What’s your favorite romance trope?
This question was in an interview I did recently and my first reaction was, trope? What's a trope? I had never heard the word before. Nev-er! I consider myself to be someone with a fairly large vocabulary but this was a new one. So I did what my father trained me to do: I looked it up in the dictionary. The first explanation I found, "a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression," left me even more confused. The second was a little better: "a significant or recurrent theme; a motif." I know what a theme is, so I'm getting there.
Next I went and do what I always do when I come across a new word. I asked my widely-read-a-couple-credits-short-of-an-MBA husband if he knew what a trope was. He didn't. When he doesn't know either, I feel less dumb.
Next I consult Urban Dictionary, in the hope there will be a definition even I can understand. There is. "...TROPE on the interwebs really refers to an often overused plot device..."
Over used plot device? Finally, a term I'm familiar with.
Instead of an answering that interview question with, "I don't know what you mean" I could have said, "second-chance romance, step-brother romance or runaway bride romance." All would have been acceptable and my ignorance wouldn't have been so glaringly obvious. Or I could have said Selkie romance in the hope that the interviewer wouldn't know what that meant and we'd be even.
But there's something else I didn't know until I befriended author Rosanna Leo who writes Selkie romances among other things.
Again from Urban Dictionary: "A selkie is a seal in the water but a man on land. At the full of the moon the selkie rises from the water in foam and spray, takes off its seal skin, throws it aside on the rocks, and dances around mystic fires on the shore. Selkie woman are very beautiful and the men very handsome. That is why when humans in legends happen upon the shore at full moon and see the selkie-people, often they want the selkies to be their mate and steal the sealskins that are lying on the rocks. If their seal skin has been stolen a selkie can never return back to the ocean and becomes a prisoner."
Side note: My husband didn't know this one either.
Then there's Argosy. My exposure to this word was limited to my childhood experience of seeing my father's copies of the magazine by the same name which used to stack up in our bathroom. I never bothered to look it up until I recently passed a tower which read "Argosy University" in Tampa, Florida. (And no, my husband didn't know the meaning either until I looked it up and told him.)
Argosy is a large ship, especially a large merchant ship, or a fleet of ships.
I am happy to learn something new every day, even if it's a word I think I should know already. My hat is off to my father for never answering my "What does that mean?" question with an easy explanation. Some of the best advice he ever gave me was, "Look it up in the dictionary."
Side note: I understand stepbrother romances are the hot trope right now, but it might not be so in six months...
Posted by Barbara Meyers