The last time I blogged I addressed the topic of whether romance novels can lead to discontent within marriage. You can read the post (and the terrific discussion that followed) here. Rachael made this comment on the post: “As much as I like Mr. Darcy, there are reasons I’m married to my husband and not a brooding aristocrat.” And THAT, in turn, gave me the idea for this post.
Special thanks to the ladies on facebook who readily gave their input on this topic. I quoted you!
1. Limited Dialogue. Fictional heroes are restricted to the words printed in their books. And sure, some of their words are yummy. Here’s a speech given by Bo, the hero of my Undeniably Yours. “I can’t do many things,” he said fiercely, “but I can love you, Meg. I can love you every hour of every day for the rest of my life. I swear to you I can. I want to earn the right to try.” The pad of his thumb rubbed her cheek. “I love you so much I can hardly see straight. I can’t concentrate. I can’t sleep. I can’t make myself care about anything on earth except for you.”
Let’s fast-forward ten years into the married life of Meg and Bo….
“Hey, Bo?” Meg calls while sweating over the fourth load of laundry that day. “Would you mind running to the store for some eggs?”
Bo answers, “I love you so much I can hardly see straight. I can’t concentrate.”
“Yep. Got it. Thanks and all but I’m really in need of some eggs for breakfast tomorrow. And it probably wouldn’t kill you to vacuum the living room carpet.”
“I can’t make myself care about anything on earth except you,” Bo says.
2. Trust Issues. “My favorite type of fictional hero is the flirty, charming kind but in real life I don’t think I could trust a devastatingly handsome flirt, who’s rich and athletic…or maybe I just can’t trust women around him.” -Cynthia Marcano
3. Baggage. “I will finish a book with a flawed or damaged hero and think, ‘Oh, honey. You have no idea right now, but if you were not actually fictional, you would be dealing with that issue for the rest of your life with that man.'”- Heidi Donnelly A fictional hero’s sad backstory that includes a drug addicted father, a mother who’s a prostitute, and a three legged dog arouses our sympathy. But none of us desire to spend Thanksgiving dinner across the table from those in-laws.
4. Cougar Town. Heroes are usually around the age of thirty. It’s well and good for a man to be thirty. But when you’re sixty and you have to bring your fictional thirty year old hero to a party where he meets your real life thirty-five year old son — it’s awkward. It no longer feels romantic. Things have now crossed over into creepy land. “My biggest problem with the heroes is that most times they are quite a bit younger than me. Not happy to be a cougar!” – June Hickenlooper
5. We’d be rendered useless. If we were married to a romance novel hero “we wouldn’t get any ‘real life’ done for sitting around drooling over our husbands all day long.” – Carrie Schmidt It’s fairly impractical to marry a fictional hero. If we’re incapacitated with adoration and infatuation who’s going to pack lunches and load the dishwasher and call to schedule orthodontic appointments and give the dog a bath?
6. Suffocation. Jessica White says, “We all love that heroes constantly think about the girl in their life, but in reality….” that would grow extremely tiresome. Yeesh! Quit hovering, fictional hero man. Just go play golf already. Think about making par and let me have some breathing room to read some other guy’s romance novel.
7. Procreation. Well? It’s not possible to ‘go forth and multiply’ with fictional heroes and some of us would like to become mothers to non-make-believe children.
8. Limited Actions. “Fictional heroes only make appearances for the big stuff–first dates, first fights, first kisses, weddings… Real life heroes are there for the real stuff. Going to the store to buy tampons when you’re too tired. Changing the baby in the middle of the night. Cleaning up vomit. And a whole lot more.” -author Leslie Gould
9. Perfection. “He needs to have some flaw I can complain about, right?” – Darcy Southern “If our husbands were perfect, then we would be worshiping them instead of God.” – Tonya Robinette “They are prettier than us! Who wants that??”-author Jill Buteyn
10. Broody-ness. You’re at a church function and you’re laughing with one of the men in your Sunday school class when you happen to glance across the room and see that your fictional hero (dressed in a Regency cravat and tailcoat) is staring at you. His mouth is a thin line. His eyes are burning like turquoise coals. You groan. He’s jealous. Good grief! Again?! Which means he’ll remain silent for the rest of the evening and spend lots of time stalking around looking anguished.
So there you have it! As much as I enjoy reading and writing romance novels, I’m very pro real life husbands.
Before I go, I wanted to share a quick and fun announcement with you. I’ve written my first ever novella! Love in the Details features new characters Holly and Josh, a fall wedding, and a Texas setting. It might be just the thing the next time you’re in the mood to spend some time with one of those fictional heroes who wouldn’t make a good real life husband.