was crisp, but warm enough, and the ancient bike rolled smoothly under one of those clear blue early June skies. Scrub trees and bushes lined the road and an old rock wall, nearly hidden in the undergrowth, followed the pavement, its neglected top missing stones.
The heaviness of his last few months returned with a sudden certainty the island was a lonely place to live, not at all as bright and open as he’d remembered it.
A bird high overhead caught his attention. An osprey or a hawk soaring, probably seeking prey. He caught his breath as it dove suddenly, flashing downward like a dart.
The bike lurched. His attention diverted, he had drifted into the ditch at the side of the road. Pulling hard to the left, he tried to recover, but the front wheel struck one large rock and then another. As if a spectator, he watched in disbelief as the wheel collapsed, pitching him forward, over the handlebars. The rocky ditch offered a hard greeting.
As his body registered pain, he lay unmoving, hoping someone would come by. But the road was devoid of homes or cars. He was alone.
Raw flesh against the rocks and pavement brought an involuntary cry as he struggled to get up. He lurched to his feet, his left arm crooked, panic clutching at his heart. Sliding his right arm below the left for support, he took a step and groaned in spite of himself.
A single driveway beckoned. It had to be followed, but its slippery, sloshing gravel made each step he took a grim adventure into pain. Finally, a house appeared deep in the woods, barely visible but a very welcome sight. Waves of pain ripped through the arm with each stumbling step, but he goaded himself onward.
“One more step, one more blasted step.”
At last, the house. Thick shrubs shrouded the front, extending from the garage around to an L-shaped wing, a castle wall to block his entry. The garage was closed, no car in sight. Silence lay heavy in the air. He stared, numb, his mind uncomprehending. So much effort for nothing.
The deep roar of a motorcycle reached up from the road, unmistakable help gone by, a blow to his belly. Someone had to be home. Three steps toward the garage revealed a path, barely visible in the shrubs. He eased through, trying to avoid branches, and emerged in a sheltered courtyard.
About the Author
RC Bonitz was born in New York City a long time ago and grew up in Long Island farm country. At eighteen he met a pretty girl and announced he would marry her. More than fifty anniversaries have gone by since then. They have five children and twelve grandchildren who do them proud.
RC has an interesting background. He’s been an engineer, a building contractor, a psychotherapist, and now an author.
A resident of a small Connecticut shoreline town, he spent many years sailing and racing, but now finds pleasure writing and bass fishing from an ancient red canoe. In addition to short stories, he has three novels to his credit at the moment (A Blanket For Her Heart, A Little Bit of Blackmail, and A Little Bit of Baby). He is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Ct. chapter of RWA and the Ct. Authors and Publishers Association.