Sunday, August 8, 2004

Reading Me

I just peered at an online column for guys on how to be romantic. Maybe I shouldn’t go there, like a peeping Thomasina, but I thought that if I knew how they functioned, maybe it would be easier for me to figure them out. Then I would cry, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. Yes, I’ve heard - men are simple beings, nothing tricky really. Making things complicated only complicates things.

So strike one on me, but I’m not changing now, and that’s a whole ‘nother story. The title was, "Use Romance Novels to Woo Her," by Jason Davis. Guess I was drawn by the use of the word "woo." Funny word in an unfunny place. If you want to sweep a woman off her feet, Mr. Davis revealed, find out what her favorite romance novel is. All women, he explained, read these trashy paperbacks, and typically reread their favorite passages over and over. Well now, this was getting amusing. Woo, woo, woo on me. I looked at my bookcase and its inhabitants – the Bible (in case Mom visits), the Book of Irish Curses (in case Dad visits), various biographies (that scream "THIS person was successful – what’s YOUR problem?"), and Shakespeare to impress the hell out of any visitors. Sorry, no romance novels here- guess I’m a failure as a woman.

But if you were to snoop in the nightstand by my bed (don’t - I have a security system and you will be prosecuted), you’d find hope. After smashing a window and disarming the dog, my imaginary beau would encounter "Holidays on Ice" by David Sedaris. And if he were dumb enough to break into my house, he’d be stupid enough to consider this a romance novel. Taking the book, he’d follow the columnist’s advice, holding the book with the spine to the table and gently letting it fall open to the most read passage. This, by the way, was the key denouement of the column. So sneaky – breaking and entering AND divining my reading passion with such a tricky trick!

I took "Holidays" and put it to the test. Not once could I get it to open to something other than the front or back cover. It would just flop over dead like a guy with a tv remote. Finally I examined the spine to see if it was perhaps tweaked to one particular page. It did indeed bend a bit on page twenty-two. I read eagerly, as if it was a fortune cookie divulging my wildest dreams, unknown even to me until now. It was the part where Sedaris works as an elf in a department store, helping Santa process all the Christmas rugrat requests. A mother places her daughter, dressed in pink lace and pigtails, on Santa’s lap. The daughter whispers giddily what she wants in Santa’s ear, but the poor man is struggling because, well, because the daughter is forty.

Things would get interesting when "Beau", as directed by the column, would emulate my alleged favorite passage by growing a grey beard and packing on an extra seventy pounds. Or maybe he’d dress in elfin garb and bring in a fat old guy for a menage-a-yuk. Put your mistletoe back in your pants, I’m not sitting on anyone’s knee. Bye-bye, Beau.

My favorite passage from a romance novel? The one I made from being a put-upon working wife to owner-operator of my own life. It’s still being written. And yes, that’s a whole ‘nother story.

1 comment:

southerngirl said...

"My favorite passage from a romance novel? The one I made from being a put-upon working wife to owner-operator of my own life. It’s still being written. And yes, that’s a whole ‘nother story."

That is terrific.