Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Do We Do That????? - From Andrew Grey

Dear Andrew

Seen from the other side of the pond, some things I often read in romance are really strange. For example, when a guy goes on a date and wants to look really good, he puts on a silk shirt. I've been around quite a bit, but never saw one of them – or maybe I did, but it was plain white and hidden under a suit. Along the same line, do you really wear a tuxedo to go to the theater or to a restaurant? Here, except for a highly formal ceremony, it would be considered overdressed.
Another thing is big strong cowboys drinking milk with their meals or two guys in a fancy restaurant drinking milk with their tenderloin? To me, that's just weird.
Well, I guess there are thing you find puzzling in Europe.

Kindest regards,

Dear Madeleine

Oh my goodness.  You hit on a good one.  There are many things in romance novels which do not reflect real life.  They are put there for dramatic effect and to try to give the reader a sense of how the character is feeling.  I have an extensive wardrobe and I don't own a silk shirt.  I have owned one in my life.  But a character in a novel may put on a silk shirt to show how excited or special he thinks the evening will be.  Its the authors way of helping to convey that specialness.  

As for a tuxedo.  I own one and I do not wear it to go to the theater or a restaurant in general.  It is over dressing.  However i have worn my tuxedo out for an evening when I was with ladies who were dressed in evening wear.  I have also work my tux at my wedding and other more formal affairs.   Or at a convention when I want to be noticed in a crowd.  Put on the tux for the evening and you get noticed.  But to answer your question directly, in the US, men we do not go around wearing tuxedos all the time.   However as an author I have dressed my characters in tuxedos for an evening out because its an incredibly special night and they are celebrating or want to show their partner what they mean to them. 

As for drinking mil, I really can't help you with that one much.  I can say that I don't see a lot of adults ordering milk in restaurants.   I think its another of those licenses authors use to try to convey a mindset for feeling rather than reflect real life.  In this country, milk is considered wholesome.  

As a recap, in books of any kind, clothes and behavior often are used to try to get a glimpse of character insight or feeling.   With visual media sometimes its easier because other senses are directly involved, but with the written word, the author has to use the tools at their disposal.  

Hugs and love

Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

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  1. I have seen more than one guy in tuxedo at the Metropolitan Opera in NY. they looked great and nobody found it weird, most were in formal wearv(ladies in gowns).
    Silk shirts, not so much.. My husband tells me they feel hot as wearing a windbreaker indoors, lol. He hates them and he is not a tee shirt wearer, loves shirts, just not silk ones.
    As always I love your books and your blogposts!

  2. I have a couple of male friends that have silk button downs (silk blend or raw silk, I think) and they look great wearing them
    As for tuxes at the theater, I think that's usually the live theater, not the picture show type
    And I've seen that in real life.
    As for milk... if you don't drink alcohol.... ? (I think milk is gross personally lol)

  3. You forgot to mention that suave men wear tuxedos while hosting game shows at writing cons...and they do it with style! ;)

  4. I'm an adult and I still order milk if it's available or if I'm eating anything remotely sweet. I usually pick ice water or unsweetened ice tea if no milk. I don't see many others drinking milk out in restaurants though. 😃

  5. I'm a burly, Budweiser/Tequila drinking, heavy metal, redneck biker looking guy.I also love milk. I drink a couple gallons of it a week at home and if I'm out somewhere eating, if I have anything other than water it will be milk. I don't own a tux or a silk shirt.