Thursday, September 11, 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. Today’s letters come from opposite sides of a coin: fiction and reality.

Dear Eustacia:

It is 1859 and I live in a small hamlet not far from the large city. I am a spinster (age 23) school teacher. My school is being shut down by the handsome, brooding lord on whose land the one-room building sets. He is going to clear the land and plant crops. I live with my widowed mother and our monies are tight, so I have no resources to fall back on. I would love to be married and have a large family of my own, but there is no dowry. So I have dedicated myself to the education of both the boys and the girls in our village. I have been thinking about approaching the manor lord and pleading my cause. But, he is not married and young women are not allowed to be alone with gentlemen. It would surely call my virtue into question. Should I disguise myself as a boy? I would have to bind my voluptuous breasts and stuff my long golden hair into a hat, but I am small and think I could pull it off. Or, should I "accidently" meet him somewhere, like down near the lake where he often goes? Please tell me what to do. I am headstrong and determined to be heard.


Dear Anonymous:

What a fascinating plot you have! Giving you too much advice would only ruin your fun, so I’ll limit myself to some specific matters. Disguising yourself as a boy is a tricky maneuver. Remember, your romantic hero, believing you are a young man, is still required to feel some measure of attraction toward you, even if it is only with an admiring brotherly affection. Some finesse is required to achieve this without turning your book into a different type of novel entirely. If you trust your author, then the boy disguise is a wonderful ruse, as you will discover personal freedom you have never experienced before (trousers are so much easier to get around in than voluminous skirts). If you choose to take a less risky approach, do arrange to accidently meet him by the lake. This plot thread is not without hazards. Chances are high that you will fall into the lake, thus drenching yourself, possibly catching some virus that your hero will have to nurse you through. If you’re lucky, he’ll just strip you down in front of a roaring fire and help you “dry off”. And fear not: your brooding handsome landlord is not going to put farming ahead of educating his tenants’ children. Once he gets sight of those voluptuous breasts, he’ll probably build you a college campus.

Compassionately, romantically and practically,

Eustacia

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. :)


Dear Hopeless:

Ordinarily I accept letters only from fictional romantic heroines, as the rules of conduct are more easily defined and the appearance of a romantic hero guaranteed. But your letter touched me, and so I will explain my view on real life romantic heroines. A romance novel is an idealization, whittling away the mundane or even annoying details of being with another human being and focusing on the gut-bending joy of discovering love. The heroine manages this amazing feat by finding love not only for her hero, but for herself. I believe this is the key. Love yourself first, and believe strongly that you are as beautiful, worthy, spirited, kind-hearted and wonderful as any romantic heroine ever has been. Accept your flaws as part of the amazing being that is you, and remember that the same is true of everyone. Others can tell if you respect yourself. They will respect you in kind. And even then, a romantic hero may elude you. But I think you'll more likely see him and love him if you are seeing yourself and loving yourself clearly too, and you will more easily distinguish the frog princes from the toads. Being in love with a worthy man makes him your romantic hero, and vice versa. If for some reason fate decides that a hero is not in your cards, you will still have your own sense of self-worth, which is the keystone to your happiness.

Compassionately, romantically and practically,

Eustacia

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.

18 comments:

  1. Dear Friends:

    I've got a really busy day ahead, so please forgive me if I don't get back to return comments until much later tonight. I always love to hear what you have to say, and wish I could just take the day off from work on the days when I post! Ah, no such luck . . .

    Christina

    ReplyDelete
  2. Christina--

    I dare say, among all of the wit and funny bit, you're offering amazing advice! Perhaps you should collect Eustacia's letters and create a brand new "dear abby" for romance!

    Danielle

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great advice, off to tackle my lord of the manor at the lake. Got my cossie on under my gown. No nekked swimming for me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Christina,
    As always--LOL! I love the line about him getting a visual on those spectacular breasts. I agree with Danielle, you need to do a dear abby column from your blog or website. Or a heroine who does that in a book. How funny would that be? She's doling out advice as her own love life spirals into train wreck status!
    Marie

    ReplyDelete
  5. Binding voluptuous breasts? Sounds a bit painful! *Sigh* Our poor heroines! It's a wonder they don't slug us writers for what we put them through to find love!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Eustacia
    Love the advice and love the questions sounds like some very good books here

    Have Fun
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  7. Eustacia's advice was as always wise and witty. I particularly love how you told Hopelessly Romantic to first become the heroine in her own life, and then if the hero shows up she'll be ready for him, and if he doesn't she's still the heroine.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Danielle! I thank you and Eustacia thanks you for your compliment--if only she were not so elusive, maybe I could pin her down for a more permanent advice columnist job.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Smart thinking, Michele! Although, does it really sound to bad, to be helped with the "drying off" when you "accidently" fall into the water?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love this! I agree with Danielle. Book fodder there.

    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey Marie! Glad you appreciate the amazing power of voluptuous breasts, and the contributions they can make to the educational system! As always I'm happy you got a laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cheryl, you speak the truth, and I am glad I've never had to engage in any binding of my own. Never tried dressing up as a boy myself, and I simply don't think I could pull it off. I'd need more bindings than the mummy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Helen! I know what you mean! The questions that Eustacia receives sound like wonderful books to me too, and I wish these romantic heroines would hurry up and appear in their novels so I can read them!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi, MM. Thanks for your sweet comment. Yes, Eustacia got a little sentimental today, and I have to agree with her. Wherever you go, there you are, so you've got to be your own best friend and biggest fan.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey, Linda! You snuck in on me when I was writing responses. It is an interesting book idea. I love advice columns myself, and always wonder if the writers are as brainy about their own experiences as they are those that can be viewed objectively and from a distance . . . probably not!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Eustacia, once again your advice is timeless. I misted up when I read what you said to "hopelessly romantic". Please consider writing a book. We all could use your wise insights.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for chiming in, Carla. If Eustacia were easier to contact, I'm sure she'd express her gratitude that her advice is considered valuable. But she is so mysterious and elusive that I simply must express that gratitude on her behalf. Still, keep the letters coming. She always seems to have time to answer them!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Christina,

    I'm a huge fan of Eustacia and wish you luck in pinning her down and extracting the promise of a more permanent position as Advice Columnist Extraordinaire.

    Robin :)

    ReplyDelete