Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Hopeless" Romantic?

I have always been puzzled by the phrase "hopeless romantic."  For as long as I can
remember, this phrase is usually punctuated by a wistful sigh, an almost pitiful
drooping of the brows; an expression somewhere between pity and total resignation. It
is as if one cannot self-identify as a hopeless romantic without putting melodramatic
emphasis on the "hopeless" part.

So, being me, I had to overanalyze it and came to two possible conclusions:

1) A romantic is automatically consumed by a state of hopelessness in that try as
they may, they cannot become so cynical and unbelieving as to completely give up on
the idea of romance. In that case, wouldn't the proper phrasing be "HopelessLY
Romantic", and therefore creating a description rather than a title?

2) The phrase is simply unforgivably poor grammar. If one is a romantic, that means
they cannot, or will not give up on the concept that romance is alive, well or not,
and exists somewhere, anywhere, even if not in their own life at that moment. In this
case, it is more appropriate to refer to them as a "Hopeful Romantic".  Ok, now you
may throw stones. I realize that a "hopeful" romantic is less wistfully sigh-worthy
and sounds just a tad Pollyannic, but is that not the point? Romantics do not give
up, either out of sheer will, or it is simply something in their personality or
possibly even their genetic makeup.

And now a word of warning. Never EVER confuse a hopeless romantic with an individual who sits staring out a window, sighing over their FB page, or crying in their frou-frou drink at the club, whining "I love too deeply" followed by choruses of how much they've given, and how everyone takes advantage...but they're not giving up. This individual is simply either just two short steps from becoming a stalker at the next "Hello" or an attention-seeker with the skill to draw on the sympathies of anyone who will listen, rejecting every line of encouragement and undermining every positive observation. Add the line "No one gets me" and you may have crossed into the land of Emo (individual cases may vary).

The hopeless/hopefull romantic is genuinely happy for their coupled friends. They see
romance as more than pairing up, flowers and chocolates. They are the dreamy-gazed,
introspective flower-sniffer, flocked wallpaper groper, moderately optimistic
individual with half a smile and (usually) a healthy dose of reality. They have had
more than their share of knives to the heart, toxic friendships and failed
flirtations, but for all the brilliant sarcasm and cynicism they may genuinely embody
toward many parts of life, they see it as utterly foolish to give up on the idea that
love exists. They do not sneer and spit on the ground when a happy couple walks by
and they do not whine "That should be me." On some level, they know that sooner or
later, it will be. BUT, they do not put the rest of life on hold until then.

The true romantic sees beauty in even the strangest places. They see romance as more
than affection. It is that slightest whiff of an intoxicating scent, the feel of the
velvet of a rose, the warmth of the sun mixed with the chill of a breeze against
their cheek on a winter day, and the strains of a violin that tug at the heart and
the glow of the day's last rays of sun.

No wonder nearly everyone I have met who identifies with "Victorian Goth" is also
referred to as a Hopeless Romantic. They (ok, We) are the diehards who are just as
comfortable in our twisted gallows humour, our brilliant funeral attire (for everyday
wear) and our subtle sarcasm as we are firm in the knowledge that romance is a
philosophy and a molecule of refined existence that weaves its way through every
aspect of life and everyday objects just enough to make their colour richer, their
flavour sweeter, their scent more mesmerizing, and life a great deal deeper than can
be imagined by the usual person on the street.

And with that, I wish you all a marvelous evening.

Keep it Spooky, Decadent, and above all, Infuse the Mood with Romance every chance
you get.


1 comment:

  1. Oh, yes. The paragraph including a word of warning brings some individuals to mind very quickly! I find they are also the ones who have a thinly veiled hatred for those people they allow to have sexual or intellectual power over them, and you are right - they don't have productive conversations and are not happy for other couples (which should if anything, be affirmation that lasting love does exist and can happen for everyone).