Since it is banned book week, and because I’ve already tattled on my mother once this week I figured I should just go out with a bang. If she finds out I’m blaming all of you. I may be an adult, but I’m still afraid of getting in trouble.
My mother is the reason I have a filthy romance novel habit.
The summer right before I started high school I decided I was going to read as many books as humanly possible. I KNOW! I was living life on the edge. Really living dangerously. Lock up your husbands, ladies. I’ll blow that bar code right off your library card.
I told my mother of my plans on the last day of my eighth grade year, so she and I loaded up on books. I had piles and piles of books. I was worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew while my mother started on her pile of curious books with ladies in big dresses and topless men. Hmm, I’d have to ask her about them later.
Halfway through the summer the worst happened. I ran out of books. Out of an undisclosed number of books, I had none left to read. Maybe my mom could be persuaded to take me back to the bookstore? Her nerdy daughter had no other hobbies. It’s not like I was in the backyard huffing paint out of a dirty sock. She should be thanking me. Yeah, more books could be her thank you present for NOT huffing paint.
I found my mother perched in her favorite reading spot with her books stacked beside her chair, and whispered my question as sweetly as I could. “Hey, mom. I’m out of books, could we go buy some more, please”?
She didn’t even look up from her book. She just simply grabbed the book from the top of her pile, and tossed it to me. “Nah, just read one of mine”. It wasn’t exactly a no. I was getting new books to read. I mean, I wasn’t getting to pick the genre, but desperate readers can’t be picky.
I ran away with the new book, and shouted my thanks back to her. I plopped down in my chair and looked my new book over. It was bright green with a redheaded lady on the cover. She was flashy looking. I nodded. Yeah, I was going to like this book. Redheads were pretty. I always wanted to be a redhead. When I was a kid I had been eat up with envy while watching Little Orphan Annie. I wanted red curly hair and I NEEDED freckles to cover my entire body.
I would like to say that I was a very mature young lady before reading that book, but I wasn’t. I basically went through puberty in 450 pages. It melted the skin off my face, and I swear I was still blushing a week later. I never looked at cowboys, princes, or Regency era gentlemen the same again. They all had devil may care attitudes. They literally do not care.
Don’t want to ride that horse? Cowboy don’t care. Get on that horse, gal. Don’t know how to dance? Prince don’t care. Get in these arms, and stumble awkwardly, madam. Don’t have gloves? SHOCKING, but Regency gentleman still gives no shits. Get over here and hold this hand, and scandalize errybody in this ballroom, bitch.
After that I helped her finish her stack of books. We talked a little about the villains, heroes, and heroines in some of the books. It was a bonding experience. I moved on to Jane Austen afterwards and fell in love, but I still have a soft spot for trash bag romance novels.
**I said absolutely nothing about banned books, but because it was banned book week I was thinking about how romance books had been forbidden to me until that point in my life. Yeah, that’s how it all goes together. You just had to be in my brain at the time.