26 May 2008

A Not So Fine Romance

Today's rant--er, thoughtful discourse, is on romance.

I'm not what you'd call a touchy-feely type. Once, when it was announced that a guy, who'd been working with us for about a year, was leaving town, I blurted out, "Who's gonna do his work?"

This was met with an open-mouthed stare. "Wow, L.A., that's cold! Not 'Gee, I'm gonna miss him.' Not 'He's been a great person to know.'"

*blink* "Um, yeah, all that."

I am one of those cold, heartless people that, by default, think more about task than people. Sue me.

This makes me productive. This makes me practical. This makes me Cruella Deville.

Whatever. I barely knew the guy. He wasn't dead; he was just leaving town. Eventually, they were going to get around to the work, I just got there a little faster.

So, it should come as no surprise to you that I don't put much stock in romance. Yeah, I like chocolates, picnics in the park, snuggling next to a fire, candlelight dinners. And I am most fortunate to have someone wonderful with which to enjoy these things. I like all the trappings of romance, I just don't buy into romance as a concept. Here's why...

I think romance is a made up thing. Made up by a confluence of marketers: Hollywood, Disney, Hallmark, FTD, all telling us we should have romance in our lives and what their particular definition is. Feeding us story lines that tell us we are somehow less if we don't have these things as defined by the official arbiters of romance.

Don't even get me started on the flower delivery competition at work on Valentine's Day. You're going to see your honey at home tonight, right? So, the whole purpose of getting flowers at work, on the one day of the year when the price is jacked up 300% and the quality is guaranteed to be horrendous, is to rub other people's faces in your happiness, right? Yeah, that's romance.

And it isn't enough that the prince dances with Cinderella. He has to carry her stinkin' shoe around and annoy everybody in town. All Cindy has to do is say "Woo, hoo, Princey, I'm over here." But does she bring herself to do it? No. She's too busy waiting to be rescued from her life of misery.

How about a little personal responsibility, Cindy?

How about being the captain of your own flippin' destiny?

How about going back to the castle and giving that big door a knock?

How about not falling in love with the first guy that dances with you?

How about getting out from a life of drudgery without being aided and abetted by a prince?

How about developing your own self so that you begin to enjoy your own company and find that lots of princes start to see you as a catch?

How about appreciating the fine qualities of life/others without putting Disney-specific expectations on it?

I know, just call me Cruella. Tomorrow's topic: Why I hate puppies.


rs27 said...

You can't spell Romance without


that's right! I'm smart!

Bilbo said...

L.A., you da lady! I think I've found my soul curmudgeon!

Reya Mellicker said...

Is romance the same thing as helplessness? Not for me.

Romance is chemistry, it's a divine zap to the heart, body and mind, it's like spring fever - a force of nature. It's SO FUN!!

It never lasts. Too bad...

The crazy idea that without a man, woman is powerless or of no value, is about a lack of self esteem, unrelated to romance. At least that's what it looks like to me.

And as far as i can tell, you're a sweetheart. Cruella? No way!

Kristin said...

I'm not much of flowers, chocolates or being rescued, but I might be swayed. I'm a little wishy washy.

Scott said...

Wow. I wonder what you think of Snow White and her exploitation of the dwarfs?

lacochran said...

rs27: Or "manipulative"! Or "mangle"! Or "manwich"! Hey this is fun!

Bilbo: Grumble-mania! Catch it!

Reya: But she's such a snappy dresser!

Kristin: :) Try the Hershey's dark chocolate with blueberries and almonds. It'll change your life.

Scott: She TOTALLY used them. She stood around and looked pretty and let them do all the tree toting. That's what beautiful people do. Disney says it's okay so it probably is. And what was Sneezy doing working in the woods with those insane allergies, anyway? In the city, they just called him "Phil".

Arjewtino said...

Do you also hate ice cream? I wouldn't blame you.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Now that you've deconstructed Disney, can we do the same with Rodgers and Hammerstein? Pretty please?

I can just imagine how you'd re-write The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oklahoma, and Carousal.

Oh, and then there's the sexist, romantic duo of Gilbert & Sullivan. Yeah, there was a cheery bunch.

Romance is an invention of men and a post-pre-historic way of metaphorically clubbing us over the head, grabbing us by the hair, and dragging us back to the cave. Maybe flowers, chocolate, and nooky are a little more subtle than being whacked in the cranium with a club, but it's all hocus just the same.

Geez. Where did that come from?!

For what it's worth, I like puppies...

Sudiegirl said...

A woman after my own heart. And besides, I don't trust romantic guys. They're the ones who have broken my heart the worst.

lacochran's evil twin said...

Arj: Only the overcomplicated kind: you know, like "mocha mint rocky road swirl-colata". Bleah.

J.M.: Touch a nerve, did I? Yeah, R&H are sexist and racist! How's that for something to tap your feet to? Dee-lightful.

Sudiegirl: Sadly, they buy into the same manipulation. Free, free, set them free...