It started with Jurassic Park. I watched, heart pounding, as the Velociraptors chased the characters from scene to scene, mouths turned into ugly, hungry grimaces.
A few years later, we were back. This time to watch Practical Magic. The scenes flitted from curses of magic, to death and grief, on to abuse, and murder, and back to magic again. Though romance weaved in and out of the story, the fantasy element twisted it into an atypical romance and brought the true theme back to the forefront: Sisters. I watched, spellbound, as Sandra Bullock’s character tried to save her sister. After that, my interests changed dramatically.
I was addicted. Godzilla. The Mummy. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. (After I read the books numerous times, of course.) I wouldn’t, no couldn’t, watch my mother’s boring love stories anymore. I preferred accompanying my dad to his action movies.
His influence also extended to books–he introduced me to John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, Michael Crichton, Terry Brooks, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Louis L’Amour. My world was turned upside down. Rather than play out my own boring life, I preferred to live vicariously through the characters in these books. We were partners in crime–or at least in reading criminal novels. He suggested all sorts of books, never shying away from those which had controversial themes (To Kill a Mockingbird, for instance) because he wanted me to think for myself.
A dangerous thing for a girl like me whose thoughts never seem to stop.
So, is it any wonder that I can’t read/watch romantic themed movies and books? With a mind as imaginative as mine, those are too slow and cumbersome for my tastes. I crave the suspense of Let Me Call You Sweetheart, the injustices of A Time to Kill, and the post-apocalyptic themes of The Wishsong of Shannara. These are fast-paced books that make me think–long after I finished reading.
Thus, under my father’s tutelage, I developed an aversion to all things categorized under romantic.
Thanks, Dad. I wouldn’t have it any other way.