Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Carbon Footprint Is An Eight And A Half Wide

I think the Green movement is much like the Health movement; a lot of people talk about it but no one wants to do it. My family grew up recycling, using old things in new ways, composting, etc. My kids have been taught to save water when they brush their teeth and we are considering buying a hybrid car. But when I hear the current crop of zealots dissing me if I throw away a 3x5 card I have to fight the urge to tie the refrigerator door open and cackle maniacally.

Going Green is the hot new thing, but I’ve noticed I haven’t seen it in romances. Thank God. The minutiae of life is often glossed over in these stories- she did the dishes, he mowed the lawn- which is fine with me. I don’t think I could take a Mother Earth lecture while waiting for the first kiss.

Emma pushed away thoughts of Paul as she did her recycling, making sure that her paper, plastic, and aluminum were properly sorted. His handsome face had intruded on her mind so much that she forgot to turn off the water as she was washing her hands! Thank goodness her water heater was permanently set to 100 degrees, or she might even have taken more than a ten-minute shower!

A mention of Green, as long as it fit in the story, wouldn’t bother me. And if the hero is a carbon-emitting, SUV-driving, electricity waster and the heroine is a total Green guru who is horrified at her attraction to him, that would be okay too. I don’t normally mind if current sensibilities are adhered to; you rarely see any character in any book smoke, for example. You know I can’t stand reading about ripping open shiny foil packets in the middle of the action, but I would find it hysterical if the heroine woke up the morning after, noticed the three or four ripped shiny foil packets on the dresser, and smiled.

It isn’t the sentiment, it’s the PSA I can’t stand. I imagine the Green Mother will make her way into stories. If she wants to give me a gentle nudge, fine. But if she starts preaching, her book is getting hurled into the next landfill I can find.


Bernita said...

Oh, me too!I also was taught not to waste.
When they had that turn of the lights thing, I had the urge to run around the house and turn every freaking light all on.

Robyn said...

Yep, it brings out the rebel in me, too!

StarvingWriteNow said...

He sniffed the pillow next to her head. "Is that Brand X Detergent?" he asked.

Incensed at his thoughtlessness, she replied, "Of course not! Brand X has fluoro-carbo-whatsits in it! I can't believe I fell for someone who thinks I don't care about the environment! Get out!"

Hmm... this could be the start of a whole new schtick. Harlequin Green, or something like that.

Robyn said...

After they came out with Harlequin NASCAR, I wouldn't put it past them.

Bernita said...

The message often contains the assumption that NONE of us conserve and they are the sole source of the new revelation.
Probably that's what gets my nanny goat.

Robyn said...

Exactly, Bernita. Recycling used to mean common sense, as it was expensive and stupid to waste things. Trash to treasure, right? It's not a new idea.

writtenwyrdd said...

In romance that would be particularly hideous, since romance novels are probably the last bastion of totally escapist reading. Probably will get some hand gestures over that comment, but let me explain. Romance is about what we think we want, about happy endings and sex that blows the mind or love that is all about answering the reader's needs. It isn't about the daily struggles that drag us down. Boo on too much reality in my romance reading. It's the reason I happen to love Regency romances, where cities don't smell of poo and women don't seem to mind being so terribly short of rights and control over their lives. Oh, and everybody is rich and I can pretend I am too.

I grew up in drought filled California, not watering the lawn or washing the car. We navy showered and didn't waste water by running the tap. I learned the saying, "if it's yellow let it mellow" and all that. The trendy being green thing that's hit the hipster shelves in the past couple of months makes me sick, because converted people will probably be seeking coolness rather than doing what they believe is morally right. but if it does the job, I will duly get behind it.

Robyn said...

romance novels are probably the last bastion of totally escapist reading.

I heart you. Probably why I like Regencies and Harlequin Presents.