Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Now That I Think About It, I Don't

(Image from

I recently read a story in an anthology that had a very familiar trope- the heroine at the altar with the Wrong Man, about to pledge her life away, when the hero bursts in and stops it.

That scene has always bugged me. If she's marrying the villain to save said hero, or sacrificing herself for the good of her family, I can take it. If it's a marriage of convenience, so much the better. That's one of my favorite historical romance scenarios- it ALWAYS turns into a love match, even if she had mad warm feelings for someone else before exchanging rings.

But what I can't take is a modern woman who actually goes to all the trouble and expense of a wedding- even hastily thrown together affairs are a bother- when she knows she doesn't love this guy. She didn't have an ill-advised trip to Vegas. She wasn't doing Jello shots and woke up with a new hubby. She, with a clear mind and clear intent, bought a gown and flowers and sent invitations to her family and now stands there, ready to give her life to this man.

Because she's pregnant? No. Because she wants to build a home with him? No. Because he turns her on? Again, no. Because she loves him? Absolutely not.

It's because the man she really loves didn't step up to the plate. For whatever reason, he fell off the white horse and so she falls back on Plan B. Or Man B, if you will.

I can't stand this. It's insulting. I've known some women who were desperate to marry, but to intentionally defraud some poor slob so she can say, "I'm MRS. Lovelywife, and I have more to go home to now than my cat, so suck on it you single slimes?"

That's not a woman I want to know, not a heroine I want to root for. And I don't care if Man B didn't really love her, and was marrying for the wrong reasons as well. These stories always try to let the heroine off the hook that way. This girl was ready to take meaningful vows one second and, because her true flame came bursting through the door yelling "I object," the next second she dropped the poor schmuck she was going to love, honor, and cherish and rode off into the sunset with someone else.

Quite frankly, if I was Man A, I wouldn't trust that woman.

On another page entirely, anyone up for some fun? Writtenwyrdd is having a contest to celebrate her 2nd blogiversary. Hop on over.


StarvingWriteNow said...

From the desk of the "Single Slime"(I love it!):

I hear you! And I totally agree--those vows aren't to be taken lightly and I wouldn't trust Mrs. Lovelywed as far as I could throw her. And frankly, I don't think Man A would be worth having if he wouldn't step up to the plate in the first place--I mean, what kind of precedent is he setting for their life together? He's going to back off every time things get a little hot? Please.

Bernita said...


Robyn said...

True, Beth. Man A ain't much of a prize, is he?

Bernita, why do some people think this is romantic?

Missie said...


Seriously, what twentieth century woman is going to marry someone whom she doesn't love when she doesn't have to? We have options now, people.

Robyn said...

Exactly. It would work in a historical, but contemporary? Please, honey, go and get a job. And a hobby.

Kimber An said...

Totally agree, Robyn. It's totally unromantic and pathetic. A woman like that should come with a warning label plastered across her forehead.

Robyn said...

Pathetic is a good word for it, Kimber.