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Read Letter

Mills & Boon Romance

My dear Jil…

My dear Jil, Mills & Boon (the romance paperback series) may have successfully sold lies to women! There’s always a hunk in these novels – a glistering bronzed Adonis with “piercing blue eyes.” Did I mention that he has a day-old stubble on his chin, drives an Alfa Romeo (always very fast) and looks rugged unshirted.

Of course he has to have a baggage or two from his past – a tragedy lurking somewhere – a tale of a late lover maybe. There’s a dark secret about him. His past is more mysterious than that of the Biblical Melchizedek. The ventricles of his heart are shut. And he’s cryptic in his demeanor.

However, despite the dark cloud he carries about him, his animal sexuality still manages to burst through. But the tragedy from his past makes him uncaring towards women, including the forlorn heroine who pretends not to like him. But she can’t sleep at night because thoughts of his maleness fill her mind and dreams. He smells like musk. Oh!

One hot summer afternoon, they accidentally brush against each other. His needs awaken and he realises how much he wants her. They make passionate love on the beach as the moon shone and the waves crashed temperamentally. But he belongs to another. His rich family has mandated he must marry a heiress from another wealthy family!

Jil, surely you know this is a concoction from the febrile mind of a very imaginative writer. It’s unreal. In the real world 99.99% of men are not chiseled. And they hardly open car doors for women who wear lace gloves.

In the real world, most men are not tall and handsome. Obviously most don’t have private jet, or live on a tropical island. In the real world, men don’t leave their shirts open, and BO is not sexy or alluring. Even if this fantasy man exists (and I concede there’s a statistical probability), he must have his pick of women.

I do hope you’re so fantastic yourself to compete. I assume you’re perfectly tall, have perfect cup size, high cheek bones, sleep in Armani and graced the cover of Vogue. Even Kate Moss has imperfect dentition and is not frontally boosted. (The Vogue models are heavily photoshopped by the way!)

What I find particularly worrisome is the M&B philosophy of love – love as tragedy. It’s Shakespearean (another writer)! So we go searching for tragic love and turn ourselves into casualties of life, the brokenness from which some never recover.

The other dangerous philosophy of romance novels is the pining after unavailable love and unavailable men. Why put yourself through that grinder? You won’t see available men if you keep wearing romance novel spectacles. Am I against romantic love? Of course not! Romance is good! But the M&B variety is an unfeasible diet of unrealism. Talk of a drawn out and agony inducing Valentine as reality improbable.

In the real world, men have to go to work daily to earn a living, and earn the means to create once a while romantic fantasies. (Those Mills & Boon fantasies are impossible without money you know!)

Some rich men can of course afford the life but in the real world, they work so hard their women sometimes feel neglected. If you don’t separate fantasy from reality, you’ll not appreciate your boyfriend. And you’ll keep goading him. You’ll keep him in this holding pen selfishly while looking out for the man that doesn’t exist. And you’ll fall prey to the play actor who’s an avid reader of Mills & Boon or whatever other genre is out there.

All I’ve been urging in my letters to you is that you have a healthy, wholesome, fulfilling, joyful, balanced relationship. You and your boyfriend must be able to enjoy each other’s company within life’s ablutions. You must be able to stay together in the beauty of loving silence. Romance need not cost his annual salary. A movie date can be as romantic as you want it to be. (Pop corn tastes better when your boyfriend has his arms around you). Won’t matter if the movie is crap! You’re with him, he’s with you. No one else exists.

The power of romance is isolation – being able to isolate yourselves in a mental cocoon of tenderness and care. If you can afford to travel together, do. But if you can’t afford it, travel together to your own world. Live in dreamy possibilities. Enjoy the peace and contentedness that comes from loving affection.

If he’s diligent, he should be able to buy you those things you see in glossy magazines within reasonable time. And then you’ll see that your knight in shining armour has been with you all the while! But knights don’t wear metal everyday! They have to wear ties and go to work so they can buy metal to wear for their princess on occasion.

Your mentor, LA.


©Leke Alder 2013

Tags : Fantasy, Reality, Romance

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