Dim Sum Diaries

Romances Chop! They Dice! And They Make Julienne Fries!

This morning while hubby and I were getting ready for work, he glanced at the area around my nightstand. Stacks of books (mostly of the romance variety) were piled haphazardly by my side of the bed. He leaned in for a closer look.

"Honey, do you have a Scottish fetish or something?" he wondered.

"What are you talking about?" I replied grumpily.

"Well you have all these books: 'Scottish Girls Around Town' and 'The Adventures of a Scottish Heiress'. What gives?" he asked.

"Oh," I mumbled sheepishly. "Coincidence, I think."

I thought it was kind of funny. I have always been mocked for my addiction to romances, but I thought it was time to give some examples in which reading romances actually made me look smarter then I really was.

Example #1

In my high school Western Civilization class, my teacher (favorite of all time) was uber-intelligent and expected the same of her students. She was walking around the room one day and lecturing about something or another. She made a sudden turn and stopped dramatically. "Does anyone know what a shaman is?" she asked. The class was still. Nobody raised their hand. I had recently read a romance about a shaman falling in love with some chick.

I raised my hand eagerly. "Oh, Ms. B!" I called out, "It's a member of certain tribal societies who acts as a medium between the visible world and an invisible spirit world and who practices magic or sorcery for purposes of healing, divination, and control over natural events!" (okay I didn't use that precise definition, but I definitely knew what it was)

"Excellent! Yes, a shaman..." she said and continued her lecture.

I smiled smugly at the room in general. My best friend (who constantly mocked my devotion to romances) rolled her eyes at me.

Example #2

In college, I was taking a U.S. History course. The professor was lecturing about the early 1900's.

"On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out at a sweatshop in New York, killing 146 people because all of the fire exits were bolted shut and..."

I eagerly raised my hand. The professor paused. He peered at me and sighed. "Yes?"

"Would that be the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire?" I asked.

"Yes, how did you know?" he asked.

"Oh, I've read about it before," I said.

"In a romance," I whispered conspiratorially to my roommate, who was sitting next to me.

"You are correct," the professor said to me.

I beamed.

So you see, while romances may have some corny dialogue, many romance authors base their books on historical events they research and thus enable the reader to have a greater understanding of life, art and love. And kick ass in history class.