I can believe that fantasy is showing us possible alternate realities. Sure, I know there's no such thing, but I can suspend my disbelief to consider that these are possible ways the world could have been.
I can even suspend my disbelief for urban fantasy. I know it's unlikely that quirks in reality would result in superheros or creatures walking the world as we know it, but I can consider "what if."
What I can't suspend my disbelief for, however, is romance. I thought this was a personal taste issue, but after giving two romances a chance this summer - no. That's just too far out there.
First, let me open my arguement by giving you two facts that are surly coloring my perception: First, I've been married for over 13 years, so I know the reality of relationships. That dopamine rush that takes you to the altar eventually leads to home, family, in-laws, job stress, financial strains, good days, bad days, joy and tears, and a partridge in a pear tree - if you're lucky. Second, I've always had a lot of men in my life. To say there's been a heavy male influence on the way I was raised and continue to live would be an understatement. So please bear these in mind as I make my arguement.
For the sake of preserving dignity, I won't say what I read or who wrote them because they might have fans out there that devoured them and think it's the best thing since chocolate. I'll be fair. I will say this, though: Both stories had several elements in common that I just couldn't seem to get past. They were way out of left field. For example:
1. Men don't instantly fall in love after one encounter. Sorry ladies, it doesn't happen that way.
2. Men don't propose a week after meeting the lady of their dreams. In the best case scenario, it will take longer and completely freak them out to the point that they withdraw for a while before deciding to commit.
3. Men aren't the ones that are talking about having children on date #2. Sorry ladies - again, that doesn't happen in real life. Barring "surprises," this consideration usually comes at least a year or two after marriage, which in itself takes a year or two to come about.
4. Men aren't emotional and they don't like having "heart to heart" talks. My own husband has confirmed this. So has my brother, my father, and while they were alive both grandfathers. Sure they may feel it (they aren't robots), but the likelihood of them talking about it willingly and openly is roughly equivalent to aliens landing in my driveway right now.
5. In both stories, it was the woman that was long single and fearing committment. Really? They fell in bed quick enough for somebody not looking for love. Now I'm not saying there aren't women that are afraid of commitment. I'm just saying the stereotype exist for a reason. It's more likely that the woman is the one wanting an exclusive relationship before the man. See point #2 above.
6. Vampires and werewolves - really? Ok, I'll be a sport. They may be prowling the night, but they aren't looking for love. They're looking for a quick and tasty meal.
Before you say that I must have just gotten a hold of some bad examples, I did try romance while I was in college and found myself having the same problems with the same issues I saw in those novels. Well, with the exception of the vampires and werewolves. That wasn't popular back in the mid 90's.
So go ahead and call me an improper lady if you must but I'm sorry. I'm more likely to believe that Frodo Baggins destroyed the ring of power, the Jedi order is rebuilding somewhere out there, dragons are hiding under the Smoky Mountains, Superman will save the day, Batman is on a rooftop downtown, and Thor is beating someone down every time I hear thunder than I am to take any bit of the two things I recently read seriously. Sorry.
That's all the fun I have for today. Here's hoping you're off to a great start to the new week.