Screw Monotony — Mom’s Gotta Have Romance

By E.J. Gordon

This summer my girls were finally old enough to watch “Twilight” and sort of get it. Jay rented it for the three of them while our son was off at camp in an effort to get them out of my hair so I could work in the other room uninterrupted. But, alas, I am a girl too, and I found myself intrigued by the drama unfolding onscreen just a few feet away. I kept peeking in to see what was happening in this drama that had swept up all of the pre-teen and teen girls in its wake a few years ago.

I confess that because I’m a bit of a literary snob, I’d never read the “Twilight” series. It wasn’t that it was about vampires. I’m an avid “True Blood” fan, but I figured any novel that a 13-year-old girl could read and love could not possibly be worth my time.

Yet there I was, slowly being drawn from the kitchen to the family room, wooed by the epic romance of Edward and Bella. Next thing I know I’m firmly planted in front of the screen asking about everything I had missed.

“I don’t understand … he was drawn to her before he had even met her?” I asked Jay.

“Yes, apparently her unique scent drew him to her,” he informed me.

“He watches her sleep?”

“He doesn’t sleep, so he sneaks into her room and watches her.”

“Yeah, that’s not creepy at all,” I said under my breath. And as the plot unfolded I couldn’t help but keep a running commentary about how ridiculous the plot was. Edward, a vampire, loved Bella the minute he smelled and saw her. He felt this supernatural urge to protect her.

It was clear: This was a love that transcended one lifetime; a love that would cause death and destruction, and one that would fuel tweenage fantasies for years to come.

I made a comment to my girls: “If you meet a man like this, run. He’s obsessive and creepy, and he’s overprotective. If I were Bella, I’d be so out of there.”

Jay said, “What are you talking about? When you were in high school you would have loved this guy!”

I laughed. “Yeah, 16-year-old me would have loved him.”

“And you would be still comparing him to me, like, ‘Hey Jay, my high school boyfriend was so fast, he could run to Arizona in an hour.’”

I continued with the imitation: “’My high school boyfriend used to put me on his back and leap from tree to tree. What can you do?’”

But it made me think about just how much romantic fantasies change as we grow up. Our teenage fantasies are naïve. They go something like this:

Teenage Fantasy:

  1. Boy will take one look at me and know I’m special and has to have me.
  2. Boy will protect me from bad guys by showing up at just the right time and beating them up.
  3. Boy will obsess about me and watch me sleep.
  4. Boy will forsake family and friends and personal safety for me.

The reality is that you can’t love someone you don’t know, and obsession is scary, and being watched while sleeping is disruptive and weird. And giving up friends and family to be with a girl creates resentment within the boy and all sorts of pressure on the girl.

But that’s what girls realize as they grow out of their teenage years. They realize that romance is not supernatural and creepy love. They realize that you need to really know someone to love her, and that constant challenges and barriers in a relationship sometimes mean that this particular relationship isn’t meant to be.

Women still fantasize, though, and not just sexually, but romantically. We get frustrated with our husbands who grow complacent because they’ve already “got” us.

Our husbands think to themselves: “I work hard, I help support this family, I’m a good Dad, I coach, and drive carpool sometimes. What else could a woman want?” Well, we could really use being swept off our feet every now and then. We could use being made to feel special and loved. Sure we could take a step back and remind ourselves just how good we have it, but that step back does not completely remove that teenage romantic heart from our memories.

Despite our aging bodies, our stubborn wrinkles and our dyed grey hair, and despite our hard-earned wisdom and the scars on our hearts, there’s a part of us that still retains our teenage romantic desires.

That’s why we cry at romantic movies; it makes us ache for that romance. But adult romantic fantasies are different. They go something like this:

Mom’s Fantasies:

  1. Man looks at me all yellow-faced and sweaty after 36 hours of labor, and says, “I’ve never seen you look more beautiful or loved you more.”
  2. Man looks at me when he walks through the door and says, “You seem tired, honey. Go upstairs, get into bed and watch TV until you fall asleep. I got the homework, the laundry and the kitchen.”
  3. Man looks at me at our child’s graduation and says, “You are an amazing Mom; look at what you made.”
  4. Man says to me at our daughter’s wedding, “I’d do it all again with you.”

 The themes are the same as the teenage fantasy; we just want to feel special and loved. We want to feel beautiful too. We know when we have it good, and we know when we are loved, but we’re built in a way that REQUIRES reminding.

Men, I know it’s annoying. It annoys us, too, that we feel this way. But it is who we are. There’s no denying the millions of dollars made on the “Twilight” series, and there’s no denying my little daughter wandering around the house singing, “I have loved you for a thousand years, and I’ll love you for a thousand more …”

So put on your wedding song and grab your wife, dance with her, and tell her you’d do it all again. BE HER FANTASY. I’m sure you’ll get a little something out of it too.

Lisa Barr, Editor of GIRLilla Warfare: E.J. Gordon is a freelance writer, a regular contributor to GIRLillaWarfare,  and “Sexpert”. Have any questions or topics that you would like her to address? Remember: No subject is taboo, and Anonymity is accepted. Contact E.J. at: EJGordon529@gmail.com.

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