I can’t stand it. Romance is like a box of Legos. If you put in a lot of time, effort and care, you could have an astounding piece of artwork. If you drop a block on the floor and step on the little MF, it *&#$ hurts! You have to put all the pieces in the right place or your project looks like a weirdo. Or if you lose one, you can never replace it (unless you go to the mega Lego store in Chicago—which has relocated, by the way).
Take the Lego sculpture of my husband and I for example. We could make a fantastic romance. The first time I saw my husband, it was kismet. He had just been hired on in the customer service department. He was across the aisle being trained. I was walking back to my seat when I spotted him. Tall, thin, long, blond hair. I was so stunned I did a double take. Then I walked into the cubicle, tripped and fell smack-dab onto the carpet. Lego on the floor alert! Rachel, you can’t run into things and then take a nosedive into the rug. But that’s the way it happened. Doesn’t matter. Heroines are not clumsy. What you’re describing is slapstick. Not romance. Okay, fine. End the scene at double take.
It took me some time to work up the courage to ask him out. For one, I thought he was gay. Hold it! Absolutely not. Your sculpture is going to look like a gangly gak of Whopper Farm. Heroes have to be buff, trim and masculine in romances where the couples are heterosexual. You haven’t met my husband. It’s an easy mistake to make. Doesn’t matter. We’re not getting on Ebay to find the one Lego piece that will make your abstract art concoction work. Fine, the reason it took me so long to hit on him was because he was so much younger than me. Women can’t be older than men in romance. Unless you’ve got a cougar imprint. I want to pretend we do. Okay then, continue.
I’m ten years older than my husband. Being mature for my age, I was concerned by a suave, sensitive young man who was blooming—Flaming pink Legos in a romance? Not when we’re describing a male protagonist. Am I writing this or are you? Technically, I am you. You might want to talk to a psychiatrist about dissociative identity disorder. Wait, make that multiple personality disorder. Most people are not aware that the clinical terminology has changed. Shut up.
Okay, so let’s take it from the top:
I saw my husband from across the room. He was tall, blond, stunning. His hair was long, shimmering and soft. My heart thundered. I did a double take. My body tingled. I had to work up the courage to approach him. Until that moment, I didn’t believe in love at first sight. My husband was receptive, gentle, open. We spent nights discussing our histories, families, hobbies. Months went by basking in the glow of true love. Then my husband mentioned the time he played violin for Woman in Black at Weathervane Playhouse.
“That was you?”
“You were a kid.”
“I was sixteen.”
“Yeah, a kid,” I said. I had been in the audience. As the memory de-fogged, I confirmed that the handsome man across from me had been the scrawny teenager from six years earlier. A two year old has just crashed into the middle of the room and Lego shrapnel is everywhere. That’s the way it happened. A twenty-six year old woman and a sixteen year old boy is CREEPY! I didn’t have the hots for him back then. I just remember the night. Isn’t it romantic that my husband and I had a chance meeting years before we fell in love? Please stop. My head hurts.
Honestly, I could build an awesome Lego Air Force One jet plane, complete with little yellow Lego security guys, but I’d much rather have a gangly gak from Whopper Farms. Yep, I hate romance.