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Have you ever wondered why serious works of fiction rarely make big money, but the cheesiest romance stories make a fortune?  Believe it or not, despite the high level of western education, people like cheesy stories.

Cheesy Romance Stories

My own mother is a good example.  She is an accountant who spent her life as a small business owner both in Europe and in North America, yet, she loves cheesy television drama.  Her latest passion is to watch South American soap operas.  Por un puñado de besos, or, unofficially translated as “A handful of kisses”, is her favourite.

I asked her the reason for rushing home just in time for the latest episode.  Her answer was vague.  But, deciphering her long-winded talk around it, I realized that she loves a feel-good story.  It resonates with her experiences.  According to my mother, some people are just evil who will take advantage of others.  You need to fight these people to get justice for yourself.  Naturally, in an ideal setting, such as in a movie, the good should triumph over the bad.  Triumphing over the bad means that the good will get the proper recognition, the dream spouse, retribution and happiness at the end.  Basically, the perfect cheesy romance story.

I wonder if, despite our education level, people in our society still think in these simplistic terms.  Are we at the level of good versus evil where the evil person is clearly identifiable and the good person can triumph over the bad at the end?  If only life were that simple!  Why are we getting educated about the complexity of human nature and society, if we still end up insisting in thinking about life in such simplistic terms?

I also wonder if I should start giving into the crowd’s simplistic demand and write some cheesy romance novels.  Maybe, I can pay my bills easier?!  When I pitched this idea to my mother–and, I meant it ironically–she was fully supportive of it.  In fact, she wanted to call her friends right away to tell them that I finally made the great decision to write wonderful romance novels they can read.  I was shocked by her enthusiasm!

Maybe, I should write that romance novel.  But, if I do, I am going to call it the “The Cheesiest Romance Story”.   I would die of laughter if it actually made a lot of money!

M. J. Mandoki

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