Can I just start by saying that I am at least three and a half steps beyond being a Hopeless Romantic? I‘m not exactly sure what that makes me: Insanely Romanic? Ridiculously Romantic? Pathetically and Unrealistically Romantic? Well, I guess it’s not like you can stop me, right? So yeah, hi, my name is Brianne (or Bri if that’s just one too many syllables for you) and I’m a total sucker for romance… except for in my own actual romantic life… because that makes sense. You know how a lot of people really like action movies — with all the fighting, killing and gore — but they would never actually go out and ninja kick someone in the throat? (Generally speaking.) That’s pretty much how I feel about romantic movies, or books, or video games. I enjoy the shit out of the genre (fine! I occasionally read really terrible romance novels when I’m sick… or bored), but from a weird safe distance where if half of those things happened to me I’d probably die of embarrassment and uncontrollable sarcasm. Seriously, you guys should have heard my wedding vows. I basically suck at anything resembling romance without at least half a dozen jokes to buffer the emotional blow.
Sidenote: I feel compelled to highlight this phenomenon by mentioning that like many video game inclined people, I just purchased Dragon Age: Inquisition, and I spent almost as long figuring out who my character was going to be romantically involved with as I did creating said character. Anyone who knows anything about in depth character creation will know where I am coming from. Judge me as you must.
I’ll feel better if at least three (and a half) people could get on my level here:
1. Watching ‘Rom Coms’ or ‘chick flicks’ or pretty much any movie labeled as ‘romance’ is a private hobby. Some people (okay, generally women) like to make them group activities, or try and force their significant others to partake in them on the big screen. Not you, my friend, not you. You enjoy them with same sort of shifty dedication as a twelve year old boy –or girl- watching porn on his parent’s computer.
2. Despite fawning over elaborate and extremely public proposal scenes, the idea of one actually happening to you in real life leaves you hyperventilating in something very akin to pure, unadulterated terror.
3. Huge displays of romantic affection (think sappy speeches in a crowded café type thing) are your own personal nightmare. Consider the ending of one of my favorite moves: The Wedding Singer, where Adam Sandler serenades Drew Barrymore on a crowded airplane. I would have seriously considered jumping from the aircraft. (Totally played that song at my wedding by the way, it was glorious.)
4. Your idea of romance might amount to sitting on your couch in pajamas watching T.V. and eating pizza while generally just teasing, mocking, and laughing at one another before eventually having great sex. Ah, perfection.
5. It isn’t that you don’t believe in love in real life, you just know that the sort of ‘love’ that is often displayed in movies and some of the more silly books, isn’t typically realistic… or even desirable. It’s basically akin to Fantasy or Sci-Fi; unlikely, but still entertaining and cool. I mean dragons are super cool, doesn’t mean I want one to come barreling out of the mountains and burn my sad little town to the ground. Know what I mean?
6. Okay, if you’re being completely honest with yourself (I would avoid doing this too often, ha, just kidding… maybe), you may have or have had some unrealistic expectations of love. I think the worst travesty of the Twilight novels and films is their unhealthy portrayal of love and relationships (aside from moderately terrible writing and god-awful acting). Dude, Bella, going into some crazy hyper depressive, zombie state because your creepy boyfriend dumps you is actually not very cool. Dear teenagers, do not personify Bella for the love of God.
7. When inevitably and romantically charged emotional moments do occur, several things may happen:
- You treat the entire thing as a joke to avoid the internal awkwardness of being put on the spot.
- You totally clam up and have no idea how to respond, which is kind of almost worse than point a.
- You develop a horrible case of the nervous giggles that makes you look at least vaguely insane or unstable. Probably a cocktail of both. Actually, you should probably make sure that on any potentially romantic dates that cocktails are involved. I’m not saying it helps, but you do hate yourself a little less and you can always just claim you were drunk.
8. A pretty cynical part of you thinks that love is used as a giant excuse for people to act like complete assholes. Cheating for instance, often is qualified by falling in love, and is frequently glorified in movies and television. I mean, I guess there’s a reason they say all’s fair in love and war, right? The whole ordeal is pretty disheartening, and you’ve probably had your share of bad breakups and broken hearts — all of which has probably made you a little (or alottle) cynical.
9. Despite the cynicism, which is often little more than a front, you probably hold onto something even more misleading than the concept of love – hope. Hope just gets into shit and goes around poisoning everything. Like your judgmental Aunt during Thanksgiving; whose backhanded compliments and vaguely shitty comments seriously make your mashed potatoes taste like cardboard. Stupid hope, never gives up.
10. It’s this little niggling hope that keeps you putting yourself out there, that keeps you watching and reading in your room at night hunkered under the blankets like a sappy goblin. You may suck at the over glorified concept of what romance is supposed to look like, but you’re pretty damn dedicated to the realistic and healthy concept of a loving relationship. Even if you do watch Love Actually about fifteen times during the holiday season while claiming it’s a ‘Christmas movie damnit!’. Ugh, just thinking about my husband proposing to me in broken Spanish in some crowded restaurant makes me want to throw up or pass out.