I helped my mom move recently, and during that move I happened upon a box filled with my school photographs. Okay, the first-grade one (at left) was cute, but let's just say there were some really unattractive years caught on film (which I will not be sharing here). Even when I managed to get a decent haircut, master the intricacies of makeup and '80s big hair, and spring for some contact lenses, I still wasn't burning up the dating scene. I, like many of you out there in blogland, spent many a high school dance cast as the wallflower, pining away for that cute boy to ask me for a spin around the dance floor. Sigh.
With such a dismal dating history before heading off to college, it's a wonder every romantic notion wasn't squashed out of me. And yet, I never lost my romantic streak or my love for romance stories in books, on film and on TV.
I've been a writer long enough that I've realized many of us writers had less-than-stellar social lives in high school. We weren't the belles of the ball or sitting at the top of the popularity ladder. And quite often, we were the geeks, the nerds, the bookworms -- in other words, the people who did well in school and -- gasp! -- even liked it. I've come across this similar background in writers so often that I wonder if that type of high school experience lends itself to molding creative types. When all our classmates were out on dates on Saturday nights, were we reading and watching movies and daydreaming about our own happily ever afters? When you have an empty social calendar, do you daydream more? If so, I'm kind of glad now that I wasn't a date magnet back then. Of course, it sucked at the time, but I like the person I became in the long run. I feel very fortunate to be a writer and to have met so many fabulous writers, many of whom I now consider good friends.
What about you all? Do you think there's anything to this theory? Or has my brain short-circuited from staring at my computer screen for too many hours a day? :)