I came to romance early. And by that I mean, I was interested in boys from the age of 4 to, well, now! At 4, my next door neighbor was Robert, who was an older man of 5. I would call over the fence, “Robbbbbbbert! Robbbbert!” Robert’s mother told my mother that Robert would hide in the house when I rang out my call of romance. Robert was clearly a late bloomer.
Since Robert wouldn’t play with me, my mom put me into nursery school, as it was then called, and there I met David. I would climb to the top of the monkey bars and wait for David to arrive. When he did, I would scramble down the monkey bars and stand in front of him, grinning. David, also 4, would shuffle his feet in the dust and smile back.
The romance with David was on. Unfortunately, nursery school romances are notoriously brief and unreliable.
My romantic life continued on through all the school grades. In each grade, I had a heart-throb. Whether or not the boy knew he was my personal heart-throb might be in question, but my fascination with boys was not.
In 8th grade, my English teacher told me I was Boy Crazy. I struggled to find the insult in that remark. I liked boys. I liked looking at a boy and feeling that kick in my heart and that jolt to the brain. I liked talking to boys and I liked hanging out with boys.
In 9th grade, I read Romeo and Juliet and thought it was the best story I’d ever read. That story catapulted me out of horse stories and dog stories into boy/girl romance stories. Thank you, Will Shakespeare!
In 12th grade, many boyfriends later, I decided my college major would be English.
Post college, I got my teaching credential.
Post teaching credential, I married my final boyfriend and I discovered romance novels. Yes, that late. Finally, after all those boyfriends and all those books read, I found romance novels.
Yes, I am happily married to the man who jolts my brain and melts my heart, and though I read romance novels featuring other men who jolt and melt, it is an innocent infatuation that endures until the last page. The joy of romance, the necessary pleasure we find in falling in love and of being loved, is the joy of being human.
Boy crazy? No such thing.
Questions for the author from The Joy of Romance:
1 – Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
It was such a simple moment, really, but it was a moment of pure joy for me. Driving along in the car at dawn in New Mexico, and running all alone was a mustang, majestic mesas behind it, tinted purple and pink and rose in the dawn light. It was a surprise moment, a ‘you can’t plan it’ moment. A wild horse at dawn in the west. Magical.
2 – Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.
The lake. Any lake. I have so many wonderful memories about being at the lake that any lake scene will take me there. I am most refreshed and inspired and at peace when on a lake.
3 – Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.
Bird song! I love the sound of bird song. There is no happier sound than birds singing through the trees.
4 – What recent book have you read that brought you joy.
Life With Father by Clarence Day. This book was published in the early 1930s and was the basis of the longest running NY play (non-musical) to date, and of a wonderful 1940s movie of the same title. Based on real life and the author’s real father, it’s a loving look at a very demanding, difficult dad. I laughed from start to finish and found the dad charming.
Not a recent book, but recent for me!
5 – And for fun, the joy of choice!
Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer?
I have to go with Chris Pratt. It’s not his looks, it’s his humor! A man with a sly sense of humor will win me over every time.