Thursday, June 24, 2010

Romance Novels: Destroyers of Marriages?

I recently attended an athletic competition and brought along a book, as I always do. My husband was busy with his camera and tripod, taking photos and videos. As I lifted my nose out of the book to see if my son was on the mat yet, the middle-aged man sitting next to me said, “You’re gonna finish that book.”

I replied that I doubted I would finish it before the end of the meet, I was only on page fifty.

He nodded and became absorbed in the performances--I thought.

“That ain’t one of THEM ROMANCE NOVELS, is it?”

I showed him the cover. “No, it’s a Salman Rushdie novel. A LITERARY novel.” Which was slow-going, not nearly as fast a read as one of THEM ROMANCE NOVELS would be.


I wasn’t in the mood to have a verbal joust with this man, so I didn’t reply: I WRITE THEM ROMANCE NOVELS. I continued to read. Slowly.

“Well,” he continued without any encouragement, “the reason I asked if that was one of THEM ROMANCE NOVELS is because I have a FRIEND. His wife starting bringing THEM ROMANCE NOVELS into the house, getting all kinds of ideas about whatnot, and the next thing he knew, my friend’s wife UP AND LEFT HIM.”

At that point, I looked him in the eye and said, “Methinks it had NOTHING to do with the ROMANCE NOVELS. I would venture to guess there were other issues.”

He gave me a sheepish grin and said, “Yeah, maybe.”

When I recounted the incident to my husband, he said, “He was hitting on you.”

Wow. What a great pick up line. Not.

But it did get me wondering. Is there a muttering mob of men out there who truly believe that THEM ROMANCE NOVELS can destroy marriages? Interestingly enough, when I searched on “Do romance novels destroy marriages?” the only hits I got were blogs written by women about how to destroy your marriage. Well, okay, thanks for clearing that up for me. I’ll let my husband know.

So, the next time I go to an athletic competition, I’ll be carrying the one of the biggest, hottest one of THEM ROMANCE NOVELS that I have in the house. You know, one with the half-naked man and woman on the cover. And if he asks that same question, I’ll reply, “Why yes it IS one of THEM ROMANCE NOVELS--and I like it so much, I’m writing one, too.”

Sharon Buchbinder

Fireworks for the mind: Surprising and Sizzling!


Stephanie Draven said...

He was definitely hitting on you. He wanted to know if you were one of those women who could get ideas about leaving your husband with the book you're reading.

Christie Kelley said...

Sharon, what a funny post. And yeah, he was hitting on you. I would have turned and said, I write romance therefore I am the destroyer of all marriages. Then I might admit to being married for 26 years.

Jill James said...

I've been married for 22 years and read romance novels since I was 12, so they can't be too damaging.

Sharon Buchbinder said...

LOL! Thanks everyone. @ Stephanie--I am so clueless at this point in life (34 years married, 58 years old) that I have to be smackeded with a 2 by 4 to know if someone is hitting on me.

@Christie--Oooh. I like the "I AM THE DESTROYER OF ALL MARRIAGES" response. Up there with, "LUKE, I AM YOUR FATHER!"

@Jill--I agree, it seems the reverse logic should be in play. =]

Monique DeVere said...

Thanks for the chuckle, Sharon!

I'm sure my brother would deny this, but as a teen he would read romance novels to see what women wanted.

Perhaps the advice would be for more husbands to read THEM ROMANCE NOVELS so they stand a chance of getting some ideas too ;) *grin*


Laurel Wanrow said...

Such self-control, Sharon.

Lynne Roberts said...

If he was hitting on you, I'd suggest that he needs to read one of them romance novels. ; )

Great post, Sharon!

aarbaugh said...

Hmm, perhaps I should start bringing one with me when I go to outdoor events. Maybe I'll start getting some men to flirt with me (I'm single, didn't read romance when I was married). If I do start dating someone, I know just the book I'll happen to leave out in the open. It'll be a real eye opener for him!

Sharon Buchbinder said...

Thanks, y'all!

@Monique--what a clever little bro you have!Was he successful?

@Laurel--I didn't want to embarrass my son. LOL!

@Lynne--I agree. Maybe I should bring one I've read and hand it to him.

@aarbaugh--Bring the ones with RACY COVERS. =] Happy hunting!

Sharon Buchbinder said...

Has anyone else had weird comments about their reading material? Or am I just *lucky*? :]