Monday, September 19, 2005

SBD: Hello, I love you, won't you tell me your name...

Since I’ve already got my Pirate on for the day, I figured I’d smack my inner Smart Bitch up, too.

Just how much can this little brain produce on two cups of tea? Not much, but I’ll give it a try anyway. So let’s talk about Wuv, Twue wuv, shall we? Specifically love at first sight…

Which I will now state for the record that I do not believe in.

Do I believe in love? Yes.

Do I believe you can fall in love quickly? Of course.

But love at first sight? Try lust maybe. Lust at first sight makes much more sense. I’ve fallen in lust at first sight several times. Oh fickle, fickle lust. Oh the many beautiful, beautiful men. Oh the customer that came to my counter with the Economist looking like a tall, ropey Johnny Depp, doing the intense eye contact thing so well that my mind left my head and went…well, I think it went off with him. I’m sure they are making little thought babies now. At least I hope so. Because I would certainly be making—

Oh wait, where was I?

Lust, right (is it hot in here?). I know thee well, which is why when I read a romance novel and the character is all “I loved you from the moment I saw you” I’m struck by the overwhelming urge to scream, “Liar!!!!” That and throw the book across the room.

Look here, Mr. Man or little Miss Girly-girl (since it inevitably seems to happen in those types of books—she says making a generalization about a whole genre and talking about herself in third person. She obviously needs more caffeine), what exactly have you fallen in love with? Her cleavage or legs? His broad shoulders and handsome face? Where’s the depth? The getting to know you? The something beyond the superficial “Hey baby, I wanna get in your pants” feelings!?

Which is what I hate most of all. Here Ms. Author has spent an entire book building the emotional relationship, the meeting of the minds, between these two people only to have one of them trivialize this growth by saying, “I loved you the moment I set eyes on you.”

It’s trite, damn it! It pisses me off (obviously), and it tosses any and all emotional development out the window. To me the character is saying, “I, like, totally love his/her body, it’s slammin’, and the brain is like an extra whoa, ya know?”

Why do the characters become a valley girl/surfer boy when they talk to me? I blame Bill and Ted, really, but the example works if only for the belittlement of the scope of the feelings involved.

Give me the slow realization, the build up, the little things that click together. It wouldn’t bother me at all if, say, the characters have been together for awhile and one day, while he’s lying in bed watching her do the hip wiggle dance necessary to get freshly laundered jeans on (because everyone has to do the hip wiggle at some point, I don’t care how small you are), he thinks, “I love this person.” In fact, I would love it more, believe it more, because he’s thinking this during something as mundane as the morning dressing ritual that we all go through. If he can become aware of the love during one of those blurry-eyed, messy-haired, dear-God-where’s-my-coffee moments, I have more faith in his profession and more faith in the characters.

Of course, he still might utter the line about love at first sight because what woman wants to hear that she was loved at her worst. It’s just one of those little while lies, baby. Like telling you that you look good in that dress.

…and I still might throw the book at the wall.

But hopefully, just hopefully, when she asks when did you fall in love with me, he can answer truthfully, “Remember that morning you were trying to button your jeans…”

And he’ll say it in such a way, with the right amount of tact, that he won’t get slapped.

And she’ll have enough of a sense of humor—and love for him—that she won’t slap him.

And I, I will be getting the warm fuzzies because these would be people I would actually want to hang out with even if they did make googly-eyes at each other across the table all the time.

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