The heroine of Linda Grimes's In A Fix gets to literally assume someone else's identity—and get paid for it! We're happy to have Linda at Heroes and Heartbreakers today talking about our ever-wandering eyes—and why it's all okay. Thanks for joining us, Linda!
Do your eyes ever wander? Do you sometimes find yourself lusting after first one guy and then another? Do you have a yen for hunky-yet-sensitive guys one day and darkly brooding bad boys the next?
If you answered yes to any of those questions (ahem, “Yes!”), I have some great news! We're not sluts. There's an honest-to-God scientific reason for our…um, let's call it “vicissitudes of romantic taste,” shall we? It's our hormones' fault. I know this because I read about it online, so it must be true. (Seriously. It was on real psychology website called PsychCentral. Very legit stuff we're talking here.)
Now, we all know hormones play a major role in our love lives. That much is self-evident. Nothing can convince us we're in love with a guy like a hormonal power surge at the sight—or scent—of him. If we're lucky, that surge will carry us through to a loving and committed relationship with a man who fulfills our every womanly need—intellectual, emotional, and physical. (Hmm. That's a lot of pressure to put on one poor guy.)
But here's the rub (there's always a rub): apparently, at least according to the scientists who have studied these things extensively, what we want in a man can vary according to where we are in our hormonal cycle. During and around ovulation, a woman tends to be more attracted to super-macho types—men with ultra masculine features and, one assumes, behaviors. At a different point in her cycle, she may consider other traits—gentleness, understanding, and being a good provider, for instance—to be of greater importance.
In other words, sometimes we want to be ravished (“Take me!”), and sometimes we just want a buddy to give us ice cream and maybe peruse the shoe department with us (“Take me shopping!”).
When I found this out (the internet is such a handy thing), I had a real Aha! moment. This could explain why triangles and, yes, even bromances, are such popular tropes in fiction, whether in books, in movies, or on TV. I mean, what a handy way for a woman to get all the variety her hormones obviously (see above—scientific proof, ladies!) require. Grabbing a book or a DVD is way more convenient than keeping a bunch of real guys—each occupying a different spot in the Sensitive/Neanderthal Spectrum—on call. Especially if you happen to be in a committed relationship already. Significant others are not always understanding about acting on biological imperatives in real life, regardless of whether science has your back.
But vicariously dipping into the great big Variety Pool by identifying with a heroine in the throes of a classic love triangle? Now, that's what I call a great compromise. Surely there's nothing remotely immoral about that—it's just good, clean fun on the fantasy playground in your head. Leaning more toward Ranger one week and Morelli the next? Is it Edward today and Jacob tomorrow? Stefan for now, but squeezing in a opening for Damon later on? It's okay. It's not your fault one man just won't cut it—blame your cycle!
And if fickle heroines go against your grain, worry not. You can still get your dose masculine variety—just turn to the bromances. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid from the movie of the same name, Goose and Maverick from Top Gun, Peter and Neal from White Collar, Kirk and Spock from Star Trek, Riggs and Murtagh from Lethal Weapon (you know, before Mel Gibson went crazy), Han and Chewie of Star Wars fame (what? Chewie has a certain animal magnetism), Sheldon and Leonard from The Big Bang Theory (okay, that one may be a stretch), and probably tons more I can't think of offhand. You get my drift. It's fun to watch guys interact with each other—it's like a great big testosterone smorgasbord!
When my husband asked me why women like bromances (he figured—understandably, I suppose—regular romances would have more appeal), I just raised my eyebrows and asked him why so many straight men enjoy watching lesbians together.
“Duh,” he answered. “More women.”
“Exactly,” I said. “Same principle applies.”
So, if you have an ingrained aversion to infidelity in real life, I suppose a fascination with fictional triangles and bromances is a natural—not to mention socially acceptable—alternative.
Or you could just do what I did: marry a Gemini.
Linda Grimes grew up in Texas, where she rode horses, embarrassed herself onstage a lot, and taught teenagers they'd have to learn the rules of English before they could get away with breaking them for creativity's sake. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, whom she snagged after he saw her in a musical number at the now defunct Melodrama Theater in San Antonio. (There's nothing like a rousing chorus of “If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait” to hook a man for a lifetime.)
Like her globetrotting main character, Linda has spent her fair share of time overseas, though fortunately under less stressful circumstances. Kidnapping and daring rescues are all well and good in fiction, but she prefers sanity in her real life.