There are a million reasons women read romances. Here’s another: In romances, heroes do all the rotten, complicated, difficult, and annoying chores that heroines put off for lack of funds, lack of strength, or lack of will. And heroes do them Without Being Asked.
Oh, boy, that’s a big one. Sitting as I am currently with a broken ankle and very limited mobility, I have to ask my own home hero for lots of help all day long. And just as with parenting issues, I have learned to make a stand–bad phrase–to persevere only about the important ones. After all, nobody else can do everything you need to do yourself. Even if, for the moment, you can’t do anything at all.
Real life is filled with mundane chores and vexatious decisions, and, for most of us, lack of ability to resolve them all. We don’t live perfect lives. Everybody has a long list of repairs and improvements needed around the house, or to the car, or whatever. Reasonable women know that their loved ones can’t do them all. But they keep hoping. Hence, the infamous HoneyDo list. Real men chafe at this list, because it is a challenge to their free time and to their free will. But romance heroes fix stuff and solve problems Without Being Asked.
The romance hero saves the heroine from all the mundane work of life. If her car breaks down, not only does he rescue her, but he has someone else drive it to the service station. And then bring it to her home. If he moves in, she suddenly finds that, Without Being Asked, he fixes all her broken latches and poked-out screens, tunes up and oils all her rusting power tools, and, again, Without Being Asked, trims the bushes that no one has touched in months or years. If she lives in a tumbledown shack, he either shores it up or takes her to live on his ranch or in his mansion or up in his 24th story city penthouse. He handles all the picayune details of life’s little troubles. And big ones, too, like fighting off murderers and terrorists and soul-sucking relatives. The romance hero does it all, and again, Without Being Asked.
A lot of women don’t do yard work, so in romances, the hero typically does some manly outdoor chore. Sure, sometimes he cooks a great dinner, too. Multitasking. But we can always call for takeout; a nice meal is thoughtful, but only impressive to the woman who doesn’t cook or who is too busy to cook. But we can’t always find someone to fix that wobbly step down from the porch. And the application of strong manly muscles to some impressively difficult outdoor task—well, that’s a thrill to see. Photos of some handsome hunks are sprinkled throughout this page. I wonder if any of them ever performs heroic mundane chores? Probably. Hopefully, bare-chested.
Yep, that’s my current romance fantasy. Right about now, I could use a man with movie-star muscles and romance hero initiative, a manly man who would like to mow my lawn, Without Being Asked.