Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month 2016!
If you’re a new visitor to RARM, I hope you’ll come back every day in August to read all the wonderful pro-romance posts this year. Check out the full calendar here. You can also find links to the last three years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook. Enjoy August!
Don’t We All #LoveRomance?
Brace yourself, there are people, some people that say they don’t like romance. (insert audible gasp here) No, it’s true. They turn up their nose at a rom-com movie, country western song or a novel with a love story at center stage. They pooh pooh the literary merit, ignoring the rich history of romantic literature to tell a compelling tale.
But, I love romance and I would argue we all do. Even you, sir, in the back row, reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy for like the fifth time. Don’t roll your eyes at me.
It’s silly really because romance is important to us. Sure, we’ll say other things are more important: our children, world peace, flossing but in the end, we love romance. We love the feeling of our hearts quickening when someone smiles at us, we love the catch in the throat when we feel we’ve been noticed. We even love the possibility of whatever those things mean, even when it’s from our long-term loves.
I’m reminded of something Elizabeth Gilbert said in Eat, Pray, Love. She wrote about speaking to a counselor who spent time with individuals interned in refugee camps. Cambodians, essentially boat people had experienced the worst of humanity and when offered counseling they wanted to talk about the guy they met at a different camp or the girl in the tent next door.
That is not an isolated observation. I’ve been teaching Stress and Health Psychology for twenty years now, in my other life as a Professor of Health. When I ask the students to make a list of the most stressful things in their lives, money comes up, followed by school, but ‘relationships’ is always right next to those first two. Sometimes it’s even first on the list.
At the heart of this is not the frivolous nature of flirtation nor is it the central nervous system rush we feel with we catch someone’s eye. Romance, love, at the heart of it, is a need to be seen, to be acknowledged in the world, to be treated as though we matter. Isn’t that what actual love is? And romance is that super-charged action-slash-reaction that goes along with being noticed.
So why do we fight it, this acknowledgment of an attraction to romance, however it is conceived? I believe it’s about not wanting to appear the fool. To want to keep our vulnerability in check and refuse to admit that other people can affect us in what appears to be a capricious way. Or, maybe it is that we think we should have a better hand on our emotions and that if we admit a wink can stop us in our tracks, what else could derail us? Gasp, what else?
Denying romance is denying our humanity and our ability to affect each other and if that’s the direction we’re moving in, I’m going back to bed (but not alone) because I kind of love romance.
Ann Garvin recommends:
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
I felt it on my wedding day, which I think I learned years later on my divorce date to trust love, but romance? Maybe not so much.
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
My best friend from college (I met her in 1981) is the person I tell everything to. Every romantic pratfall, every single wink and giggle. She never judges and always plays along. Not once has she scolded me or told me to get a life. This is why I tell her everything romantic. she’s the best. Thank God for cell phones.
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
There is a hotel in the ocean off the cost of NH and Maine. The island is called Star Island and it’s next to the more famous Smuttynose Island (infamous for the murders). It is so spare and small and filled with the winds of ghosts that long inhabit there. I love it. I feel like Jane Eyre there and I pretend I am ageless and fraught with the despair of love gone badly.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
My parents. Sixty-One years and for the last five years he has cared for my mother with Alzheimers. He is devoted and they are a love for the ages.
Tell us about your dream date.
In a small cottage on the beach, we will eat lobster, make a fire, lay under a soft blanket, look at the stars and eat chocolate.
Ann Garvin is generously giving away a book (winner’s choice from Ann’s available titles. (US only, apologies to international friends). To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below or on the Facebook post you’ll find here (or both – Share the Love!) ;o) by 11:59 pm PST Aug 13, 2016 . Good luck!
(*You don’t have to like the FB page, but we do recommend it. It’s easier to contact you if you win. Also consider joining the Read-A-Romance Book Club page, where we discuss romance of all kinds and will have drawings and events throughout the year.)
Dr. Ann Garvin, is an internationally published author, speaker and professor of health. Her novels I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around, The Dog Year, & On Maggie’s Watch are each about women who struggle to find their way in a world that asks too much from them, too often. Garvin balances her literary pursuits with teaching in WI And NH while supporting other women writers and raising a family. She is the founder of The Tall Poppy Writers and The Fifth Semester
Buy Ann Garvin’s books:
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