Thursday, February 3, 2011

Real Men Don't Act Like Book Heroes

I was watching a television show a few weeks ago when my darling husband sat down in his Archie Bunker chair and whipped out his TOENAIL CLIPPERS. I sat, dumbfounded, as he proceeded to carefully clip his toenails and place them in a nice little pile on the table next to his red chair.

Note to future guests: I do clean on a regular basis so all toenail clippings have been removed.

My reaction was sheer and utter amazed grossed out disgust. I believe I screamed. I was horrified. To which my darling husband said, "You are overreacting and ridiculous. This is not a big deal." Now he might have meant to say, "I'm sorry for grossing you out. Thank you for pointing out to me that this habit is horrifying. I will never do it again." However, I was so freaked out I just googled disgusting habits of husbands on my laptop and sent him link after link of other wives who were equally freaked out by their husbands' sheer gross behavior in front of them.

Here are a few of the common nasty habits:

*leaving wet towels on the floor (could be a teenager's bad habit as well)
*using a fork as a back scratcher
*passing gas
*refusing to replace an empty toilet paper roll
*putting feet on furniture
*taking forever to get to the point of the conversation
*inability to read a map correctly & refusing to ask for directions
*blowing nose at the table
*flossing teeth in the living room

One consolation in discovering the myriad of complaints on the Internet was that I wasn't alone. But as a romance writer, I got to thinking about my heroes. My heroes NEVER do these things. In fact, I don't think my darling hubby did these things till after we got married. My heroes may act like Alpha men who always get their way, but I have never read about a hero in any romance book doing the things on the list I posted or in the Internet sites I found online. 

And these wives, for the most part, continue to remain married to their husbands despite their nasty habits. Another consolation, right? After all, this is real life. I'm not writing about real life. I'm writing fiction. And what woman with a husband who clips his toenails in the living room while she's trying to watch Toddlers and Tiaras wants to read a romance novel about a hero who is equally as disgusting? Can't think of one example. She wants the fantasy as much as I do. 

And that's why I write romance novels about sexy heroes with magically perfect feet that require no toenail clipping at all. 


Heidi said...

Love it! So true. I don't want to read about men who do those things! I want to escape to a perfect world for a little while.

Christine said...

I know. Maybe that is why I write romances. I want to recapture the fantasy of the first days of love. The real work does begin after the Happily Ever After.

Thanks for stopping in and visiting the veranda, Heidi :-)

Gwen Hernandez said...

Too funny and so true. I definitely don't want to read about a hero who clips his toenails in the living room. Though, maybe he could be a redeemable rogue... ;-)

Christine said...

Gwen: I don't even think Romance Rogues are toenail clippers. I should ask one of my Regency authors. I do have a friend who finished a rogue book. I'll ask her if her "pirate" clips his toenails. Johnny Depp in Pirates was a great rogue, but I don't think he clipped his toenails either!

Melanie Dickerson said...

This is funny! I admitted one time, on another blog with writers discussing how to make their heroes "realistic" that I don't try to make my heroes realistic. They are heroes. This is my fantasy, okay? Writing a guy so that he seems "real" doesn't appeal to me! LOL! I will say, however, that Mary Connealy's heroes are very real. And yet I still love her books and they're romantic, but in a very "real" way.

On the other hand, my heroes have been called "too good to be true," but I don't read my reviews on Amazon anymore (yay me!) so I'm not listening to that kind of talk! LOL!

Kieran said...

This was too funny, Christine!!! Romance heroes don't fold laundry, either. You just can't imagine them doing that, but my husband does. And he straightens the towels on the shelves in the linen closet and little things like that that my fantasy heroes don't bother with...they're out being Alpha males!!!

I love my husband just the way he is, but it sure is fun to write about those romance heroes, too! And actually, they have a LOT of my husband's good qualities in them. :>)

Wendy S Marcus said...

I have found tiny piles of toe nail clippings on my husband's night stand. He's so close to the bathroom and can't muster the energy to toss them out?

Christine said...

Hi Melanie: I prefer my romance heroes to be larger than life and just the way you write them. And good for you to ignore Amazon. The only reviews that matter are the ones that come with a $$ sign on them LOL.

Hi Kieran: My hubby does fold laundry and put away groceries. So he's a redeemable rogue LOL. But the toenail clippings? Yuck. I was actually quite surprised by how many wives have to put up with this behavior.

Wendy: Tat is toooooo funny! At least you didn't "witness" the event. LOL. I just wonder about other disgusting habits they have and hide from us. Nope. Neve rmind. Don't want to go there mentally. Too gross. I had a brother. I know what they are capable of...

Fantasy to real at least when I'm immersed in a book.

Kelliejwin said...

Oh, that's priceless, Christine! That's why we give them the happy ever after followed by THE END! LOL No one wants to read about what happens after the marriage vows. But that's what makes a great marriage - keeping romance DESPITE each other's less than romantic habits. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

And this is exactly the reason why my ex-significant other is an ex. I would have to leave the room when he did his fingernails in the kitchen. In the kitchen. At least he did his toes in the bathroom but I could still hear the clipper. That noise is what really did me in. I hate that sound.

Christine said...

Hi KellieW: I know but it is hard to feel "romance" when toenail clippings are in the same room as well, where the romance should start LOL.

Anne: In the KITCHEN!! As a chef you must have been appalled and mortified. Yikes! And yes, the sound is something akin to fingernails dragging down a chalkboard. Yucky.

Katherine Bone said...

LMAO! This post was extremely funny, Christine. ;)

The answer is most definitely, "No!" Captain Jack Sparrow doesn't clip his toenails. He bites them off. ;) However, I'm quite sure Mr. Depp is more refined.

I feel like an odd duck. My hubby is an Alpha male, a former Army officer. He told me how to fold the clothes the RIGHT way. He vacuums, when I haven't gotten around to it. He can cook, quite well. He does laundry to help out. He doesn't like it when I belch to see how loud I can sound. LOL! (Pirate!) He doesn't like any of us to cuss. We have to be on our best behavior all the time. But this has been instilled in us in a good way. Not in the Major Payne way, I assure you.

Most of the time, my hubby tells me I'm the gross one. Go figure. (Pirate!)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I'm still chuckling about this. Thank heavens the heroes in books don't do these things. My hubby does a couple on the list, too. Ah the joys of being married. But he is a good kisser and very thoughtful. I guess I'll keep him.

Patricia Preston said...

Too funny! Once I was reading a friend's manuscript and she had the hero spit on the floor. I was like Oh no! That has to go. This friend was a literary writer who didn't understand the Perfect Man.

Christine said...

Hi Kathi: Yes, my hubby is a keeper. But oh, I wish he didn't clip his toenails in the living room. LOL Perhaps that is why I became a romance writer.

Hi Patricia: I think I avoid reading literary fiction because I can't escape reality when I read the books. I used to read them all the time. Now I want a Seal, a Sultan, or a Prince to sweep me off my feet and carry me away from the toenail clippings in my living room LOL.

Christine said...

Hi Kathy: I imagine your husband would consider me grosser than you. I am known for my cursing. I hate to admit it, but after growing up in a mining town in Canada, cursing is as natural to me as sipping tea. I am better than I used to be, but I figure if I have stopped this bad habit, I might not be "here" anymore and perfected in a better place.

Melissa said...

We've got to love them! LOL How does that saying go? "Cause we just can't shoot them." No, you are not alone. Bring on those Alpha males, please! Thanks for the giggle! I needed it!! :)

Christine said...

Melissa: You're right. We can't shoot them cause we do love them. But oh, I really dislike those toenail clippings LOL.


Lisa Blandford said...

Too funny!! Thanks for the laugh. My friend's husband used to pick his nose and roll his bugers and leave them on the coffee table. She ended that REAL quick. True story! Gross. Disgusting. Boys. Bring on the Romance Hero!!

Christine said...

Hi Lisa: Boogers on the table? Gross gross gross. Yet I can see a guy doing this. My brother used to pick his nose and leave a trail of them on the wall next to his bed. Disgusting habit. My mom would get sooooo mad when she discovered his little trail of snot balls. I think he's outgrown the habit, but I haven't asked my SIL for the truth.