A Lid For Every Pot

July 13, 2007 at 11:19 am | Posted in Jessica, movies, relationships, romance, writing | Leave a comment

Meg is offline this week so Bria and I are taking on the task of filling in for the Friday blog spot.

Thinking of Meg has me thinking about summer vacations.  Remembering some of my own vacation opportunities over the past few years, one of the best vacations I have had in recent memory was a trip I took a few years ago to visit friends in California.  It was the first trip I had ever taken where I traveled alone on my own itinerary.  And I loved it.  It helped that I had loved ones that I could call upon while in town, but I absolutely loved having the freedom to do what I wanted to do and see what or whom I wanted to see, and all on my own timetable.  I also did the tourist thing and ended up watching a lot of people on that trip, and for the first time I really took notice of the variety of couples that occupy our world . . . and I remember thinking to myself that, by outward appearances, so many of them seemed mis-matched.

And that was the most fun and optimistic revelation that I took from the trip.  For the first time I witnessed it all around me: the relationship ultimate that there was a lid for every pot.

Now, if I could only have interviewed each and every one of them to ask how they met.  Because I hear from so many people just how hard it is to meet anyone new with the way society is today – whether it be relationship potentials, other new friends with somewhat similar interests, different professional contacts, etc.  And with so many people claiming the same hardship and wanting that new social contact, you’d think that it would be easier to meet lots of different people, not harder.

One of the blogs I regularly visit is Billy Mernit’s, Living the Romantic Comedy.  (Love it!)  A recent post has me thinking more and more about this alleged rift in in-person, meaningful social networking, and how that translates – even if it should – into the kinds of romance novels that we write.  If you’ll allow me the hypothetical question – Does a ‘modern audience’ still want to read about boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back, and they live happily-ever-after?

In Mernit’s post, Till Year Four Do Us Part, he references, “The Shelf Life of Bliss,” a NY Times article by Sam Roberts (July 1, 2007) that looks at modern marriage and attitudes. In it, Roberts states the average span for a marriage made in 2000 is 3-7 years, unlike the lifelong unions of the past.  So to play devil’s advocate here, I wonder how that notion plays into our audience? 

With romance novels, I would argue that consumers read them for that love ideal and that satisfying ending.  But the most buzzed-about and successful ‘romance’ movies of the past two years (with a much different and more varied audience, admittedly) look at the concept of the love story in a way that seems more . . . authentically contemporary.  The movies referenced in the Mernit post are The 40-Year Old Virgin ($109.2M) and Knocked Up ($132.0M, so far), and I want to throw in Wedding Crashers ($209.2M), too, simply because it hit such box office gold.

Personally, I’m not saying that I do not want a tried-and-true love story and a happy ending because, quite frankly, I live enough real life that I would rather not read about it for my entertainment or escape.  But I also admit to being somewhat of a dinosaur in other areas, so, with the wild success of the stories as told in the movies mentioned above, I wonder – am I a bit too much of an Old Soul for modern social networking or storytelling?

Time will tell! 

As an aside, I still hold onto the hope that there are enough well-fitting lids out there. Some where.

-Jessica

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