April 23 was Lovers Day, and as the old song says, “Everybody loves a lover!” There have been plenty of famous lovers in life and literature. Some of the most famous names include
· Romeo and Juliet
· Scarlett and Rhett
· Anthony and Cleopatra
· Lancelot and Guinivere
· Jane Eyre and Rochester
But do all lovers really share a mutual love? Somehow, all of people above were flawed, and so their great love stories were tainted with tragedy: suicide, infidelity, broken vows. . .and the list goes on and on.
Not that there aren’t some stories less flawed than others:
· Pierre and Marie Curie
· James (Jimmy) and Gloria Stewart
· Will and Betty Rogers
· George H.W. and Barbara Bush
· Harry and Bess Truman
And I like to think of love being on a higher plain somehow. Certainly we romance authors manage to dispose of conflict and wangle a HEA in our books. Indeed, some publishers require it!
But it’s real-life love which truly endures. You know, that old-fashioned for better-for worse, for richer-for poorer, in sickness-and-in health kind of love. I heard a couple married 60 years explain, “In our day, when something was broken, we didn’t throw it away—we fixed it.”
We live in a disposable society today. Unwanted babies (accidents, inconveniences) can be fixed through abortion on demand. The divorce rate isn’t as high as some statistics purport, but many couples live together without benefit of a legal contract—or marriage vows.
We cite the pressures of modern living and make excuses for such lack of commitment. We blame gender inequality, sexism (whatever that is), and a myriad of other unavoidable problems. Celebrities go from partner to partner and spouse to spouse like junior high adolescents changing boyfriends/girlfriends du jour. Their families are so convoluted with half-siblings and step-siblings we can’t keep them straight. I’m sure they can’t keep themselves straight!
So perhaps the question today is, do our characters today fit the reality of society? What is the reality of society? Are the characters we write true lovers or simply sex partners? One, of course, is forever—and the other is not. On Lovers Day (now the day after), perhaps we should consider, both as authors and as part of the human family, which we want to leave as a legacy for our children and grandchildren.
And visit Someday Is Here where you'll find tons of of old-fashioned lovers like