I like romance.
There, I said it. I am a man, and I enjoy a good love story more than I would normally like to admit in any social situation. I also refuse to believe that I am an anomaly. We males have too many ways in which to mask this, standing behind a social norm that would be as inaccurate as when sloths mistake their arm for a branch and fall to their deaths. It’s time to rise – a collective of man-romantics.
I was recently involuntarily subjected to read Anne Michaels’ Fugitive Pieces for a class this semester, and, while the book is a beautifully stylized natural history marvel, I’m pretty sure my favourite parts were the subtle injections of romance. Now, I’ve tried this before: with nothing left to read and yearning for some literature, I forced myself to take on a Nora Roberts book entitled The Three Fates last summer. Despite being a so called ‘romance novel’, I wasn’t aroused in the least. I thought my story-book romance days were over.
But Micheals does something completely different and much more to my liking. Her version of a romance isn’t some smutty, overly-detailed repetitive patriarchal half-porn, but a classic in descriptive beauty (without all the graphic parts). I so appreciated her ability to describe the essence of a character though another character, allowing for her poetic writing style to bleed elegantly across each page. Romance wasn’t the centerpiece but a component part of a larger story, told through the eyes of a fictional post-World War Two first generation immigrant to Canada who struggled with identity, mental health and forming a healthy love interest. It was beauty at its finest.
So why do I feel like the only man on the interwebs to support the creative talent of romance media everywhere? Just buck-up and admit it: we’re all suckers for a good love story, and there isn’t anything wrong with this. So all you self-identified males who front an emotionless manly-man guise can start acting like real dudes with hearts and feelings and mushy stuff. After all, feelings are called feelings because we often can’t control them.
So let’s foster the feelings of males everywhere, and put the MAN back in roMANtic.
*Looking for a little romantic inspiration? Buy Anne Michaels' Fugitive Pieces here.