I think someone high up in Romancelandia’s being interviewed today and Twitter is a-buzz-buzz with it. Things Have Arisen that Always Arise when someone of the romantic reading persuasion is interviewed. I know ye old stereotype has been around for a while, and what’s the use of pandering to them or letting them get our knickers bunched. Right? Right. But still.
This laughing at female readers – both by men AND women – because some of us womenz read and own cats is so extra virgin silly. I wonder, really, what their point is. What, they never get lonely? I’ll just ignore the cat part, for now, but when it comes to being lonely – who hasn’t been so at some point in their lives? Do you hear me romance reading naysayers?
YOU ARE FULL OF CRAP. If, you know, you think you’ve never been lonely. Or compensated for it with something that comforted you.
I admit it. I am sometimes a woman who is lonely and reads and happens to multitask and pet my cat at the same time. I have to. He sits there and head butts me, swipes at me, nips my hand or finally jumps on the couch behind me and chews on my hair if I do not obey him. I find this utterly adorable and will often hold out just so he will jump behind me and start chewing on my hair. Bring it, cat, Oh Master of the Pettings. (Some people have told me they think this is kinda gross, his chewing on my hair. So I just tell them aren’t they lucky it’s not their hair then. My cat, my hair, we like it, that’s that.)
My husband works an extra lot. Sometimes when I’d rather be having adult interactions but can’t because of this I may choose to – gasp – read a book. Yes, I sure as hell have been lonely a lot in my short lifetime. When I was in college for the first few quarters – a mere, admittedly, 40 minutes from home – I was so incredibly lonely I could have chosen to weep for months and do nothing else. Instead, every Friday after classes (7 a.m. till 6 p.m. 5 days a week for over 4 years, people) without fail, I went to the local Books-A-Million and I’d buy a book. A romance book. I’d read that thing like it was my lifeline. Because it was! I’d also at that time pet my then cat, Simon, a gorgeous little yellow tabby that always knew when I was sad and needed a sympathetic presence. God I still miss that cat. The day he and I met is forever emblazoned on my brain. It was one of the happiest partnerships I’ve ever had with an animal.
Actually, all of the cats I’ve ever had came equipped with that intuition. Dogs have it, too, but we needed to stay low-profile in college and cats were generally easier to take care of than dogs at that time. But back to it, raise your hand if you’ve ever been sad, and suddenly your napping or grooming pet had eyes only for you? Maybe they sidled up to you and gave you that brush of affection they so love to do. Maybe they climbed into your lap and graciously presented themselves for a proper petting, their expression supremely pleased. And you did and it helped you to just get it all out and able to move on. I’d raise both my hands but I’m typing at the moment.
It’s also a proven fact that pets help lower a person’s blood pressure and stress levels. My cat has never complained about how stressed I can get. Or lonely. At times. Any cat I’ve owned gets such wondrous love and affection any time I can give it, but that bond we always had came out strongest when they knew how sad I was. They also just happen to do some of the craziest, zaniest and outrageously funny things imaginable – yet another plus.
So you know what, romance naysayers who think you’re so clever with your titters and snickers at us lonely women who read romances and own cats?
Fuck off. No, srsly. Take your not-so-very-witty selves on and do whatever else it is you do to make your own lives better and forget about us lonely women and our awesome cats. Please don’t disturb the pile of porn on the floor that is my TBR Land.
I just can’t wait till the day I read romances, own cats and wear pearls. No pearls yet. What else do I need so people can point and laugh and pretend they’d never do the things they’re laughing at me about? Wine – sometimes I have wine with my books, loneliness and cats. I sure hope that counts!