Friday, May 14, 2010

Heroes Dark and Brooding

Such interesting comments on why we are attracted to vampires. The dark and brooding hero, the danger--yes I can see those. I loved Robin's comment about teenage girls and hickeys--a definite pre-vampire moment if ever there was one.
 And when we look at heroes of the past who comes to mind? Heathcliff, Mr. Rochester, Mr. Darcy, Rudolf Valentino, Errol Flynn... all definitely dark and brooding. Tall, dark and handsome has become a cliche, so I wonder why this is our ideal? Probably not good husband/protector material so it can't be in our genes. Any suggestions on where this fantasy comes from? Perhaps it was stories of those Saracen warriors during the Crucades? Or perhaps the Celts in Wales and their Arthurian hero legends became the norm when fair Saxon women dreamed of heroes.

Anyway, I had my own Dracula encounter and I have to confess I am not proud of what happened. It was the week of my daughter's wedding. I was in Phoenix, trying to arrange last minute wedding glitches--they had promised tables for ten and now said only tables for 6. This meant we needed about ten more table centers--mirrors and black candles and crystal candle holders to be found in a strange city to me. By the evening I was stressed and exhausted. My mother gave me one of her anti anxiety pills and it knocked me out. Unfortunately we were due at the theater. The best man was lighting director for the Arizona Theater Company and he had arranged front row seats for the wedding party. The play was Dracula. I could not keep awake. A hand came around the curtain, there was a scream... and I couldn't keep my eyes open to see who it was.
The worst thing was that I have been an actor. you can see the front row really well. So I knew those on stage were seeing a sleeping person in the front row. Not good for self esteem, especially during the most scary play on earth. So during the intermission I had John take me home.  Since I'm normally scared out of my wits at horror stories you can tell how strong that pill was.

And you know what? My own heroes... Daniel Sullivan in the Molly Murphy books and Darcy O'Mara in the Royal Spyness stories, are both dark, handsome, roguish. And I married a tall, dark and handsome Irishman so I guess I have proved my own point.


  1. Tall, dark and handsome does it for me, Rhys. It was a huge surprise to me when I realized sometime in the '80s that I had a big crush on not-so-tall, blond and reasonably-attractive Kenneth Branagh, as I'd previously thought myself immune to blonds.

  2. I also like tall, dark and handsome but married a strawberry blonde of average His personality isn't really dark or brooding, either, so go figure!

  3. I think our sensible side wins out when it comes to selecting good husband material. If it doesn't, we're in for a bumpy ride. Tall, dark and handsome guys usually think they are God's gift to women!

  4. To me blonde men have always seemed to be lacking in substance.. I have no idea why.