I was introduced to something last night that, at first, I thought was a joke. I was having dinner with my friends Colleen, Anton, and Maureen, and over the largest bowl of guacamole I'd ever encountered in all my thirty-five years, I was introduced to the romance sub-genre 'The Bonnet Ripper'.
This only came about because I was regaling them with the details of my bizarre train trip across America and how I had seen a number of Mennonite women on the train reading what looked like romance novels.
That's when someone, I forget who, chimed in: Bonnet Rippers!
It looks as if the 'Bodice Ripper' has been co-opted by the religious set. I thought TWILIGHT was the penultimate of all the no kissing, no sex until marriage literature, but apparently I was wrong. It seems that the Amish and Mennonite Bonnet Rippers have all the angst and overheated emotion of the Harlequin universe, but without any of the sex. Totally trumping Twilight - cause they made with the disastrous sexy sex, ya know.
I, for one, am very curious to read one of these books because there is
only so much 'throbbing member' action a person can take before they start to feel
kind of pervy. I know this for fact because when I was thirteen years old I read one hundred Harlequin Romance books in two very short weeks.
This was the summer my family moved from Orlando, FL to Los Angeles, CA. It took my sister, mother and me two weeks to do it. (We took our time, stopping at all the roadside attractions like we were - unintentionally - retracing Lolita and Humbert Humbert's path across America.) Along the way, we made a pit stop in Huntsville, AL to see my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins.
That's when I discovered my Aunt Carolyn belonged to the Harlequin Romance Book of The Month Club. Always a voracious reader (of anything I could get my hands on) and my Aunt Carolyn knew this, giving me a black garbage bag full of Harlequin romances to read along the trip. There had to have been over a hundred of those suckers straining to get out of their plastic bag prison and I obliged them all by reading every one of'em.
As we drove across the country, I would read two or three of the books in a sitting, depositing them in the drawers of the motels we stayed in at night - kinda like soft core pornographic Gideon Bibles. It was a strange time in my life...REM's Out Of Time playing through the headphones of the boom box I'd brought with me, the words 'throbbing manhood' swimming on the pages of the books in front of me.
A very odd time, indeed.
I don't know how all of this really ties into Bonnet Ripping, I guess it does somehow because it definitely got the synapses in my brain all fired up.
Heck, the next time you see me I may be wearing a bonnet. I hear those Amish men are pretty amazing at 'driving the buggy'.