Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Are Fantasies Made Of?

This afternoon at Target, I cruised by the category romance lines ... and an overriding theme in the titles hit me upside the head.

Somehow, in this post-feminist world, it looks like we've become obsessed with wealthy heroes. And this trend didn't start with the recession -- it's been around for a while. Maybe it never went away?

But on the racks in front of me, I counted two tycoons, two princes, three millionaires, four billionaires and one C.O.O. (I'm not sure what C.O.O. stands for, but I bet he's rich.)

Holy E.R.A., Batman! What's happened to us?

I know we've come a long way, baby. And I'm sure for every one of those rich, powerful men, there's a strong heroine who's going to stand her ground and teach him a thing or two, rather than crumpling in front of his ruthless Italian loafers.

I know Gloria Steinem didn't have all the answers. Somehow we've reached a place where the two-income household has become the rule rather than the exception -- not always by choice, but often by financial necessity. Maybe that's what's got those rich dudes looking so good.

And I know these billionaires have their own set of issues to work out. A lot of 'em are pretty lovable guys. But in a pinch, he's the kind of guy who whips out the plastic and treats our heroine to a decadent shopping spree, a la Pretty Woman. (And how I love the heroine who says no thanks ... except for maybe that one really nice pair of shoes for her fatherless child.)

I KNOW it's all fantasy. But are those fantasies getting a wee bit greedy? Or do I just think small?

After all, I'm the type who tends to pick up the stories about PTA moms and single dads. If you want to talk fantasy, I'd be more likely to go for titles like
The Bride Paid Off Her Car. Or, based on a recent plight, The Sexy Mechanic Who Fixed Her Engine For Free. Heck, I'm happy with The Dad Who Loved Movies. And while most of us would probably back away slowly from The Sensitive Accountant Who Made Tea, I might give him a shot. Especially if I was already on the couch with my feet up.

Of course it's all entertainment, and we surely don't need to apologize for our fantasies. But I'm curious. Am I the one who's out of step? Are rich heroes a hot-button for you?


CurtissAnn said...

Not so much a hot button, but I am not attracted by the rich and the beautiful. I cannot relate to that fantasy.

I'm coming out of the closet and saying that I can't relate much at all to modern romances. Basically I like stories of romance with life. :)

Love your titles.

Stephanie Newton said...

I'd be really attracted to The Preacher Who Did the Laundry, LOL. I think there's a comfortable medium. I'm not crazy about billionaire heroes, but don't want my characters to ever worry about where the groceries are going to come from. ;o)