Maggie Robinson

Jul 5
The Convenience Store

I had good intentions. I had my husband’s laptop. I had the pendrive. Unfortunately, the computer could not read one word of 62,000 of them in Mistress by Midnight. Everything suddenly became coded into little rectangles and doohickeys. After I panicked, thought I might vomit, took my blood pressure medicine, I decided it was a sign from God to just relax and have fun on vacation. So I did.
Since we were in Vegas, I thought it was appropriate to watch What Happens in Vegas on pay-per-view. I don’t get to the movies much, and this looked appropriately silly. A romantic comedy, it had all the trappings: the marriage of two strangers (one of my favorite tropes, even if they were blotto), forced togetherness, man vs woman sabotage, big bucks riding on the line. There were lots of things which were annoying (the interoffice intrigue came off as racist to me), but on the whole I laughed out loud quite a bit.

It made me think of how little romantic love had anything to do with marriage until recently. In some cultures marriages are still arranged, and they often work out as well or better as those founded on severe attraction/lust. Marriages of convenience are fun to read, although they work better in historicals than contemps. It’s difficult for an independent woman to imagine being stuck with some random guy. But with half of all marriages ending in divorce anyway, there’s no guarantee that love will last.

Could you marry a stranger? Could you live with somebody for six months so you could split 3 million dollars? Could you live without a bathroom door? Could you live with a guy who thought of empty beer bottles as decor? Do you wonder why men sit with their hands down their pants? Who would think a fluffy romantic comedy could be so thought-provoking?
Breaking News: Stop by Vauxhall Vixens July 7 to read Eve Silver/Kenin’s excellent guest blog about her tortured heroes. One lucky visitor will win an ARC!

10 comments to “The Convenience Store”

  1. BernardL
     · July 7th, 2008 at 9:19 am · Link

    I’ll stick with this one. ‘Do you wonder why men sit with their hands down their pants?’

    We don’t. πŸ™‚

    I grew up with three brothers, spent three years aboard an aircraft carrier in close quarters with nearly 5,000 guys, and have been in the company with other guys ever since. Al Bundy on ‘Married With Children’ was the first guy I ever saw sit with his hand down his pants, and he was fictional. πŸ™‚

  2. Maggie Robinson
     · July 7th, 2008 at 9:36 am · Link

    Bernard, I’ll have to bow to your manly expertise. *g* There was a hilarious scene in the movie involving a bowl of popcorn and the “alleged” hand-down-the-pants. But as you say, it’s fiction.

    I do think I’ve sometimes seen guys who are “just checking” to see if everything is where it should be. πŸ™‚

  3. MsHellion
     · July 7th, 2008 at 11:17 am · Link

    My brother has always got his hand down his pants. I don’t know if he’s been watching Married With Children too long.

    I could marry the guy and live with him 6 months IF he was Ashton Kutcher. Or my personal favorite, Johnny Depp/Jack Sparrow. If we’re talking Larry the Cable Guy, he can keep every dime.

  4. terrio
     · July 7th, 2008 at 11:40 am · Link

    I thought I was marrying for love the first time. It certainly wasn’t for sex or money. But that didn’t work. If there’s an exact science to this thing, and you know how I detest science, then I haven’t figured it out.

    The decor thing doesn’t bother me. The missing bathroom door might. And I had never seen a guy sit with his hand in his waistband before Al Bundy either. My dad never did it but to be fair, he’d have to get his belly out of the way first. πŸ™‚

  5. terrio
     · July 7th, 2008 at 11:41 am · Link

    Oh, good to hear you enjoyed your vacation, Maggie. Odd about the comp not reading the document, but I’m glad you had medication handy.

  6. Maggie Robinson
     · July 7th, 2008 at 1:12 pm · Link

    Terri, I think the writing program on the new computer can’t be read by the older program on the laptop. The new can make the old compatible (which I discovered as I was mid-way thru the ms), but the old just goes “huh?” My biggest worry was that somehow I corrupted the whole book, and the new computer and extra pendrive would be stolen while we were away, LOL…leaving me bookless and hopeless. However all was okay!

    Hellion, Ashton Kutcher is just a baby. I wanted him to get a haircut through the whole movie. But he plays a slacker dude pretty well. πŸ™‚

  7. Janga
     · July 7th, 2008 at 1:49 pm · Link

    I went to an anniversary party yesterday for friends who have been married fifty-five years. They are still sweet together. Their son sang Clint Black’s “Something that We Do.” By the time he reached “Love isn’t just those words we said / It’s something that we do,” most of their guests were teary-eyed. I like thinking about stories like theirs.

    I can think of lots of things I could do with $1.5 mil, but I would balk at the lack of a bathroom door.

  8. Elyssa Papa
     · July 7th, 2008 at 3:57 pm · Link

    Oh, I’ll have to check this movie out.

    I think I could put up with most anything for 1.5 mil except bugs and heights. Or rats. *shudders*

    But, being married to 6 months to someone, I could do that. Especially if he was easy on the eyes. Yes, I’m that shallow.

  9. Stephanie J
     · July 7th, 2008 at 4:45 pm · Link

    I must be shallow. 1.5 mil works out to about $16,000 per day (I think). Yes. I’d do it. And then use part of the money to treat myself to a spa vacation to relax away all the stress of living with that person, ha!

    If I had to deal with beer bottles in the long-term it would drive me crazy but I still have guy friends who have the beer bottle decor so I’m oddly not incredibly bothered by it.

    As for the hands down the pants? Oh yes, I’ve heard of (and seen) many guys doing this.

  10. irisheyes
     · July 8th, 2008 at 8:04 pm · Link

    So glad your computer emergency has been taken care of Maggie. That must have really caused heart palpitations.

    I think I could probably do it too! 1.5 mil is a lot of money for just 6 months inconvenience. As long as the guy didn’t get conjugal rights I think I’d be okay.

    And I LOVE marriage of convenience storylines just because I think it would be really hard to marry a stranger. Back in the day it wasn’t just for 6 months and the woman definitely didn’t get anything out of the deal. Maybe the fact that she’d be taken care of and even that was a crapshoot. To my mind it was a pretty scary proposition. I would have preferred to stay single than trust my future to some guy I didn’t know.