Words & More Words

This Romance Writer’s Life…

What Women Really Want

Fabio ain't got nothing on a man who will help your aging dad to the bathroom.

For those of you who are too young to know what a "Fabio" is, I'll show you.


Fabio has graced the cover of hundreds of romance novels since the 1980's. The long, wind-swept hair and the bulging muscles are supposed to depict the perfect male form...yeah, ok.

Honestly, I'll take Loki, Sherlock Holmes, James Bay and Josh Tillman over Dwayne The Rock Johnson any day.

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 1.32.21 PM.png

It seems most men think what women really want are the brutes of romance novels and action movies, where their muscles rip through their shirts and they have little to say outside a grunt or two. Sure, they're great to have around when you need a couch moved, and I'm sure they're "good for other things" (wink, wink), but in the grand scheme of things, I'd take a man who'll watch a sappy movie, take out the garbage, do the taxes, and kill a spider, any day.

Twenty-one years ago today, my husband and I had our first date at the Abbey Pub (I've told this story many times). We'd met at the video store where he worked (and where I was sent to the porn section as a prank...no, really, I thought it was new releases!). We dated for four years and got engaged seventeen years ago today...see the theme here? We waited three years to get married because we were living together and in no rush to drop a shit-ton of dough on a party, and have been married fourteen years today.

Over the last twenty-one years, my hubby has seen me at my best (he insists I have a best all the time, I don't see it at all) and some of the worst shit I've ever faced. From my mom passing away from breast cancer, to my dad's stroke/heart attack/knee replacement and the aftermath of each situation, to my own health issues, to me getting fired, getting my dream job, leaving it to pursue other opportunities ending in a layoff, to a new job in a new industry and a new role that's challenging me every day.

The men who grace these romance novels aren't real. What's real is a man who stands by you through shit and more shit. Who supports you in your successes and failures. Who still finishes your thoughts and sentences, who finds the same delight in the things that move you, and sure, who can move a couch and is "good for other things" (wink wink).

Face it, Fabio. I'm a lucky girl.

Kelly DuffComment