23 July, 2011

so, like...

y'all know i'm in a book club. overall, the books we've read have ranged anywhere from "oh christ, please make it stop, make it stop now before i gouge out my eyeballs with whatever implement happens to be handy" to quite enjoyable. this month's selection (no, not mine, not fucking mine) is a total fluff bunny of a romance novel. however, the book has brought into sharp relief two very interesting facts:

1. god, i wish i was filthy rich. sadly, the desire comes at a time when i no longer have the body/looks to gain wealth in the time-honoured non-respectable way, nor the energy to gain it the hard and slow respectable way.

2. romance novels are for women, what porn is to men - a dangerous path leading to ridiculously high expectations and consequently disillusionment. why, just now, i chided my beloved husband for not possessing either a chiselled chest nor the ability to bring me hourly to the brink of well lubricated madness. and also, for not driving a maybach (to which he level-headedly replied that hitler drove a maybach. (i knew that. but still...))

to return to the whole porn/romance novel thing, though, i find it curious that we (both boyses and girlses) choose to entertain and titillate ourselves in a way that is pretty damn close to impossible to replicate in real life. after all, few women are so cock-hungry that they'll enthusiastically devour a plastic dildo as the perky-chested heroines of many a pornographic cinematic feature, and few cold hard distant men reveal themselves to be vulnerable and loving providers who know all about foreplay and are willing to joyfully engage in it for hours at a time until the woman faints from sexual exhaustion and full emotional satiation as they are wont to do in romance novels.

christ, who picked this book* anyway?

p.s. and why is it that in romance novels every sexually charged relationship starts with animosity? wouldn't it be nice to actually like the guy you are aching to bed?

p.p.s. and furthermore, why is it that they never ever progress to that tragically underrepresented but glorious part of the relationship where one can fart in the beloved's presence? i, for one, would be nothing but a grey faced spectre of my current self if i had to live in the gasless wasteland of nothing but ripped clothing and heavy breathing. just sayin'.

p.p.p.s. and another thing, why is it that romance novel heroes always have names like hardy and gage and slade? what is it about your run-of-the-mill bob or floyd that makes him eminently unsexy, huh? unfair, is what i say.

p.p.p.p.s. and finally, why, for the love of pete, does the woman have to get pregnant in the end? a. with all the hot fucking that they do, you'd think birth control would have popped up on their to-do list and b. since when are babies romantic? especially in the first 2 months of a relationship? jesus!

* a teacher did: one more reason to savour childlessness.


Lucy said...

You really should have a column somewhere for reviews like this. I treasure all of it but most of all the bit about 'that tragically underrepresented but glorious part of the relationship where one can fart in the beloved's presence', which was one of those 'yes!' moments for me.

I've never read 'The Curious Incident...', and have to say I've never felt very tempted to do so, mostly because the combo of dead dogs and autism has never seemed very tempting, but I've only ever heard or read rave reports of it. Interesting you hated it so.

the polish chick said...

lucy, the dead dog makes only a very brief appearance, but i found the book so monumentally unengaging that it hurt. in this one instance the entire book club was in agreement, as was another friend who had also read it.

it's very difficult to care about a character who is barely human and his emotional detachment is extreme. i only finished the book because of the book club, otherwise i'd have tossed it off the balcony.

i have, however, discovered a lovely canadian author named miriam toews whose third book is now soothing my soul after the sugar daddy debacle.

Zhoen said...

Best seller status is no guarantee of quality, in my experience. The more I read, the fewer new authors I like. But then, I worked in libraries so long, that I always figure, eh, there's another book.

Spent the summer after grade 8 reading all the romance novels in my branch library. The rule was I couldn't borrow from the adult side until then, so at the first opportunity, I read the lot - in order. By the end of it, I never wanted to read another the rest of my life.

None of them were sexually explicit, merely suggestive, and very dysfunctional. (Think 1976.)

the polish chick said...

zhoen, agreed.

i also went through a phase of reading romances, and that's why i found this one so bloody formulaic. animosity leading to great sex leading to tenderness and love wherein the feisty heroine melts the icy heart of the handsome successful chiselled hero. yawn.

puncturedbicycle said...

Hysterical! I'm in complete agreement! How tired it is to learn that *yawn* hero and heroine hate each other yet they yearn, etc. (Except for Scarlett and Rhett - oh how my teenage self loved that book - but if you suggest their relationship was hackneyed I WILL ARGUE that it was more complex than that.)

My 'Curious Incident' was 'White Teeth' - overrated and peopled with generally tedious characters for whom I felt nothing. If I hadn't been (trapped) on holiday where I couldn't get my hands on a single English-language book or publication I would never have finished it. Couldn't tell you now what it was about.

Missed you! Glad you're back!

Pitur said...

you said titillate, hehe