Just what is romance, anyway?

Romance novel cover model Fabio

Romance novel cover model Fabio

Definition of a romance – not what you think

What is a “romance,” anyway? Most associate the term with boilerplate tales of high-octane estrogen, the same that fuels the women’s fiction market. And the careers of bodice-ripper cover models like Fabio Lanzoni, of course, aka: Fabio of “I can’t believe it’s not butter” fame.

Check out the fluff ad below to get a flavor of the subject at hand:


Romance, in the proper sense, goes much deeper than artificial butter substitute or the modern notion of lovelorn fantasy.

As per Merriam-Webster, “The story of the word romance begins as the fifth century is coming to a close, and the Roman Empire with it. The story’s key players are the inhabitants of Gaul, a region comprising modern-day France and parts of Belgium, western Germany, and northern Italy – a region one British isle short of the western reaches of the Roman Empire. The Gauls speak a Latin-derived language that we now call Gallo-Romance, but that the Gauls themselves refer to as Romanus, from the Latin word meaning ‘Rome’ or ‘Roman.’”

Yvain fighting Gawain. Medieval illumination from Chrétien de Troyes's romance, 'Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion'

Yvain fighting Gawain. Medieval illumination from Chrétien de Troyes’s romance, ‘Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion’

The romance then was not so much a tale of love, but rather the term those in the Middle Ages gave works of literature that were executed in the Roman language. And all romance languages – such as French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese – fell under that category. Writing of the period was steeped in epic tales of daring-do and adventure, all manner of action that made the heart race and the blood fire.

This is true romance. So, reconsider that gritty Western or Dystopian survival epic and understand that, despite common misperception, you may just be a true romantic at heart!

RompHim fashions: Kind of looks like pink, baby blue, and kindergarten crayon time

RompHim fashions: Kind of looks like pink, baby blue, and kindergarten crayon time

RompHim? I don’t think so

Sean Connery-3

Sean Connery pulled it off in Goldfinger – almost. The feat? Parading poolside in a plush, thigh-skimming romper. 007 didn’t miss a beat swaggering between goggle-eyed sunbathers and bikini-clad conspirators in this vintage terry look. (Of course, all interaction was scripted.)

But what about today’s man? What are his options? Beyond pants and shirt, what can he wear to spice up that summer sizzle? Today’s man wants to be bold and daring and catch the eyes of – never mind. And the creators of “RompHim” are there, eager to fill what they perceive as a hole in menswear offerings.

“The line of rompers called RompHim was launched on Kickstarter by the company ACED Design,” Fox says, “And it has overwhelmingly exceeded its $10,000 goal.”

“The makers say RompHim is designed to be your “favorite summer outfit,” including days at the beach, parties on rooftops, music festivals – you name it. It features a front pocket, an adjustable waist for all shapes and sizes, a zippered back pocket and a zipper fly.”

The Romp Squad

The Romp Squad

So, the glorified onesie makes its debut. Or rather its reappearance.

But beware. Just because Connery could carry off wearing a romper doesn’t mean everyone can … especially off-camera. Even Connery had his limits. Don’t’ believe it? Take a gander at the trailer for Zardoz, a 1970s film that demonstrates just how low men’s fashion can go:


Hopefully, we won’t be seeing that little red number come next spring!

Sea lion pulls girl into water

Not so cute – sea lion snatches girl off pier!

Think fast! What did you do over the summer? Thanks to the quick camera action of Michael Fujiwara, an SFU student, one little girl already has that assignment covered, complete with video.

Check out the footage below where a sea lion, apparently confusing the girl’s white cotton skirt with food, attempts to take a bite and more.


The incident began as folks gathered to feed the sea lions, tossing bread crumbs into the murky waters off a pier at Steveston Fisherman’s Wharf on Canada’s West Coast. Eager and apparently hungry, one sea lion complied, bobbing up to the delight of onlookers seeking distraction. Another joined in. Fun, right? Harmless.

“I love the little whiskers,” a woman is heard saying on the clip. Who doesn’t? Sea lions are cute. The little girl in the flowered white dress sure thinks so, even after the second sea lion lunges up towards her.

How exciting!

When she takes a seat on the pier, everyone is happy. But squeals of laughter switch to screams as the animal, lurching forward with purpose, clamps onto the girl’s skirts, yanking her down into the depths with wild speed. The speed of a wild animal.

Not fun and certainly not funny. Thankfully, another quick acting man rescued the girl, sending the seal packing – or swimming – after he wrestled the child free, lifting her back to the safety of dry land.

As Yahoo tells it, “Marine mammal expert Andrew Trites says the sea lion presumably thought the dress was food.”

Wharf officials aren’t so prone to blame the sea lion either.

“You wouldn’t go up to a grizzly bear in the bush and hand him a ham sandwich, so you shouldn’t be handing a thousand-pound wild mammal in the water slices of bread,” (Robert) Kiesman (Chair of the Steveson Harbour authority) said according to CBC News. “And you certainly shouldn’t be letting your little girl sit on the edge of the dock with her dress hanging down after the sea lion has already snapped at her once. Just totally reckless behaviour.”

Kiesman is absolutely right, too. Signs warn visitors not to feed the sea lions. But nobody wants to read … or take into account that animals, though appealing in their own right, are not the fluffy stuff of human projection, merely there for our entertainment and squealing delight.

So, take the lesson and make whatever you do this summer safe. Have fun, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that wild animals are on vacation!

Just what is romance, anyway?
Source: WND