Saturday, July 12, 2008

Eustacia's Romance Corner

Eustacia’s Romance Corner is a column for romantic heroines of all genres, wishing to seek romantic, compassionate and practical advice for their problems. This week’s letters express similar conundrums, with which many romantic heroines may identify.

Dear Eustacia:

I am a maiden from a medieval world. My father is giving me in marriage to man old enough to be my grandfather to increase his land holdings. I am strong willed and want to choose a husband of my own, to love a knight in shining armor.
Can you give me some advice?
Helen


Dear Helen:

Marriage as real estate transaction is common to your time. Take heart. You may have recently noticed an extremely attractive, mysterious, brooding man enter your life. He may be associated with your father or with your betrothed. There is a good chance he will end up either escorting your caravan as you journey to your wedding, or kidnapping you from it (in an honorable way). Try to play it coy, but remember that he will evoke feelings you have never felt before and your maidenly curiosity may get the better of you. By the time you reach your wedding or he releases you from captivity, you will be utterly devoted to each other, though having a tearful disagreement (you must provide the tears) about the kidnapping, or the betrothal, or someone’s revenge against someone else. Don’t fret too much; this will resolve itself neatly. Nor should you fret about your father’s land problem. Your knight in shining armor will have more land, money and a better family name than your old fiancé, and there is a strong possibility that your father will have purposely put the knight in your path as a test, to see if the man was worthy of you. He is. Have a wonderful marriage.

Compassionately, romantically and practically,
Eustacia

Dear Eustacia:

My uncle, who raised me, is a gambler and our fortune is gone. I have the opportunity to marry a wealthy land baron and ease my uncle of his financial burdens. My problem is that I do not love this man. There is a traveling medicine show coming through our village and heading toward London and I am thinking about stowing away to escape this predicament. Should I?


Dear Nameless Romantic Heroine:

Were it not for the plot device of the traveling medicine show, I would recommend that you follow the advice I gave in the letter above: wait for the knight in shining armor to make his not-so-subtle appearance. But your plot is going to follow a somewhat different path. Now, I think I say this to someone every week, but I'll say it again. You need not worry about easing the financial burdens of your family. This will happen naturally because of your position as a romantic heroine. So many romantic heroines write to me with money concerns that I am convinced there is some group hysteria involved. Money matters take care of themselves; all romantic heroines end up quite financially comfortable.

More important than money is your plot. If you are at a crossroads in your life, and a traveling medicine show happens to be coming through town, it is not only a good idea to stow away with them, it is your duty as a romantic heroine. For heaven’s sake, I would think it obvious. Stow away, win their hearts, discover that you are a talented mime, and keep your eye on the devilishly handsome troupe leader who will be hiding a secret identity or plotting some brand of revenge, or perhaps spying on someone (maybe you). Be prepared to have feelings evoked within you that you have never felt before. I sense the potential of a great romantic adventure here and I want you to enjoy every moment of it.

Compassionately, romantically and practically,

Eustacia

Next time, we’ll look at letters from two romantic heroines dealing with the equally troublesome ordeals of murder and breaking an engagement. If you are a romantic heroine and have a question for Eustacia, please feel free to submit it through Christina. Be sure to include your era, as advice may change depending on the century.

12 comments:

  1. Ah, the life of a heroine is never dull....Far-fetched, perhaps, but never dull!

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  2. You are so funny!! The money woes always work themselves out, don't they? With or without the traveling medicine show. Awesome advice, Eustacia!

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  3. Cheryl, according to Eustacia, it is against the rules for a romantic heroine to have a dull life, except when the dullness of her life is a plot device to be remedied by a very exciting romantic hero. Also, she doesn't know what on earth you mean by the term "far-fetched." :)

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  4. Marie, Eustacia thanks you for the compliment. She is quite concerned about the pervasive money worries of romantic heroines, particularly since such problems are always resolved and the poor dears get themselves into such a tizzy over nothing. Eustacia is currently writing a book called, "There is a Buried Treasure on Your Family's Estate: Financial Advice for the Spirited Romantic Heroine." She hopes it will help.

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  5. I am stunned to know that all of the financial problems in romance novels are resolved with such simplicity. Will you ask Eustacia how I can purchase her book? I have looked on line, but there are so many categories of books and when I look at the "money" category, it sends me to useless books about planning your retirement, getting ahead in the stock market, blah, blah, blah. How am I supposed to use worthless information like that?

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  6. Dear Eustacia,

    I am a romantically-inclined real life heroine--or so says I--and my problem is where do we find the hero??? I mean, if there are no traveling medicine shows in the nearby future, no knights-in-shining-armor on the horizon? And all the frog princes are really toads in disguise? Help! Any century will do...

    Hopelessly romantic without a hero. :)

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  7. Carla, Eustacia's book has not been released yet, but I think you can preorder it. Try boolean-searching for "Financial Advice" and "Romantic Heroine" and "Spirited" and "Buried Treasure" and see if you turn anything up. You are so right that the market is inundated with so-called "practical" advice that doesn't tell you a thing about what to do when your dowry is in jeopardy.

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  8. Terry, your question is a serious one that speaks for a multitude of real-life women. I don't think I'm qualified to give a compassionate, romantic and practical answer myself, so I will forward it to Eustacia straightaway. In the meantime, we should all try to maintain a positive outlook.

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  9. Eustacia,
    Thank you so much for your sound advice. I'm looking forward to any answers you have regarding murder, mayhem and how to tell the heroes from the bad guys.
    :-)

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  10. Aunty Cindy,
    How to tell the heroes from the bad guys is a great question for Eustacia! I will have to pass it along to her.
    Christina

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  11. Christina, another great post full of lovely advice from Eustacia!

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  12. Christina, please tell Eustacia that my heroines are all avid readers of hers and love the advice. They're not historical heroines, but they do tend to meet men who evoke feelings in them that they have never felt before.

    I believe I've met that medieval heroine before. Like a hundred or so times. And I never get tired of watching the abduction turn into a seduction:-) Another installment of excellent and entertaining advice! Well done!

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