I’ve spent a few days up at my parents’ place at Summer Hill in the Lakes.
We were passing this group of cows at Tarn Hows, when my parents decided to tell me about a guy who’d booked a romantic weekend. His girlfriend was travelling up to meet him there, and he’d booked two nice restaurants for dinner and put champagne in the fridge, when she called to say she was going to be late.
Worse, she was going to be late because someone in her family was ill, and she was going to have to leave straight away the next day.
So, plan B kicked into action. He cancelled his dinner reservations, went and bought a flask, picnic blanket and soup, and once the sun had set, went up to Tarn Hows and laid everything out, so that when she arrived, he could take her up there for a romantic picnic in the moonlight.
This is dedication to the cause, and my mum was telling me the story so that ‘I could have hope that romance wasn’t dead.’
The thing is, this story doesn’t end well. The girlfriend arrived after midnight and was too tired to walk up the hill, so they ate sandwiches in their room, and she left before breakfast. He walked up to where he’d set up the picnic blanket, cleared it all, unused, away, and sat for the rest of the day, staring out of the window, looking forlorn and repairing a parachute.
I’m sure the girlfriend’s reasons were all good. And you could argue that it was romantic of her to travel all the way up for one night, rather than call the weekend off altogether.
But whether she meant it or not, she killed the romance dead.
Women have to be practical and have to work hard, but did we trade romance and spontaneity because we needed to be pragmatic? Is romance dead and did we kill it?