Friday, September 7, 2012

Good Men Matter

You've made a bad decision and might be in danger. Lucky for you there's someone who'll watch your every step, know where you are at all times, and tell you what to do whether you want to hear it or not. Is it the leading man of the love story?

Um... no. If that's how your leading man behaves, he's a control freak and a stalker. Run away. Seriously. That is so not a love story.

I'm not against the idea of a fairytale rescue, but as I read books and watch movies, I'm a little disturbed by who's doing the rescuing.

Castles on the Sand is about the kind of rescue that is so common, we tend not to see it, but let's give credit where credit is due. Madison Lukas has a low self esteem. Her mother doesn't seem to like her much, and her best "friend" hurts her at every opportunity. Imagine a girl like that going into the dating scene - well, you may not have to imagine. You've likely seen it, and the results aren't good. A girl like this looking for love will often find anything but. All the castles of her life's dreams are built on sand, and will weather accordingly.

But enter one John Britton, who's been searching for fifteen years for the sister he lost in his parents' divorce. He knows her true worth, and when he finds Madison, he's appalled to see she's ignorant of it. He takes it upon himself to tell her she's better than the friends she has, the situation she's in, and the guy she's "dating" (who doesn't want to acknowledge her in public). Take a girl who learns how to listen to big brother, to hold her head up high and take control of her life and send her into the dating scene. Now you've got the setup for a love story.

All made possible by big brother, not because we women are weak and helpless, but because all of us, as humans, are fallible and need the occasional rescue. Our boyfriends should not be stalking us and calling us a dozen times a day to find out where we are. They shouldn't feel entitled to give advice when it isn't wanted. That isn't the role of the leading man in a romance. It's the role of the supporting men (and women) in all of our lives. The people who nag us incessantly and fly to our aid at a second's notice. Our family, be they genetic or otherwise.

Here's to real heroes, not the ones who carry us off into the sunset but the ones who help us choose our princes. And yes, there is a prince in Castles on the Sand. I think you'll find him quite memorable. He's a personal favorite of mine.

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