I was talking about the new Batman movie with a couple of co-workers of mine—the ones who don’t suck and don’t make cracks about me eating dog for lunch—when the subject of Christian Bale came up. One guy couldn’t remember what movies he’d been in, so I reeled a few titles off: Empire of the Sun, Swing Kids, American Psycho, The Machinist. And then I remembered he was in Little Women, so I blurted out “Oh, and he was Laurie in Little Women.”
“You know, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott? Beloved classic?”
More blank stares. I realized these guys had never heard of Little Women, which was weird, because we’re talking two guys who are quite well-read; this was the first title I’d thrown at them that they’d never heard of. I said, “I can’t believe you’ve never heard of Little Women. It’s one of my favorite books!”
And my buddy Brian said “Yeah, but you read romance novels for fun.” In sort of the same tone someone might say, “Yeah, but you think puffy paint sweaters are haut couture.”
So yeah. OUCH.
Feeling a bit nonplussed, because the implication here was “Don’t trust Candy, she reads stupid books,” I said, “I read lots of things for fun. God’s sake, I read veterinary textbooks for fun. Enzymes. Enterocytes. Vitamin A synthesis.”
And the other guy piped up and said “That actually sounds more interesting than romance novels.”
Yeah, TAKE THAT, romance novels! We have word from the trenches, from two Average American Guys: Romance Novels: A Lot Less Interesting than Veterinary Textbooks.