There are all these tropes and lines in songs that I hate to the bones of my body, and they’re in stories too, and movies. They’re everywhere. Supposedly, they’re romantic, but reading them over, I would never want anyone ever to act towards me the way that these guys keep acting towards the girl they supposedly are in love with. I’m just going to compile a haphazard list, that is not in any way comprehensive or organized. For example, just off the top of my head:
“You don’t know you’re beautiful and that’s what makes you beautiful.” Um. Wow. If someone said that to me I would have so many alarm bells going off in my head. First of all, if they’re telling me I’m beautiful, and I know I’m beautiful, does that make me no longer beautiful? Why are we glorifying hating yourself anyway? Are they trying to warn me away from being arrogant like those girls that actually are pretty happy where they’re at and won’t go out with these boys because they have higher standards? Creeeeeepy. Like, god forbid a girl actually think she’s beautiful, she might stop thinking I have any right to her. *shudder*.
“I’m only a jerk to you because I secretly have a crush on you.” Okay. This one is mildly more believable. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. At like, eight. Maybe twelve, for the emotionally stunted of us. Part of growing up is learning to handle your emotions in a mature way. Just because you’re flustered and awkward and trying to show off doesn’t mean you should punch walls and try to physically intimidate me. (Note: Never happened to me. But seriously, this guy is in every YA book ever.) Maybe you’re not abusive and are capable of being a good boyfriend, but until you grow up a little I’m staying over *here* with the guys who can actually articulate their emotions. (My main problem with Mr. Darcy, but also the main thing I like about him. He’s a jerk. Elizabeth tells him off. He listens to what she says and valiantly struggles towards becoming an emotionally mature, open-minded person. He pretty much succeeds, and *then* she listens to what he’s saying.)
Kidnapping. Just. Kidnapping. I don’t know why this is a thing. I don’t know why this is a thing that has shown up in my own stories. For some nefarious reason, the hero has captured the heroine. Things happen, they fall in love– wait, what? There is a term I have here, it’s on the tip of my tongue–oh, yeah. Stockholm Syndrome. Named after a group of bandits who got snowed in with their hostages for a full winter and when the police finally found them a lot of the hostages had intermarried and had children with the bandits. Because the bandits are feeding them and providing them with warmth, and because they’re not as awful as before, and because they’re some of the only company around, the hostages felt a mistaken kind of affection towards them. Warped and twisted. Do! Not! Make! Your hero! Kidnap! Your heroine!
“You say you don’t want me but I know actually you do.” UM. NO. NO, NO NO NO NO. What the heck? Why? Why would anyone go there? That is comfortably residing in the Capital of Creepsville. Why is this something that gets sung/talked about. Gross. I should not have to explain the many ways in which this is something you never ever want to hear someone say to you. Seriously.
Okay! I’ve wrapped up this installment of “Supposedly Romantic” for now! Tune in next time for such old tricks as the “in-your-bedroom-at-night-without-your-permission,” and the “friendzone.”