Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In Search of Romance

Romance: Noun. a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention. ,a romantic spirit, sentiment, emotion, or desire, romantic character or quality.
Romantic: Adj. to invent or relate romances; indulge in fanciful or extravagant stories or daydreams, to think or talk romantically.

Basically, you can not define the word “romance” without using the word “romantic” and vice versa. And look at the beginning of the definition, “a made-up story, full of exaggeration or invention”. What?! Are we not ALL in search of romance? And yet, we’re searching for something that doesn’t exist?

Working backwards, I feel like my earliest memories of the word began with…”Love Boat”. Right? Every couple would end up on the Lido deck at night, under a moon, soft breeze. She’s have a light wrap on and her hair would blow. They’ve have their first kiss and just KNOW they were meant to be together.

Cut to, about 15 years later, I’m on my first cruise ship, performing. My boyfriend and I had been cast together and I said we HAD to find a chance to kiss on the Lido Deck, under the moon light. I’d wear a gown and a wrap. On formal night, I was wearing a long white and sequin gown, with a wrap, my hair up and sparkly. I chose the outside door to the theater’s lounge to go outside at night. The wind pull was SO strong, I do believe that my dress and I appeared like a flag, at half mast. I literally crawled my way along the guard rail desperately clinging onto my jewelry, wrap, dress (sometimes up around my head), and probably cursing “Love Boat” the whole time. I don’t recall my boyfriend meeting me there, or any sort of “Titanic”…”I’m king of the world!” moment either. I do recall thinking, “I could die right now.” and…romance, is not what it’s cracked up to be.

Working more backwards, I’m guessing Shakespeare was among the first to build up our hope of what a romantic evening means, only to generally end up dead by the end of the play anyway. Still, we want our significant others to make grand gestures, sword fight on our behalf, lay coats down in mud, and visit Club Med with us so we can play on the beach.

In reality, if my boyfriend drew a sword at someone, I’d pretend not to know him. If he laid his coat in mud, I’d calculate the cleaning bill, and as he likes to say about me, “You like the IDEA of the beach, but not the ACTUAL beach.”. It’s true. I’m extremely pale and the sun tires me very quickly. Plus, I’m not the strongest swimmer. So the beach is nice to walk on or take pictures. But I’m usually done after about 20 minutes.

It’s the same with all, “romantic” spots I find. I see a bench in the woods, I think, “OH! So romantic!” I sit there. I wait for something exciting to happen. Maybe I expect sudden fireworks overhead or little animals bringing me flowers. But that never happens. What do I expect will happen at Club Med? Or on the balcony in a hotel in Italy? Or anywhere else they tout as being a very, “romantic” location. Unless there’s a small string quartet hidden in the bushes, along with 5 gorgeous men holding grapes-at-the-ready to feed me, I think I’d best get over any search for romance that I may have. It’s, “a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention” and I think we should all search for reality.