Yesterday as I left work, a man carried a bunch of beautiful champagne pink roses past me. He was broad shouldered and fine faced in his well-fitted suit.
Look, even with someone I love, flowers are not the way to my heart. Their prettiness isn’t my aesthetic and then I forget about them and the petals fall off and the water in their vase goes green. Give me a postcard with a scrawled loveheart and a view instead. Add to that, a crisp, visually successful white guy in a suit doesn’t appeal to me. I have a thing for competent women who walk into a room like they own it, or men with tied back hair and the ability to play guitar.
But still my heart paused for a second. It was such a developed romantic image: the polished man, the public declaration and a big bunch of flowers on a busy street
There’s lots to unpack in that kind of romantic image. There’s the simple enjoyment of finding a particular guy or girl hot. There’s the heart flutter of being in love. There’s the esteem of society. This person thinks I am worthy. There’s the validation and vindication of being publicly chosen.
And there’s the nostalgia of a hundred films – the outfits and scenery and longing gazes, the imaginary soaring film score.
There’s the lines:
“you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”
“you complete me”
“I wanted it to be you”
“it seems right now that all I’ve ever done in my life is making my way here to you”
“make of our hearts, one heart”
“it was like coming home, only to no home I’d ever known”
Like writers everywhere, I’ve been watching the world for a long time. My heart pauses to see two women glance across a room and smile, to see two men reach for one another. Whether it happens in real life or in fiction, it happens and it’s awesome.
But I want more. I want there to be a level of nostalgia and soaring background music for those images. I want people’s grandmothers to esteem the person who chooses them. I want people to remember a hundred movies when their girlfriend proposes or their boyfriend turns up with flowers. I want people to grow up with a same sex La La Land, a same sex Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, a same sex Jerry Maguire, a same sex Love and Basketball. I want beautiful scenery and a thousand extraordinary romantic lines for women who love women and men who love men.
Which is just one more reason to write those stories.