Why Romance By C.V. Walter
I was going to write something in defense of Romance as a genre but I think I’ll tell a story instead.
In 1980, when Dave walked in for an interview at a warehouse, he really didn’t want that job. He’d just dropped out of college to support his mother who was strong, independent, and going through a divorce… again. His parents had married and divorced each other several times over the years and this time he hoped it was going to stick. But with his little brother still in high school she needed help and it was up to Dave to pick up the slack.
He was early to the interview, like always, and very focused on making a good impression. Which is why he wasn’t focused on where his feet were going. He tripped over the trashcan, tried to right himself, and ended up falling on the corner of her desk.
The HR person was a woman named Peggy. She was Dave’s age and a semester shy of being a kindergarten teacher. She’d gone away to college and was her grandfather’s live-in caretaker until he passed away. With him gone, she couldn’t afford to finish her degree and live on her own so she moved back to her home town to work and save up money until she could finish.
She felt terrible that Dave did his interview while bleeding from an injury sustained from her desk and gave him the job.
A few weeks later, he asked her out for breakfast. Now, she thought he was cute but the last three breakfast dates she’d been on had ended disastrously. Like, a bus had crashed into one of them, barely missing her table. So, she was hesitant but something told her to take a chance.
By the end of breakfast, they both knew that this was the person they’d been waiting for.
Of course, there were bumps in the road to their happy ever after.
He brought her lilacs from his mother’s garden. One of the few flowers she’d very allergic to.
His signature dish, the one he learned specifically to woo his future wife, was a spinach quiche. Which was delicious and she ate with a smile and only told him later that cooked spinach is one of the few foods she hates with a passion. But not more than she loved him.
She tried to surprise him by taking his car to get it detailed and it died on the way out of the parking lot. Nobody else could get it started. A trend that continued with most of his cars.
They got married in August because her brother was getting married in June and had been engaged for over a year. Dave and Peggy had known each other for six months by the time they tied the knot but only because they’d kept missing each other. They were at the same events over the past decade with different groups of friends. Several of their friends knew each other and some of them ended up dating and marrying as well.
They had two children. And three grandchildren.
This August would have been their 42nd anniversary if Dave hadn’t passed away in February.
I used to tease my dad that this story would have made a great Romantic Comedy or Hallmark movie.
“Don’t tell your mother,” he said. “She’ll ask you to write it.”
Well, I wrote it anyway.
I don’t feel the need to defend Romance. It’s a billion dollar industry that will continue to be popular for as long as there are people. It’ll twist and change to fit humans as they are but it will always come down to the moment of connection between two people.
Whatever window dressing you put on it, Romance is fundamentally about telling the story of the creation of a deeper connection with another heart. The spark, the moment, that says “this one is worth the pain”. And there’s always pain. When you grow as people, when you grow as a couple, when outside forces try to batter you, when you lose each other. Romance shows you why it’s worth it, why you try, and offers hope for a Happy Ever After.
C.V. Walter is a Romance author best known for her Alien Brides Series. She’s started allowing her muse out to play a bit more, though, and has launched a Noir Space Fantasy series of short stories. The most recent story, Some Like it Bot, is available now on Amazon.