real men vs. fictional characters

You cannot escape 50 Shades of Grey (or as I still like to think of it courtesy of Cate Pearce, Fifty Shades of Unmitigated Crap). It is seriously everywhere; in book stores, on social media and in the news. I’ve continued to avoid this phenomenon as I really don’t understand the appeal of reading porn. And it seems Kristen Stewart agrees with me. When she was asked about 50 Shades of Grey recently, she said “But it’s just so raunchy! I mean, obviously, everyone knows that. But when I see people reading it on planes and stuff, I’m genuinely creeped out. Like, you’re basically just reading porn right now! Get that blanket off your lap!” Yes indeed Kristen, yes indeed.

And she’s not the only celebrity talking about it. Earlier this week Jesse Williams (you know, the crazy attractive guy who plays Dr Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy? Still don’t know? Google him and thank me later) tweeted “50 Shades of Grey leads woman to divorce her husband” with the screen shot of an article about a woman who is divorcing her “boring” husband after her attempts to kick-start their love life failed. I’m not even remotely kidding.

According to The New York Daily News:

A British woman is divorcing her hubby on grounds the erotic bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey failed to get a rise out of his languishing libido.

The high-powered banker, who earns more than $600,000 a year, charged that her attempt to jump start their love life with author E.L. James’s raunchy novel backfired when her “boring” husband accused her of “unreasonable behavior.”

The 41-year-old woman’s attorney said it was the first time someone has cited the book — dubbed “mommy porn” for its explicit themes of bondage and S&M in a divorce petition.

“She thought their sex life had hit a rut — he never remembered Valentine’s Day and he never complimented her on her appearance,” divorce lawyer Amanda McAlister told the Daily Mail, who did not name her client or the soon-to-be ex-husband.

Click on the link above to read the rest of the story.

What the actual shit? I’ve heard whispers that Twilight has been responsible for arguments, break ups and divorces when partners haven’t behaved like Edward or Jacob. To me, this is mental. These are fictional characters and terrible ones at that. Do you really like the idea of someone who is basically stalking you (aka Christian Grey)? What’s attractive about that? Everyone loses their crap over Edward, but what’s romantic about breaking into basically a strangers room and watching them sleep? If I woke up with some guy standing in my room watching me, after screaming and throwing things, I’d be calling the police.

And don’t even get me started on the big romantic gesture involving flowers, mad dashes to the airport and holding a boom-box over head outside a window. These things just don’t happen in real life and when they do, it’s a little awkward. I’d prefer the little things over the great romantic gestures. Lately, Mamamia (fairytales and The Notebook), KiKi & Tea and even the lovely Sonja have spoken about how fictional characters set us up for failure of expectations that are impossible to meet.

Why do we find ourselves wanting romance that is fictional? Real life is so much better than that. It’s being made a cup of tea in the morning while you’re getting ready for work, it’s being kissed on the forehead and being bought your favourite juice and chocolate without asking for it. It’s covering you with a blanket when you’ve fallen asleep on the lounge. It’s calming you down when you’re having a freak out. It’s squeezing your hand when you tear up. It’s knowing to do these things. I’d take these any day.

I still experience romance, but I also experience the mundane that these fictional characters in fictional stories gloss over. And why do I love it? Because it’s real.

What kind of romance do you want? Are you a grand gesture or little things person? Is there a fictional character you wish existed so you could date them?

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  1. sonjalouise · November 15, 2012

    I’m a bit of a fan of Mr Darcy (particularly the BBC version). He really, honestly loves Lizzie and he shows it by doing everything he can do to help her sister Lydia. It’s quite a big sacrifice that he makes. Sure, he doesn’t go about showing his love very well in the beginning, but I think that’s part of the reason I like him so much as a character – because he’s actually quite real.

    Anyway, after that longish rant, I want to say that I want the real kind of love. The one that is messy and difficult and funny and beautiful. I don’t want it to be perfect (and it could never be). I’m happy loving a man who met me at my worst and has helped me become my best 🙂

    • moniquefischle · November 15, 2012

      Oh I completely agree. I LOVE Mr Darcy (and seriously, is there any other Mr Darcy who is as good as Colin Firth? I think not). Yeah, he’s a bit awkward and whatnot with how to show his emotion, but the way he helps Lydia and the Bennet family is beautiful.

      It sounds like you have the real kind of love. DG gets cranky at me when I call him perfect and while I know that realistically nothing is perfect, I know he is the perfect person for me. We’re both very lucky 🙂

  2. melissasavage · November 17, 2012

    I probably shouldn’t comment because at the moment I’m utterly, delightfully in love with my new husband. I’ve never been the biggest fan of ‘romantic’ stories, but I love the day to day intimacy and wonderfulness of being with someone who knows you like no-one else. There’s whinging and farts and arguments and family crap, but there is also cuddles and sleep-ins and cooking for friends and taking care of one another and it’s the best.

    Oh, and I totally get the point of reading porn. It definitely does it for me. 50 Shades wasn’t to my personal taste (I persevered for about 9 chapters but it’s not very well written and I got bored), but I’m a stereotypical girl in that I prefer written porn over filmed porn.

    • moniquefischle · November 19, 2012

      I love that you are utterly, delightfully in love, that’s what I want and am lucky enough to have (though, since you and Jelly have been together much longer, your love would most definitely be deeper). Everything you’ve described, the day-to-day intimacy is what I love and want. It’s so beautiful to hear you say these things 🙂

      I guess I do get the appeal of reading porn for some, but my idea of reading porn is romance, not 50 Shades.

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