On Doing Romantic Shit

Rose petals floating in a bowl
Well, this is going a bit overboard...
And here I go...Me, the failure at romance and life, discussing a subject everyone pretends to know about but I'd wager few have got right! Yes, that's it! You can love it, you can hate it, but you're force-fed it from birth...That old, tired concept we call romance, that goes hand in hand with another old and tired concept we call love.

I'd like to start by ranting a little bit about love and by saying this: If we as a society had never heard of love, I think that fewer of us would fall in love and those that did would be even more confused (I can't speak for everyone, but I tend to get confused as shit by things other people seem to do with ease and then not get that confused at all by things that other people shy away from). But I also think we'd have a lot less of people saying "this isn't real love", and who knows? Maybe if we weren't force-fed love and romance we'd have better relationships due to not having unrealistic expectations! I'm tired of all that, I really am.

Wine glass with three candles standing behind it
Right, that's that unhealthy dose of cynicism and perhaps a little bit of common sense over and done with...I'm not against romance and doing romantic things per se. For a start, I'd be poking my nose into people's private affairs, and not only am I too young to be a curtain-twitcher and too interesting to need to satisfy my boredom through snooping around, but I also think that it's morally wrong to intrude on the affairs of a private individual who is doing no harm to others. Unless your idea of romance is going on a real-life murder spree, I'll stay out of your business.

Single candle of doom
Besides, as much as I root for happy, healthy, loving relationships, I don't want to be tiptoeing around feeling uncomfortable and possibly slightly nauseated.

Anyway, where was I going with this shitty article?...No, I'm not against romance and doing romantic things, not at all! That's a personal choice! But speaking from a personal, prejudiced point of view, I'm sick and fucking tired of romantic clichés.

What appears to be a bath with rose petals floating on the water. Isn't it just so ROMANTIC, darling? Now excuse me while I throw up in my mouth...
See, this is the kind of hackneyed,
tacky shit you get when you try and
follow the romantic clichés....
You almost certainly know the ones I mean: roses, candlelit dinners, schmaltzy music, serenades, poetry, balcony scenes, kissing in the rain, love hearts, gratuitous amounts of red and pink and even more gratuitous amounts of shiny shiny...

...Have I made anyone throw up yet? Have I made anyone sigh with bliss and gaze out of the nearest window with loving eyes? Have I made anyone stand up and yell "That's not romance, you twat, you don't know what real love and romance are!"? I don't know, because so far no-one's left an angry, incoherent comment on this. But if you want some of the clichés of romance, go and google them. I'll wait.

Red and pink roses
Okay. We get it. You like red, pink,
roses, and red and pink roses. But
can you be a bit more original and
not make my eyes bleed?
Back yet? If you were as lazy as me and basically typed "romance" into google images, you probably got a rather large array of (mostly white, cis and heterosexual) couples, an awful lot of red and pink, overused fonts, love hearts, roses, candles, and other such things. Oddly, there weren't that many candlelit dinners around...I had to specifically search for them, yet they were what got me ranting about romance in the first place.

Yeah, I'm a weird person.

Now, I'll admit it. Some of those things aren't so bad on their own - but in conjunction the stupidity, the cheesiness and, perhaps worst of all, the utter lack of thought absolutely kill me.

Single red rose on a white background with red love hearts scattered around it
Two symbols of romance put together
and the cheesier for it.
Take roses, for example. Roses are quite nice, but their association with romance has never sat well with me; it really doesn't seem very original that "oh, roses should be the flower of romance!". And no other flower? Give me forget-me-nots or irises or aquilegias any day is you must give me flowers - you know, flowers that aren't roses and that I personally like, not clichés in full bloom. And flowers themselves as romantic...Given that flowers are the reproductive structure of a plant, this is like giving people cut-off, decaying sex organs as a love token. It makes sense in a way, but it's a little odd. (It does give me cause to laugh at how absurd society is, though.)

Pale pink roses (a caketopper) on white lace
I've never really liked the bridal
industry and this piece of clichéd
shiny shiny is not helping.
And what's with all the red and pink? Don't give me some just-so story; colours symbolise a hell of a lot of different things in different cultures, sometimes contradictory. But red and pink don't go together and when you're attacked with them, as you are whenever anything "romantic" comes up...well, I don't know about you, but my eyes start to hurt from all the stupid. There is more to love, passion and gooey feelings than two fucking colours, all right?

I think I'll mention one last particular gripe I have (I only have so few because I try to stay away from clichés). What is it with romance and kisses in the rain? I think there are much more romantic things out there in the big wide world of stupid. Maybe that's because I'm a contrarian, or maybe that's just because I wear glasses and getting cold, windy, manky raindrops on the lenses is a pain because then I can't see anything and I have to wipe them clean.

Lit candles with yellow and white roses
Isn't it so romantic?
But my overarching gripe with all those clichés is, well...they're clichés. They're ancient and impersonal. They're forced on us as an idea of what we should like rather than what we actually do. They stop people from actually thinking about things and being original in the name of doing the same old shit over and over again, because that's what society tells us is right. Me, I think that's bullshit. The memories I treasure most aren't my doing what is socially acceptable and behaving according to society's whims, the memories I treasure most are the ones I found unique, the ones that we made because of who we were and are and not because it was the done thing to do. Give me a good book rather than a bunch of roses any day of the week.

A book with its pages open
"Give me a good book rather than a
bunch of roses any day of the week"
I'll say this now: I would take a day of doing silly, odd, unique things with the man I love and generally being an insufferable oddball with him over a year of Sundays with some conventionally attractive idiot who'd take me for candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach, perhaps serenading me and chucking roses at me. Blech! The memories I cherish most are the ones I helped create, not those created for me centuries ago.