Friday, August 30, 2013

"Career-Minded-Closet-Romantic"


Are you one?

I am.

I was thrilled to read Rachel Kent's blog post last year at Books & Such about a new movie coming out, Austenland. It's based on a 30-something who is obsessed with Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy of Pride & Prejudice and sets out to find her own Mr. Darcy. I was pleasantly surprised that Rachel described Jane Austen fans as "career-minded-closet-romantics"!
Read her post at http://www.booksandsuch.biz/blog/coming-soon-to-theaters-austenland/

That description fits me and I believe many other women who love a good drama, great love story, or a cute chick flick. So why do you suppose this is true? Why do career-minded women feel the need to be hidden in a closet about their romantic inclinations and preferences?

Well, for one, feelings and imaginations are private (and there's something to be said about keeping some things appropriately private). 

And work is work, and dreams are dreams. 

And when we are at work, we are supposed to be applying our minds and skills right? I mean, no one wants me thinking about Mr. Darcy when I'm suturing up a laceration, right!?

But mainly, I think that career-driven women in today's society pride themselves in their more logical aspects and gifts. They like to believe they can solve problems, organize their work projects, and accomplish meaningful work without appearing sappy or starry-eyed. And in their work worlds, women have had to compete with men for these job spots--men who are logical, intelligent, and savvy. It seems perfectly acceptable for a businessman to droll out the mouth about his hobbies outside of work--golf, fishing, hunting, sports--and maybe the walls of his office are even splattered with pictures and portraits of those adventures. But are women less likely to show their softer side at work? I know I certainly don't have my favorite book covers or movie posters plastered all over my personal office space at work--although I have a space reserved for that on my home office wall!

Do we think that somehow we will be viewed differently? Weaker? Less intelligent? More vulnerable if we admit that we have a yen for romantic stories---let alone that we might actually write them? Gasp! Sigh. Several of my coworkers know I like to write, but why do I feel slightly embarrassed to explain that I write romance? At least the Historical Romance descriptor seems a bit more legitimate right? Oh how silly. Why does it matter?

Well, mainly, it matters to me.

I want my characters to be intelligent women who struggle with the same things that real Thinking-Closet-Romantics struggle with everyday. I believe that is why Jane Austen is so loved. Her ability to write wit showed that though Elizabeth Bennett of Pride & Prejudice is completely blind to her love for Mr. Darcy, it's not for lack of intelligence.

Intelligence and Romance are not incompatible. I don't separate them any more than I do Logic and Science from Faith. Don't you think that makes for a more interesting story, whether it's your personal story or a story of fiction?

I do.

What about you?
Tell us, do you compartmentalize your world, putting romance in the closet?
It seems unbalanced to view our world with only intellectual eyes, or only romantic eyes.
But if we apply them in a balanced manner--what would that make our faith look like?
What happens to faith if you put the romance with God in the closet? or only have an intellectual view of God and faith?

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Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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4 comments:

  1. Nope, I don't compartmentalize my world for the most part. Logic, faith, romance - people who meet and know me know about all 3 aspects...BUT I've noticed myself not telling about the romance writing initially at times. Why?

    I've found that people want help with their writing - like, maybe they've always wanted to publish a book but don't know how to get started? I have no problem helping others, but, I'm finding that they're not really serious about the craft since they don't really read books. I know that's a change in subject, but, it's just one reason why I'm less apt to mention my romance writing initially to new people - so, I guess I do hide it in the closet at times - but - not too often.

    The movie sounds a bit interesting, but, I'm not a Jane Austen fan. I tried to read Emma in high school and couldn't finish it.

    ~Cecelia Dowdy~
    http://ceceliadowdy.com/blog/

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  2. Perhaps you're right Cecelia. Perhaps I don't talk about it certain places more because those places or times are just not the people who like the same things.

    I'm sorry you're not a Jane Austen fan. I love Jane Eyre, and P & P--but she's not everyone's cup of tea.

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  3. I don't compartmentalize & don't know if I ever have - once I become comfortable with the people surrounding me, I am pretty much an open book (maybe too much?), & have been in most of the positions I have held.

    I was employed for 43 years & worked in a number of different positions: collections, store manager, courier, shipping & receiving, secretary/bookkeeper, hostess, surveyor, cashier, correctional officer, toll collector, waitress, cast member in on-going musical drama, houseparent in a children's home, credit investigator, night auditor, etc., etc. (I was a single parent & worked several jobs at a time for a number of years).

    Or could it be that I've just forgotten & that it isn't that important to me anymore? I used to be extremely shy & private as a child, but life's circumstances created changes. I feel that aging plays a part in how we perceive things, their importance to us, & how we react to them.

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  4. Wow Bonnie, I'm amazed at your list of jobs. And to have done them as a single parent, my hat is off to you. I agree, I used to be much more worried about what others thought when I was younger. I'm a mix of extrovert and introvert. My day job is extroverted, but in my free time I'm much more introverted and private. I've always strived not to compartmentalize my faith--I need it daily, not just on Sunday!

    About romance, I remember when I first started working that I worked with a group of older married ladies who often joked that I should just give my newly married romance some time to come down to earth--as if romance wasn't something that lasted. I think if that's how you want to look at romance--you're missing out--both in relationships and how that shapes your passion for God, because He continually romances us. I also remember during those days, seeing an old married couple in their 90's at church who just shone with romance/passion--they had "it". It said to me that "it" didn't have to fade away in my marriage or in my faith.

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