So years ago, my boys and I were all in the grocery store waiting in the checkout line. It was nearing Valentine's day and the store was decked out for the holiday.
My middle son (who at the time was probably in second grade) looks at me and says that he must be romantic. We all looked at him and asked why. He proclaimed that he was romantic because his favorite color was red and that he liked strawberries and chocolate.
I told him that wasn't romance, so the boys then asked what romance was. I'm ashamed that I gave them terrible advice. I said limos, flowers, all the things a girl my age grew up watching on TV.
My youngest set me straight right away. He looked at me and said, "So you have to spend money to be romantic?"
I totally started back pedaling, but still my stale advice hung in the air like a deflated balloon.
The conversation and the idea of romance still haunts me to this day. Everyone has a different idea of romance and it really doesn't even have anything to do with gender. Everyone has different ideas. Some people want small, daily affirmations, others want grand gestures, and then there are those that want both. Romance is also further ever changing. Sometimes romance flows naturally other times it must be hunted down.
So what then is romance and why is it so hard to pin down? I'm going to have shift my brainwashed ways and go with today's prevailing ideology that romance can be found in small and simple gestures, but the little girl in my who grew up with fairy tales, I'd still like the occasional grand gesture too. So, I'm guessing today's YA lit. must follow this pattern too. And I guess if I had to tell my boys about romance, I'd say it is all about wanting to spend time with other person, share experiences with that special someone, and maybe even surprise that person. Romance I would say is the moments that take your breath away and the gift of one's time.
So romance and love are not exactly the same thing, but closely entwined. Romance implies flowers, candles, candy, red, pink, heat, gifts, love, longing, wanting, sharing, surprise, jewelry, and togetherness. In the end, romance is about love and wanting to do something special and meaningful for the other person. Romance is knowing the other person so well that you catch the person off guard. Romance is smart!
So challenge . . . how do you define romance?