- Gender and Relationships
Why We Like Our Vampires and Romances to Sparkle
Does your love "sparkle?"
What is it with cheesy novels that make us want to gag, yet make us mysteriously drawn to sparkling vampires? A blood-sucker with the heart of a hero. A sadist with the perfect qualities of caring boyfriend, gorgeous, patient and caring? It's fiction all right-- and it's selling like hotcakes.
I haven't read the Twilight trilogy, but I've seen a few installments of the movies. At first, I loved it. I was married at the time and was under the delusion that "love is all you need." Well, I've since been divorced and let me tell you: the movie and what it stands for is now insulting to me. A woman, no GIRL in high school, thinks that the most important thing in life is keeping a romance with an emotionally unavailable dead guy (Mr. Sparkly). Where are her ambitions for life? What does she have to overcome in her life to become a whole and complete person? Um, won't know because she's busy trying to bustle the love of two guys-- a vampire and a werewolf, no doubt.
Then there's the other cheesy romance novel-- the one about many shades of non-color. I did read this book, but mostly as a morbid curiosity for why our pop culture demands this sort of bizarre fantasy-fiction. Without knowing the background of the author, I figured she must be middle-aged, not very attractive, and has to use her imagination to create an elaborate fantasy of sexual desire. How did I know so spot on? Because I live vicariously through myself, with no fantasy spared. I can spot fake from a mile away. If she was getting the real deal, it wouldn't come off so plastic and surreal.... um, a gorgeous, young billionaire who's saving the world, is a professional lover in the bedroom and the most considerate boyfriend who falls for some chick who stumbles in his office-- cause she's got "something?" Yeah, that happens every day, along with the unicorn races driven by the tooth fairy, and some of Santa's elves.
So why do we crave "sparkly" romances?
The thing about these novels that take us out of every day reality and launch us into make-believe perfection, undying love, passion and romance like no real mortal can serve is because... we're bored. That's right. Most people don't do things that would make them live in the moment-- live out their passion-- and thereby have to supplement with fictional characters that embody the kind of person we wished we were, and have the kind of boyfriend we wish existed: the ones whom defy death to save us, fight off competing males for our attention, and do good for all mankind. Yup, I have one of these guys breaking down my door every week.
Really, people, really?
Although I'm a real person that doesn't need fantasy to have my moments of ecstasy, I do miss the occasional need to get lost in surreality. We can all go through a dopamine slump and need replenishment-- even if it's through cheesy romance novels that talk about sparkling skin or boyfriends that take care of our every need. *Rolls eyes* I'm sure that kind of guy exists somewhere. Maybe he's on the North Pole, making s'mores with Santa in his off hours.
For those of us in reality: these books serve as entertainment, but shouldn't be taken as an example of what to look out for (or hold your breath for). After all, would you give up a life of finding yourself, establishing your independence and spending quality time with a close companion to have to drink blood as an "undead" and have eternity to stare at your sparkling lover? How about trading your freedom to be a personal sex slave with no voice? Yeah, I'll pass on both. I'm enjoying the single life for now, but sparkle-balls or sadists don't "do it" for me. In fiction or otherwise.