“We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .”

Happy Official Holiday for the Fourth Of July, Even Though It’s Only The Third!

There are certain inviolable rights that we take as Life Assumptions; I’m talking, of course, about knowing–and owning as part of one’s self–certain pop culture touchstones. Recently (i.e. yesterday), I was reminded of a truth I’d suppressed: That Carolyn Jewel, our newest Risky, had never seen North And South, the BBC mini-series based on an Elizabeth Gaskell book. It’s not set in the Regency (it’s Victorian), but it is otherwise perfectly suited for a historical romance fan.

Because, you know, it’s set in a historical period and is a romance.

Anyway, Carolyn will doubtless rectify that gap in her life soon, thanks to pressure from me and many other N&S fans who are on Twitter, but it got me to thinking about pop culture assumptions, and then into the Venn Diagram of romance novel assumptions. There are some people who grew up without TV (like me), and I don’t have that common vernacular of forty-somethings who grew up on a diet of ’70s television. There are romance readers who’ve never read Nora Roberts (also like me), or Lord of Scoundrels (NOT like me), or seen Romancing the Stone (me, again), or liked Ghost (guilty), or any of a countless other shared experiences that weren’t so shared after all. Just like we all know Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson, and Watergate, and chia pets, and Frankie Says Relax, we all assume we’ve read Nora, or seen certain iconic romantic movies or share the same opinions and assumptions about our books (for example, I am always startled when someone doesn’t love Lord of Scoundrels; I can accept it, but it stuns me for a minute or two).

What Romance Pop Culture Touchstone have you never experienced? Which of your Romance Pop Culture Touchstones are inviolable when it comes to discussing romance with others?

And happy Truth-Holding Day!


*See how concerned Richard Armitage is that Carolyn hasn’t viewed his John Thornton-ness?