It’s taken me a while to come up with an idea for this month’s blog; there’s been so much going on in the world that it’s taken over my thoughts. So much sadness is going on with people all around the globe that I’ve struggled to think of something that will be a form of light relief. I half thought of writing something about some of the challenges facing people today – war, bereavement, fear, misogyny, prejudice, poverty – a lot of hard stuff to even comprehend, let alone say anything that will do the topic any justice. I’ve written about mental health in the past, and I try not to shy away from hard subjects as I do believe it’s part of a writer’s job to shed light on real life struggles. However, I don’t feel like I know enough. I’ve suffered from mental health conditions, worked with them, and witnessed what they can do to a person. However, I am fortunate enough to not have experienced, firsthand, what is happening to many people today, now, in the twenty-first century.
With all of this in mind, I’ve decided to leave these topics alone and instead, write about something I can relate to. It’s very befitting for a romance writer, and hopefully, something to distract people, if only for a few moments. And I do not say this flippantly – a distraction, not a means to completely forget what is happening in our world.
I had the idea, only this morning, to write a short story over a few blogs. The idea for the story came from a conversation I was having with my niece, only yesterday, about dating. I have to admit, I struck lucky as I met my husband when I was in Year 7 of secondary school. Not that I didn’t try the whole dating scene, but ultimately, my experiences were nothing compared to most. However, I do remember how thoroughly crap it was. Some people love it, but I know many find the whole process draining. It would seem, according to my niece, things have not become any easier. Here goes!
Dating for the Hopeless Romantic
I blame William Shakespeare and Baz Luhrmann for my ridiculous love affair with all things romance. For the combination of these two great minds created a cinematic version of the world famous ‘Romeo and Juliet’, together with a killer soundtrack, awesome cast and modern day take on the four-thousand-year-old play. This film kick started a lifelong desire for passion, romance, and a man as swoon worthy as Leonardo Di Caprio. I went back to watch this film no less than four times at the cinema, which was a lot for a fourteen-year-old girl who earnt only two pounds a week pocket money. I waited nearly an entire year for that bad boy to come out on DVD, by which point I had binge watched every rom-com and teenage drama out there. The big screen had pitched its idea of love, and I had bought into it hook, line and sinker. One day, I would meet a man who would literally sweep me off my feet and love me unconditionally for the rest of my romantic filled life. He’d look like a Greek God, talk like a rugged mountain man, and protect me from all the evils of the world. As you might have guessed already, I was a) dramatic, b) shallow, c) every feminist’s worst nightmare, but ultimately, d) hopelessly in love with love!
Snap back to reality and my quest for the perfect love affair was looking dismal. My parents were pretty far from being an endorsement for long-lasting love and romance. In fact, half the time they were a trainwreck of a couple. My mother was sentimental, nurturing, and a lover of all things paranormal. She collected Wiccan paraphernalia, binge read Anne Rice, and still had an old teddy bear that she had traded her toy train for, back when she was six years old. His name was Bilbo and was made from sawdust. You could only see his original colour if you opened up his butt crack, and he was covered head to two in scars from homemade repairs. Dad, on the other hand, was somewhat of an adrenaline junkie who shied away from your regular hobbies, and instead, learnt to fly, went deep-sea diving, and even did a spot of windsurfing. He threw away what he could and frequently complained about my mother’s Wiccan ornaments needing to be dusted every week. They argued at least once a week, threatened each other with divorce about three times a month, and never showed any kind of affection for one another. However, they were headed for their twentieth wedding anniversary. Whatever it is they had, it seemed to work for them. It was far from my dream of a relationship, and something I would be avoiding at all costs, but it was theirs.
Then there were the boys at school. ‘Boys’ being the operative word here. I learnt through American high school dramas and films that high schools were full of cliques, everything from the cheerleaders and sports buffs, to nerds, to the perfect group of people who were a combination of everything desirable for a leading hero and heroine. Either that, or they hung out on the perimeters of social acceptance – the unknown, yet sexily mysterious guy who looked like a reclusive biker, but who also read extensively and knew how to articulate his desires with an expertise that would impress even the aforementioned Shakespeare.
However, in my English secondary school, there were but three ‘crowds’ – in, out, hard. And yes, I know how filthy that sounds, but innuendo aside, these were your choices. I say ‘choices’ but you had no hand in which one was made for you; your identity as a crowd was thrust upon you. Think of the sorting hat from Harry Potter and you get the idea. Of course, I was in the out crowd, and had been glad to be so if I’m being perfectly honest. It meant I could go by undetected for the most part and was left alone to amble through secondary school without much comment. However, it did make finding a Leonardo Di Caprio type boy impossible. I soon learnt I wasn’t going to find him here.
The ‘in-crowd’ boys were so in love with themselves that even if I decided to secretly yearn for one of them, their personality usually cut short any desire I initially had. The ‘hard’ crowd were often terrifying, both in their physique and lack of social skills. They sported an unusual take on fashion that would impress me for their individuality had it not been for the fact they all dressed the same as one another. They were like a deadly flock of sheep who liked to smoke and spit on the ground every few minutes. People, I do not accept spitting in way, shape, or form, and smoker’s breath is enough to have me asking God to take away my sense of smell. As for the so-called ‘out crowd’ boys, no one quite tickled my fancy. I befriended them quite easily, but as for anything romantic, it was a no go.
By the time Leo was starring in Titantic, I had decided that love would have to wait until I found a man who was worth me leaving my comfort zone for. Besides, there was always college, university, a chance meeting on a secluded beach, eyes meeting through opposite sides of a fish tank, or a forbidden encounter with my father’s enemy (he had none). If all that failed, I’m sure I’d meet someone through work or the gym (a gym I would never actually go to). Wherever it would be, it would happen, and it would be epic!
Tune in next month for chapter one!
Until then, check out my releases on: https://geni.us/d3Ns
And don’t forget that Mayfield: Save You, which is book 2 in ‘The Mayfield Trilogy’ is now on Amazon KU: https://geni.us/DoUSO
You can check out the teaser for this book on: My Books – Taylor K. Scott (taylorkscottauthor.com)