Dishing Junk – The act of dispensing ideas of little value in a casual or silly manner.

Romance Reading talks during BEA led me to remember a few articles I read in 2011, when that big hoorah went down about Romance Novels killing real world expectations.

A psychologist, Susan Quilliam, came under-fire in 2011 claiming that romance novels give women false expectations about love and that these false expectations were leading to women staying single, waiting around for their “happily-ever-after.” And then of course – not using condoms. Because they don’t use condoms in romance novels.

Many a smarter person than I, has debunked Quilliam’s dumb thesis, but I’m not here to do that. I began thinking after reading an outdated article written by someone in her camp, what life would be like, if we took Quilliam’s advice and embraced Quilliam’s advice: “..wisest thing we can do for our clients is to encourage them to put down the books – and pick up reality.”

There should be more realistic romance, shouldn’t there? The reality television of books? Wouldn’t want to give readers false hope, right?

In our Realistic Romance (maybe I should start a new genre???) let’s set the stage of a “real” hero, here is my proposal. I wonder if I should query it?

George & Sally – A Realistic Romance Short


George is just your average guy. He likes video games, beer and gets lucky about twice a year. Image by p0psicle

Our hero is named George, he drives an old Ford pick-up and still lives at his mother’s house. He lives there because he has been working on his bachelor’s degree for seven years and his job at the local Applebee’s is not really paying the bills. Not to mention, he has a slight problem with video poker, nothing major, he just blows his money every now and again. George is about ten pounds under-weight even though he exists on a diet mainly consumed from his truck.

George is of average height, average penis length and average brain power. He likes to golf, but it’s expensive and he’s not that good at it. He’s hoping that one day he’ll get better and he’ll use it in his endeavors to be CEO of his favorite video game company, which is his other passion. He loves first-pointer-shooters, it brings out the man in him.

George & Sally

George & Sally are just your average couple. Would they make a good story? Image by p0psicle


George meets our heroine at the local Dairy Queen where he stopped in to get a milk shake. Her name is Sally, she’s five years younger then him (every guy loves a younger woman) and she’s putting herself through college by working as a cashier. Or at least she is telling everyone this, she hasn’t made it to one class yet.

Sally is about ten pounds over-weight, but still likes to imagine she is a size six and continues to wear her clothes from when she was in high-school. Her dreams are to marry someone rich and to go to France someday. She accepts a date with George not because she is won over by his charming personality, but because she doesn’t have anything to do this weekend and she’s gotten rather lonely now that her best friend has a boyfriend. If Sally had a boyfriend they could go on double dates. George could be the guy she dates while she is waiting for Mr. Right.

The first time they have sex, it had been awhile for George so he was quick on the draw and Sally just nodded her head when he asked her, “wasn’t that great?” But, they give it a go a few more times (spread out over three weeks) and finally they set a rhythm and George figures out that Sally doesn’t exactly enjoy being smooshed by all his weight throughout “the event.”

Their shared passion for video games and love of milk-shakes cements George with that ten pounds (twenty) that he had been missing and finally lands Sally unable to put on her size six jeans for good…it also catapults them into realizing that they actually really enjoy each other’s company and are quite good friends. A declaration of love follows. In which afterwards, Sally admits that she has a secret obsession with vampires. George then does his best to dress up like a vampire in bed to fulfill Sally’s needs, even though he finds it rather creepy. Thus, proving to Sally that George would do anything for her. When they have their first pregnancy scare, George proposes and after a three year engagement, in which they break-up twice for stupid reasons (George forgets to cap the toothpaste, Sally has a compulsion for purchasing teapots whenever she sees them) they have a small wedding at the Dairy Queen where they first met.

They live happily ever after. Or at least until their first child is born and then Sally kicks George out for a few weeks because they are suffering from sleep-depravation and fighting constantly. But, all is well after a bit…or it has been so far.

Now, isn’t that better? Wouldn’t you much rather read that book, then say… Wild Card by Lora Leigh, which is about a widow, who has a hot stranger appear in her life that bears some shocking similarities to her dead Navy Seal husband…and they have lots and lots of sex. And he has very large endowments and can keep going for hours and hours, all the while calling her names like beautiful and darling and pet…and giving her lots and lots of…well. Which do you prefer?

Inspired by this post.

Rachel Rivera