So, obviously, some of us are trying to fix this; trying to allow readers to experience romance through our characters. But I don't think this is actually what the person was talking about. And, it made me think.... what creates romance on a personal level?
As a writer I should know this, of course. I should be using it in every bit of romantic setting and dialogue that i write. Yet... I'm not sure I've ever really asked myself this question. Is it different for each person or is it the same? Does it depend on age, or gender? Is it physical or metaphysical or both. My brain is spinning just considering all of these options.
Stop! Breath... that's a start. Here in this moment, what is romance to me? It is not a connection I feel to another person right now since I am alone (a good thing to point out for my husband who reads my posts!) But is romance dependent on another person or can we find it in ourselves?
There are many different definitions for 'romance' in the dictionary. For the purposes of this post, I took the following: an emotional attraction or aura belonging to an especially heroic era, adventure, or activity. Complex, but I liked that it had more depth to it than some of the other online definitions like: a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. I like the idea that I can experience romance without being in love. Can't a moment be romantic in its own right?
Today the barista saw me when I entered Starbucks and when I didn't immediately go up to the counter he brought my drink over to me. This, to me, is somewhat romantic. I don't mean on his part... obviously, he's probably half my age and married to a very sweet girl. No... I mean, the idea that I could come into a place and belong so totally. The fact that someone could be so kind. The surprise of it. To me all of these things make that moment romantic. I have a very sincere emotional attraction to this place because of just such heroic actions.
Do you think this means my standards for romance or heroism have fallen? Or, is it possible, that although I don't give myself credit for observation, as a writer I pay closer attention to the meaning behind small actions than I used to in the business world when my life was filled with pushing paper across my desk. Or perhaps it is because, as a mother, I have learned that even small acts can be heroic.
So, maybe it is not that there is no longer much romance in the world; maybe it is that we have started moving so fast we don't stop to pay attention to the small, romantic gestures around us all the time. I wonder if I did whether I would begin to see romance everywhere. The way my daughter waves from the bus window, the way my friends make time out to meet me for coffee, the way my husband folds my socks just so.... romance might be pervasive in my world. How sad that I haven't been paying attention.