If I wrote a…(cringes) romance short story. Because lets be honest I can write about fluffy white clouds but not two people being all lovey-dovey. I have my limits. Lets just call this a situation comedy with romantic over tones shall we?
You know those really funny romantic comedies that make you laugh so hard that deal with stereotypes that insults both sexes? Yeah mine wouldn’t be anything like that.
We would start with a young couple. Lets call them Grace and James who are in the middle stages of their relationship. In the sweet spot where the honeymoon period is a distant memory but they are so not ready for a committed relationship. So Grace would be a woman trying to navigate the world entrusted to her by all the great women before. She has so much to choose from and she is worried about getting it wrong. Should she be “every woman”?
James would be the man or rather the boy-man. The man who still feel in a lot of ways like a boy. Because the world reminds him he is not a child but won’t treat him quite like a man yet. That is for everything except taxes and getting arrested.
Their wonderful and soon to be tested relationship would come to a head at a friend’s barbecue and both Grace and James would be hurled off into different directions and each would have to answer some really hard questions about themselves. Their friends would of course dump on them after years of being ignored because I have to be entertained in their misery. Come on don’t look at me like that I have to get something out of their misery.
James would get the clichéd Grace knows him a lot more than he knows her revelation. But to up the ante he will discover his relationship was not exactly what he thought and his role may be just as shaky as his professional one. His sweet angel has flaws and may have been unfaithful. Will he be a hypocrite and hold that against her considering he has cheated on her more than once. His job being his late solitude he stumbles onto a secret about his company that changes his picture of his future career. The questions for James begin. Is this job what he really wants to do? What is his functioning purpose if he is not a designer?
Grace would come face to face with a lot of her fears and for once in her life take a risk. After leaving the barbecue with a tall dark stranger, because let’s face it. No other kind of stranger would do. She finds herself using her head and her heart in ways she has never really tried. Some of her adventures will leave a mark just because I want my characters to have lasting reminders. The truly shocking realisation for her would be to realise she has been postponing her dream of being a lawyer for much deeper reasons than she originally thought. The questions each face will be about facing who they are and what is truly in their heart.
For me the comedy comes with people forced to really take a look at who they are and being thrust into situations they have tried so hard to avoid. Seeing yourself through the advice of well meaning friends who send you into an emotional tail spin.
Text on book back cover
A summer barbecue with friends finds Grace and James each thinking about their relationship.
James is a young man struggling to get into the design industry. Grace is a young woman still deciding if she wants to become a lawyer. They are sure about one thing, that they adore each other. Which is tricky because Grace is paranoid and James is a little bit of a slut. Thankfully, for James she has always turned a blind eye to his antics but tonight Grace begins wondering. What if her indecision about making a mistake is holding her back? What if she is holding James back?
They have to talk. A quiet conversation soon erupts into a full blown argument. The nature of the relationship uncertain James storms off leaving Grace behind. After a hook up with a perky blonde he meets at the party he begins to regret his decision and returns to apologise. He arrives just in time to see Grace drive off with another man.
During the course of the night James and Grace see what their lives could be without the other. James begins to find out that a big part of his appeal to other women is his relationship with Grace and without it he would be just another guy that no woman would take seriously. Grace finds out that half of what she is afraid of could very well happen but that the pain might not be as awful as she had originally thought.
Both will find out from friends who they became as a couple and not all of it will be flattering. But the real question now is as young people coming into society trying to establish their presence. Do they know who they are without the other?
What do you think? Will Grace and James grow from this experience? And should we even bother asking the cliche question. Will they get back together? I’m more interested in the revenge they will plan for the friend who uses that night as the perfect opportunity to kick them when they are down.