Mills and Boon paperbacks have always played an integral part in a girl’s growing up years. Some guys have probably read a few of them too, although they would rather die than admit it. When I graduated from Enid Blyton’s stories, it came almost as a tradition to go on to M&Bs. The first one I read was lent to me by a cousin. After that, I procured them from bookshops, libraries, friends, cousins, aunts and became an ardent fan.
Now that I have grown old, wizened and amazingly worldy-wise, I thought I’d share what I didn’t learn from years of reading M&Bs. For one, M&B heroes are always tall, dark and handsome. In real life, Mr. Right is more likely to be – taller and darker than you, with a cute smile. He could even turn out to be shorter than you and be downright ugly. That’s why poets wrote cheesy things like ‘Love is blind’ and ‘Beauty lies in the beholder’s eyes’. It is to placate all of us who fall in love with lesser mortals.
Mills and Boon heroes are also usually arrogant, moody and chauvinistic. The classic ones always have a sardonic twist to their sensual mouths. Real men are humble, nice, humorous and support the MHIP. Maybe not support the MHIP, but are atleast not arrogant. Or if they are, they hide it very well under their aprons.
Well, I haven’t been forcefully kissed or felt anybody’s chest hair so I cannot comment on the pleasures of that. In real life, especially if the elders had their way, real men will kiss you or go further only after appropriate applications have been sent, with signatures from their parents and an enclosed Pastor’s consent.
M&B heroes are also usually stinking rich and powerful. They live in castles or atleast in a penthouse and drive around in a porsche. In real life, realistic women should be willling to make little adjustments like supporting their husbands. It’s only fair, you don’t expect his parents to support both of you, do you?
These paperback heroes also have this charming habit of sending a dozen red roses or something similar, which will also have a note forcefully signed in black ink. In real life, the only flowers I ever received was from a dork*, a sweet guy, but a dork who probably read too many Mills and Boon. From Mr. Right, all you need is a hand while crossing a busy road.
Lastly, Mills and Boon stories always end when the heroine agrees to marry the hero. In real life, the story starts when you say ‘I do’ and live with Mr. Right and his family. And as long as you read M&B’s, your rosy lenses will show all men to be hopelessly inadequate in all departments and you may never ever get to live with Mr. Right and his family. So, better close that book and put away the rosy lenses, girl
(*The sweet dork is a platonic friend who sent flowers to his girlfriend and on an impulse, sent me some too. It was really sweet of him and I apologise for calling him a dork, even though he is a dork.)