Romancelandia is Super Not Romantic IRL: A Theory by Jenny Holiday


[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to have author Jenny Holiday guest post on the site today. Take it away Jenny!]

I am a romance novelist. I just wrapped up a series called Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, which was all about wedding shenanigans. You wanna know what I did for my own wedding in 2015?

My husband and I, who at that point had been together for something like twelve years and had a five-year-old—but had never gotten around to getting married—went to city hall, tied the knot, went out for burgers, and then went to a Taylor Swift concert (see header image).

In attendance at the wedding were the two witnesses we needed, friends who worked nearby. They were the only people we told beforehand. The city hall wedding chapel in Toronto is kind of an assembly line, which suited me fine. You book your time, you show up, you have a quick consult with the officiant, and you get married. The officiant asked us if we wanted any readings or a homily. No, and no, but thanks! Had we written our own vows? Nope.

“Look,” I said, “I basically want the minimum package here.”

The officiant, however, could not help herself. She dropped in this ee cummings poem in the middle of the ceremony. It hit from nowhere, like lightning, and suddenly we were listening to Very Serious Thoughts About Love, except they were of course small-s serious thoughts because ee cumming, which I guess is supposed to make it deeper but, you know, doesn’t translate that well when read aloud.

I mean, I get it. I was really into ee cummings for a stretch of my late teens. I copied out his poems.

i carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)

Yeah, yeah, it’s nice. You know what else it was, in that moment? Hilarious. I had to bite the insides of my cheeks and look at the floor to keep from laughing. I knew if I made eye contact with my husband, WHOSE HEART I TOTALLY, ALL-CAPS CARRY WITH ME, I would lose it. (In retrospect, I wonder why I didn’t just laugh. I mean, it was my wedding.)

I love other people’s weddings. I cry easily and often at them. I love the tradition, the toasts, the dancing. But there’s often a point at which they tip over into territory that makes me all squirmy. I remember once attending a lovely wedding of some friends. I enjoyed it immensely! But there was one part of the ceremony where they announced they passed a stone around the audience. You were supposed to hold the stone and, like, imbue it with your good wishes for the couple.

Cue the totally inappropriate laughter—and a little bit of maniacal panic. How long am I supposed to hold the stone? What kind of facial expression should I have? What should I wish for? Uh, be happy, dudes? Sorry, I’ve written literally written more than a million words of romance, but in real life, I get hives. This is not a knock on their wedding, but a knock on me.

I don’t know why I’m like this. I can’t defend it, because in the abstract, I wish love and romance for us all! The funny thing, though, is that I’m not alone. I have this theory that Romancelandia is populated by people like me. Look how we all rise up as one on Twitter to denounce public proposals. There’s also a surfeit of romance people who eloped.

Suzanne Krohn, founder and reviewer at Love in Panels, says, “I planned my wedding in two months because I was sick of the shit. It was BYOB and we had a giant pig roast. (I was still cute as hell tho).”

And then there’s the wedding-induced amnesia experienced by novelist Sionna Fox: “I married a very schmoopy person. We did the big wedding mostly for our families, and I literally remember nothing of the day except what people have told me.”

Maybe we all just exhaust our supply of the warm fuzzies in our books? Novelist Marie Johnson, says, “I can’t even do romantic sentiment when it’s from my spouse. He used to write me poetry and I’d be like….‘back atcha babe.’”

Anyway, as we head into wedding season, you can find me in the back row holding a rock and trying really, really hard not to laugh.

About the Author: 

Jenny Holiday is a USA Today bestselling author who started writing at age nine when her awesome fourth-grade teacher gave her a notebook and told her to start writing some stories. After a detour to get a PhD in geography, she worked as a professional writer, producing everything from speeches to magazine articles. Later, her tastes having evolved from alien invasions to happily-ever-afters, she tried her hand at romance. She lives in London, Ontario, with her family.

For more on Jenny and her books, visit

Mermaid Inn by Jenny Holiday coming Jan. 2020!

She’s back in town, and he wants a second chance.

Eve Abbott has a problem—actually, make that a lot of problems. And they’re all going to get worse the moment her toes hit the sand in Matchmaker Bay. Once a blissful summer escape, now the tiny town just reminds Eve of loss. Inheriting her aunt’s beloved Mermaid Inn is the only reason Eve is coming back. She’s definitely not ready to handle nosy neighbors, extensive renovations, or the discovery that a certain heartbreaker still lives down the street…

Police Chief Sawyer Collins always does the right thing, even when it costs him everything. Like Evie. He’s spent the past ten years trying to forget her—to forget how right she felt in his arms, to forget the pain in her eyes the day she left. The last thing he expects is to see her back in town or to find that the spark between them is as strong as ever. Sawyer knows this is his only chance to prove that his feelings have always been real… before Eve turns tail and leaves for good.

Click Here for Preorder and More Info 


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