Well, here we go again. I'm feeling a little more focused today. I think problems at my job have been weighing too much on my mind this past week. It's hard to see my friend hurting and struggling because the 'powers that be' made a really lousy choice in who they promoted, and didn't promote. I probably shouldn't comment on it, because this is a very public forum and I know they watch social media like hawks for crap like that. So my apologies for letting it all distract me; I may work it into a post eventually, but not today.
Today, we're going to talk about the romantic chase.
One thing that is commented on a couple times in my novel Farmer's Daughter is how the female lead Angela is hesitant to let Craig know that she likes him beyond friendship. Her grandmother calls her on it at Christmas, reminding her that 'women are bold these days'. Craig thinks about her hesitancy after Christmas and their 'almost kiss'; in fact Craig has the thought that he wishes she would just up and say 'Craig, I want to be more than just friends', as it would make it easier for him...and then realizes that in subtle ways, Angela had done exactly that.
She doesn't come right out and tell him, because she is a perceptive woman and realizes that a move like that would set Craig to running. And she herself is terrified of being 'caught' in a one sided romance. But once Craig makes up his mind, he pursues Angela with a gentle intent.
Which opens up the door to the entire question of whether that's how it's supposed to be? Is it up to the guy to do all the asking and pursuing? I once had a man tell me that a woman has no say in the matter of romance...that it's entirely up to the guy to notice her and then pursue her. And this was a very proper Christian man, and I'm thinking I'm glad that he shot me down the way he did as I'm not sure I would want to be in that restrictive of a relationship. I mean, really? As a woman, I have far more power than that! I can say NO, and then where would Mr. Proper Man be?
It's not how my own relationship with my husband began. We were both hesitant to pursue a relationship, for reasons different from my characters. Some were legit (both our previous romantic partners were cheaters!), others were just plain silly...at least in my opinion. Who cares who had a vehicle and who didn't? Who really cares that there are ten years between us, me being the older one? OK, his parents cared and that was a bit of an issue at first. But we both had jobs, we both liked each other, and we were both adults...so why not see where it could lead? And neither one of us really made the initial move...a friend/co-worker of ours gave us a good push towards each other. Five years later, we're still enjoying tormenting each other and making life interesting.
For Craig and Angela though, it was necessary. One thing I've learned from my many years as a single woman watching others relationships is: Every relationship is different and can't be approached like it's going to fall in line with a set of man-made rules. That and you can't judge someone else's romantic relationship or marriage unless you're a part of it somehow and that too is a subject for a different day...indeed, Book Two. In many ways, Craig was emasculated as a teen; indeed, it was his abuser's intent. Predators go after the weakest member of the herd, and that's what Craig's abuser did. And she wanted him to stay that way, so she could always have that power over him.
Angela figures out early on that Craig doesn't like to be touched. She doesn't understand why, but almost every time she inadvertently touches him, he withdraws physically and even emotionally. It causes more than a few hiccups in their relationship. But that doesn't mean she never shows any initiative. While Craig starts spending time with her at work on his own, to the point where he even asks her to come in on her nights off, she's the one who asks him to help her with her new karate class and she's the one who invites him to Thanksgiving dinner, an invitation which causes Craig to face his attraction and feelings for her in the face. In many ways, Craig does the chasing, but Angela's the one that does the leading.
And it was indeed a merry chase.
At least that's what people have told me. Well, my mother told me that there were times she wanted to reach into the book and smack the two with a two-by-four. High praise indeed.