A few weeks ago I began reading the works of William J. Locke. I cannot remember how I discovered him, but I do recall suffering from a sort of weariness. I was tired of Stephen King’s Dark Tower, I was indifferent towards Ellen deGeneres’s musings. I sought to read something filled with colourful language and grandiloquent designs.
I started this journey with no idea that William J. Locke wrote works of romance. As the first book I chose to read unfolded itself, I realised that I had become enraptured by a story filled with broken hearts, lost love, secret glances, and knowing smiles. I usually don’t read this sort of thing, but I found myself so caught up in it that I finished the book in record time and began reading another. I am now on my third.
As I ponder the stories, I find something somewhat horrifying. The 21st century man has killed romance. The protagonists in these books are witty, kind, charismatic, and respectful. They meet their prospective love interests with no ulterior motives. They are absolute gentlemen. Their conversation is leisurely, yet meaningful. Not a word is wasted on besmirching the character of anyone. Their schemes and plans are for the good of their fellows, without a thought for themselves.
“But these books are fiction!”, you yelp. Yes, but they are written as a reflection of society at the turn of the 20th century. Things were quite different then.
I don’t quite see why things cannot be different now as well. Why do we have to pose as overly macho, egotistical fools to win the hearts of the women we seek approval from? Simple, as with all things in this demon-filled hell we call the modern world, we are pandering to the lowest common denominator. We are no longer attempting to win the hearts of ladies, we are trying to win the hearts of vacuous hussies. The tedium is almost unbearable.
I challenge you as a man, to be a gentleman. I challenge you as a woman, to be a lady. I challenge you to be polite and respectful. I challenge you to let romance live again. Not the greeting card, pop music fueled nonsense, but rather, the kind of romance that bears true love upon its wings.
Or perhaps I am a fool.