I just returned from Europe, where I participated in a wedding. It was a wonderful family occasion, filled with joy and laughter and all that good stuff — and romantic? My word! Was it ever. Beautiful bride, beaming groom, and perfectly contagious happiness — two days’ worth, actually, because in Germany churches don’t have the authority to marry you. So this couple got married at City Hall on Friday and had their church wedding on Saturday. We all floated around on a cloud of romance for two solid days.
It was great.
It reminded me why I wrote romance novels, once upon a time. And why I probably will again.
Which brings me to today’s topic: Are Romance Novels Trivial?
Well, surely some are. Maybe most are. As are some, or most, novels of any description. Romance itself, however, is anything but trivial.
The choice of a life partner is the most important decision any of us make. It is a decision that affects your personal happiness, the direction you take in life, where you will live, how you spend your holidays, your financial well-being (or lack thereof), your health — mental and physical — and every other conceivable aspect of your existence. In most cases, it also determines whether or not your genes get passed along, and whose genes they will join in doing so. In other words, your choice of a life partner — based on all sorts of quirky personal preferences, proximity, chance encounter and random luck — directly affects every generation that will follow you.
“Affects” is too feeble a word, come to think of it. Your choice of a life partner DETERMINES THE IDENTITY of every generation that will follow you.
When you fall in love, you touch heaven.
When you marry, you set the course of history.
No pressure, though. Carry on. Continue hooking up with strangers you meet while dancing, or letting your college roommates introduce you to their siblings, or chatting up attractive people on the bus or at the grocery store. It seems careless to you now, doesn’t it? Your clumsy attempts to “meet someone” may be letting humanity down. You might be fumbling your one true chance to influence the destiny of millions. But hey, no worries — that’s the way it’s always been done!
Besides, if every marriage were carefully arranged, I wouldn’t have anything to write about.