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Real-Life Romance: A No-Budget Indie Experience
By Rosel K., Age 17, Seycove Secondary, Vancouver, BC

Whenever the word ‘romance' comes up, I think back to an episode of "Seinfeld", where George is complaining about the perils of being too nice. He ends up wondering how the world came to be the place where ‘being too nice is too bad'.

I've had my share of the nice guy phenomenon. I was with a ‘too nice' guy for a year. He was the model boyfriend I always wanted - sweet, caring, generous both materialistically and emotionally. But my mind wandered, thinking that this wasn't ‘exciting enough'- he lacked spontaneity. So I gave my attention to a mysterious traveler I met on my way to Greece. He was dark, brooding, philosophical, and most of all, different, willingly discussing ideologies, poetry, and romanticism. We spent hours talking about fate on the square balcony of an Athens hotel watching the stars, my idea of a perfect romance. I loved him. Or maybe I loved the idea of him, of someone that made me feel like I was capable of an intriguing liaison. I continued to keep in touch with him after the trip, which only served to deepen my fascination. Although I never admitted to myself or to anyone, I was creating an idealistic land of romance for myself, where I would discuss all worldly ideas under the blue sky of Delphi while he would flash me an everlasting smile. Everything was perfect about him because we only presented our best des during our written correspondence. (You can think about the best phrases as long as you want before you actually deliver them) It felt so real that I kept on dreaming naively, convinced it would become reality someday. After all, it was much easier to conjure up romance than to actually live it.

The trouble is that a relationship is a constant work-in-process between people who are in the nearest proximity to each other. The trouble is that a relationship occurs between two people with abundant flaws, habits and secrets. The trouble is, life doesn't stall and wait for us to finish dreaming and start living again. There is no director to yell ‘cut!' if a situation goes bad or a makeup artist to fix your hair if your hair shows slight signs of frizz. The thing is, guys really aren't as suave, as interesting, or even as clean as we think they are. And because hormones create a volatile temperament in us teenagers, we react with utter disapproval and shock when we are met with the realization that romance really isn't all that simple, or, dare I say, perfect. Then most of us choose to ignore the fact that we drag the baggage of our unreal expectations and we too wake up with bad breath cranky personality.

I still keep in touch with the elusive traveler. He gave me a call last night and we had a nice chat. It was that conversation which inspired me to think about romance and its perils in general. I'm not going to deny that he still holds a special place in my heart and my girlish notion of romance still makes me smile when I think about him and the amount of words we exchanged. But it is a smile that acknowledges that he is a past. And it is a smile that reminds me that my life isn't a result of a cut-and-paste product; it is a live, improvised and faulty process that I'm still waiting to be sponsored for.


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