It’s the kind of magic that only a truly gifted writer can do. Sure, we’re all used to the fairytale set up of boy meets girl, they’re either best friends or they’ve grown up together, and then suddenly, the fateful day arrives when one of them sees the other in an entirely different light, and their world is never the same again.
These stories are beautiful. They make us think of a time when the life that lay before us was full of possibility, and love was this powerful, inevitable force that we were destined to reckon with sooner or later. For whatever reason, the Right Person would likely run into us when we were late running an errand as some grunt in the Big City, or this elusive attractive fellow would keep coincidentally show up everywhere the sweet, but plucky country girl happens to be. And then the magic happens.
But what about the stories for when life has hit the characters in the face with a frying pan, and they’re just making it? I understand the concept of escapism, but wouldn’t it be sort of hilarious and fantastic if a story about two volunteers in a nursing home hit it off? No one is a billionaire, no one is “torn” or “broken”. They’re just folks.
But we really want something special, don’t we? We want to see ourselves, elevated.
It takes a special lense to filter out the grit of everyday life, and embellish our common, unexpressed desires in a way that somehow makes us feel whole as we live vicariously through people who are like us, but are not us.
That, dear readers, is Romance.