Nikki Lomax-Larson of Military Spouse Magazine has a bit of a problem. She’s a big reader.
That’s not the actual problem. Well, there’s multiple problems from where I sit. There’s her admission of secretly desiring to be the creme filling in a Weasley sandwich, and her statement that voracious childhood reading caused her to wear bifocals by third grade.
And then there’s this paragraph, which is a light, moist, seven-layer cake of problems:
But the one genre I never, ever touched was romance. I couldn’t bring myself to sample the “junk food” of the literary world. That was, until my husband deployed last October. And now I am hooked. Oh the shame! I am so desperate for romance and happy endings that I fork over good money to read about fictional characters “getting off.”
How do I know I’m an addict? Well, yesterday I dropped $100 on Nora Roberts’ books and some other “chick lit” books I found on sale. The call of the “BUY 4, GET THE 5TH FREE” sign was too great a temptation to resist, and I was scooping paperbacks with cheesy illustrated covers into my basket like a crackhead going after dime bags.
Like a corner junkie picking cigarette butts off the concrete, I found myself crouched down in the aisle at Borders. I hoped that no one would see me as I randomly picked books off the shelves, quickly assessed their rush-giving potential and either tossed them in my basket or back on the shelf. I probably looked guilty as hell, and ashamed too. Every time someone walked by the romance section I’d either duck or pretend to be looking at the books on tape. I even bought “books to cover the fact that I’m buying naughty books” books.
I doubt I fooled anyone. I definitely wasn’t fooling myself. I remember swearing that I’d never become one of “those women.” Egads, I’m now one of “those women” who own more trashy, paperback bodice-rippers than classics.
Anyone know how to break this habit before hubby comes back?
I suggest a three step “You’re Being a Douchebag So Step Away From the Romance” recovery plan.
Step 1: Grab a ladder
Step 2: Get the fuck over yourself already
Step 3: See step 1.
I love the idea that buying romance from a troubled national bookstore is akin to buying drugs for a crackhead, or picking cigarette butts off the concrete. That’s just wholesome right there. God forbid anyone should read books about loving relationships, sexual exploration and happiness, particularly while one’s military spouse is deployed.
From the fallacy that Nora Roberts’ novels are bodice rippers to the part where she’s into the part where the characters get off, and now assesses books for their “rush-giving potential,” this whole column is a head-desk and a half.
I’d love to state my now-standard “Why be ashamed of what you read?” response, because my general attitude is that no one has the right to criticize my choice of entertainment if that entertainment isn’t hurting anyone.
But I’m more inclined to get the poor woman a vibrator to satisfy her need for a “rush,” and while she’s busy, sneak in and find loving, appreciative homes for all her romance novels. If this was her attempt to find commiserating romance readers, boy shitcakes, did she wiff that one with me.
If anything, I’d like some advice to help her cure herself of this habit so there’s more romance for the rest of us to buy. Any ideas?
[Thanks to Kerri-Leigh for the link.]