Romantic Life Lessons

Yes, I Watched The Bachelor Last Night

reg_600.TheBachelor2.mh.011413by Patience Bloom

You’d think I’d be embarrassed but I’m not! I read romance all day long so I should be sick of love on Monday nights (8pm on ABC) but I’m not. My husband thinks the show is as interesting as watching paint dry, but I don’t care. He escapes by reading a French novel. I load my brain with juicy TV when I need to cleanse the palate from a day of reading, navigating the subway, and rushing to meet deadlines. Sean’s journey to find true love post-Emily kept me glued to the TV for two months. And now, I have post-partum and anxiously await The Bachelorette.

A devotee of scripted television, I came to The Bachelor late–right after my wedding when all I wanted to do was bathe in the glow of romance from sunup to sundown. My job has love covered by day. By night, while my sweetheart is reading Balzac, why can’t I watch real people find love in front of an audience? Chris Harrison must always host the show, of course.

After two years, I see how twisted it is to think that romance can happen this way–pitting 25 ladies against each other (at least one woman has to be insane) to win 1 movie-star handsome guy. Love can’t flourish in such an artificial way, can it? In front of everyone? With lots of choices? Fighting to the death? With one guy able to kiss so many women and not be seen as a player? Wondering who looks better in a bikini while jumping into freezing water? My feminist side is appalled, and yet, I still watch week after week because it gives me demented pleasure. My only question is what would happen if someone got the stomach flu?

As with my love for Cheetos, there are so many reasons why I shouldn’t watch The Bachelor. These reasons, however, have no control over my remote, which will stay tuned for more. Maybe Sean and his lady will be happy forever.

I just like the show…okay?

Romantic Life Lessons

OOOOH, SHINY!

iStock_000017497906XSmallby Mary-Theresa Hussey

That’s what I love about being surrounded by writers and editors.

Whether re-imagining words (“shiny” is wonderful/fantastic in Firefly lingo); reacting like a magpie gathering information from all sources (Laura Anne Gilman emails me delightedly when she sees how science discoveries informs her notion of her magic); appreciating everything around them (romance authors are particularly good at noticing things to enhance joy and pleasure) or the ability/inability to stay focused because attention is caught by another wonderful tidbit, they are almost always involved people. They want to know about others and share that information. And yes, there’s gossip, but it’s often instigated by the why somebody did what he/she did and what informed that decision. And it’s always grist for another story, but in an unexpected way.

We try to have a weekly meeting, and I enjoy ending it by everyone saying something they are excited about for the past or upcoming week. Each time the variety of topics and the discussion it spurs and the notes to try this food or book or movie or show makes me so glad about spending time with this team. This is surely one job where you can learn at least one thing every day, and always where there’s at least one moment of delight you can share with another about what you did that day.

So I hope everyone else takes a moment to explore the various elements of “Shiny!” that are all around…