Friday, September 16, 2016

Being Anonymous + Husbands + Romance Novels= weird conversation

"Did you see why I thought you'd like it?" M asked me.

"Because reading any terribly written romance novel is going to make me confident that my own writing is not total crap?" I coyly wink, knowing that to be the only reason someone as intelligent as M (a woman who reads Plato and Socrates and Herodotus for fun, in Greek) reads such drivel herself...

{...Besides finding the majorly female readership's of romance novels inexplicable penchant for a controlling or distant destructive (but reformable) male literary figure in the romance genre to be psychologically fascinating disturbing}. 

"...Or because anything set in the 1800s reminds me of life in Arab countries in terms of social customs?"

I have blogged before [  http://howtolivelikeanomaniprincess.blogspot.com/2010/07/sometimes-i-feel-like-i-am-character-in.html ] , about, at times, feeling I am stuck in a Jane Austen novel, in circa 2000AD Oman, no less.

...Then M and I go off on a tangent ,discussing the endless similarilties there.

-And in a way, when we do go back to the original subject, we are still discussing that concept, for you see, in the plot of the romance novel she thought I would enjoy, the feminine heroine is an anonymous gossip columnist writing about 19th century high society.

{I.E, M thought I would be able to feel kinship for a woman and be able to roll my eyes at her husband}.

"I just thought it ideal, to be able to point out to you, that you are living your life set in a terrible romance novel." I can almost hear her smirk behind her keyboard (as we are using FB chat to enable this conversation).
...Of all the literary genres I would love to hear myself likened to be living in, romance is the last. If I had to be in some easily downloadable drivel,  I could be a Michael Crichton kind-of-girl. I could do Timeline.

In the book she sent me, one could liken a blogger to a columnist. I write anonymously. ...So does the character. Character starts writing before she marries, tens years or so, like me;). We are both too old (or in my case, too divorced) to marry well in the societies we are living in (her, 1900s, me, modern-day Arabia), supposedly, but protagonist-romance-novel-chick and I marry well and happily despite.
...But diverging from the main subject as we are wont to, M and I conclude, that, contrary to a romance genre heroine, I see myself as neither plain nor socially awkward or overly poor or in need of rescue, in no period of my existence. No man could stoop, or swoop, or condescend, to have me, so thus, disipates the general literary plot device  used in romance novels, as ruled by the authority that is us, the device is flawed in reality. M insists, however, that it is the low percentile chance fantasy element that our gender likes to entertain  torture themselves with.

In the book, the protagonist's husband learns of his wife's column and literary identity and fears for her reputation should society and their relations learn of her identity. He begs her to stop writing, insists, rages, points out all the pitfalls...

{Same thing happened to me of course, with my Omani husband, which M knows.}.

She doesn't stop of course, let's slip something slip so that one of her haters threatens to blackmail her or oust her real name (and that's of course, happened to me also;). In the romance novel version the husband announces he loves his wife too much and would leave his name, and where he lives (and loves to live), and his counry even, to be with his wife to get away from the scandal (not that this blog should require such an overreaction unless I'd figure to be more brutally journalistic than I have yet dared go;p). Of course, scandal never is the result, more like, a rise in popularity, and that's that. I won't diverge how the reality turned out, but I am not divorced, nor did we run away;p.

...So, we discuss love, what it is worth, blogging, what it is worth, relations, what they are worth, society's value to the individual, and identity, how we two women value it ultimately with conviction.

... Quite impressive for a mini book club discussing themes imbedded in drivel, actually.

...Blogging is something I wouldn't give up for marriage, because it is something inherently me. It isn't as important as my marriage of course, and maybe this is the hard part to explain, but it is part of my identity, even being anonymous, with other anonymouses at times, and my identity is far more important than my marriage, if that makes sense. It makes my marriage. It make my marriage, at least %50 of it, because identity is what composes me. It is more important than society, surely;).

Identity is easily lost, in love, in life, in society most of all, and most tragically, in love.

That's what the two of us concluded from our conversation anyways.

"You should write a novel. Semi-auto-biohraphical, like Penelope;p" M advises.

{Penelope is the character in the stupid story}.

"And you should never become a therapist," I admonish her, "because that is a terrible idea!"

"Not a bad idea. I am certain then, I would be duly entertained," she replies wickedly, before signing off.

...I wish she were a more avid blogger;)... you guys would love her stuff.

2 comments:

Unknown said...

I agree about the similarities of the life women had in Jane Austen's novels to life in Arabia. Same thought comes to me when I watch films based on her novels. Congratulations on having stayed true to yourself, maintaining your true identity. I have to keep a significant part of my identity to myself and unrealised as my somewhat controlling Arab husband just won't accept it. It's a bit sad, but I was the one who chose him, so can't complain :)

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Unknown: Thanks for your comment! I just saw it.

I guess that's one way of looking at it;). How very practical.

I tried suppressing myself once. Doesn't work. I float. If husband can't take it, then it is an idea of me he loves, not me at all... if that makes sense?

Blogging definately helps though.