A Lopsided Grin

August 21, 2013

Our guest blogger is author Jenny Twist author of several books including All In My Mind (4.9 stars, 17 reviews).

A Lopsided Grin

As a child I had a very clear idea of romance, gleaned from Hollywood and my mother’s women’s magazines.
This is what happened, right. One day you would meet a devastatingly handsome man with a lopsided grin. (I don’t know why they all had lopsided grins. Maybe they’d all had strokes?) He would kiss you and you would know straight away that he was Mr Right because all these fireworks would go off and the kiss would be so exciting that you would find yourself

standing on tiptoe on one leg, whilst the other leg was raised in the air (behind you, obviously. If you raised it in front the kiss would come to an abrupt end). Then you would get married and live happily ever after.
Real life romance was a bitter disappointment to me. The first boy who kissed me was not only not particularly handsome and lacking a lopsided grin, but he had buck teeth! I could feel them through his lips! The second one, who later became my first husband, attempted to seduce me with statistics. No, really! He said even the majority of Catholic girls were no longer virgins when they got married. He knew the percentages and everything. On reflection, I think he probably made them up.
Anyway, his idea of a romantic venue was a ploughed field in the middle of February. It wasn’t actually snowing, but it was bloody cold!
“Why did you marry him?” I hear you ask. Well he DID kiss nicely and his grin was very slightly lopsided.
The marriage was a disaster, by the way. I soon realised that a nice kiss and even a lopsided grin was simply not enough.
I should have known. The fireworks never happened and my leg did not automatically rise up.
Come to think of it, it never has. I’m beginning to suspect that it was invented by Hollywood.
I’ve read loads of romance books since then and have noticed that a lot of them focus, if not on the lopsided grin, then on the handsome appearance of the hero and the effect he has on the heroine’s equilibrium. There is a distinct impression that when it comes to choosing a mate the most important thing is what he looks like, followed closely by how much he disturbs you.
 I ask myself is this really what we want people to expect? Should we be defining love as what basically boils down to sexual attraction?
I wonder whether I might have made better choices if romance had been represented to me as companionship, affection and respect, which is surely what most of us REALLY want from a relationship.
And as for 50 Shades, don’t start me off. That’s all I need, someone telling me that love is all about being tortured and dominated.
I try to write the kind of romance that really happens and which lasts. Several of my stories are about people who have been happily married for years or who find love late in life and know what to appreciate. It might not be spicy but I’d like to think it’s a rather better recipe for happiness.
Bio: Jenny Twist left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and an escapologist’s assistant, she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford.
In 2001 she and her husband moved to Southern Spain where they live with their rather eccentric dog and cat.



19 Responses to A Lopsided Grin

  1. Jenny Twist
    August 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you so much for having me on your site. I really appreciate it.

  2. August 22, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I enjoyed reading your blog post, Jenny. Romantic love and sexual attraction are two very different things, in my opinion. They can go beautifully together. Balance is the key…

    • Jenny Twist
      August 23, 2013 at 1:53 am

      Hello, Gemma. I’m so glad you liked it. How nice to meet you.


  3. Rose Anderson
    August 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Very cute Jenny. Best luck.

    • Jenny Twist
      August 23, 2013 at 1:54 am

      Thanks, Rose. You’re a star!

  4. Celia Yeary
    August 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Jenny–how funny, and very clever! I never thought about that lopsided grin thing–I don’t think I’ve ever used it, but I’ve read it, and it always, always made the female swoon.
    Real life romance is really kind of messy, isn’t it? Sometimes I wonder how my dh and I ever got together, and will be married 55 years in December. Yes, I’m that old, but I was very young when we did marry. I always thought my dh was much more handsome than I was pretty, but I asked him about ten years ago..exactly why did you marry me? (he could have had other girls). His answer? So romantic. “Because I knew you were an honest person.” Now..Think on that.

    • Jenny Twist
      August 23, 2013 at 2:01 am

      55 years!!! My goodness, you’re wearing well. And how marvellous to have been in love with the same man all that time. I must say I like the sound of your dh. Your kind of romance is exactly the kind I like to write about. And I love his reason for marrying you. May you have another 55 years!

  5. August 23, 2013 at 2:37 am

    I chuckled along to this, Jenny, but are you sure that it’s your dog and cat that are eccentric? LOL!

    • Jenny Twist
      August 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Cheeky! I’ll have you know I’m not rich enough to be eccentric. I could be a little mad.
      Love and hugs


  6. August 23, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Hi Jenny. I think it’s great that you write real life romance that is interesting enough to hold a readers attention. I think that a lot of readers want to be taken away from the real life that they live. I do agree though, if Hollywood and the romance books painted a more realistic picture of what to expect from a relationship there would be more marriages that last 55 years like Celia Yeary’s. (congrats on that Celia).

    • Jenny Twist
      August 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Loc
      Yes, I have to confess I’m a little bit jealous of Celia. I only met my Mr Right 25 years ago. Think of the years I missed!
      So nice to meet you.

  7. August 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Hi Jenny,
    That was a wonderful blog. I wonder though, if beauty might be in the eye of the beholder. When I was “on the prowl” so to speak, with my girlfriends, so many years ago, I won’t even mention when it was, boys that they thought were handsome, sexy etc. did nothing for me and guys that I thought were handsome, can’t remember the lopsided grin, they didn’t think much of. Just an observation.



    • Jenny Twist
      August 26, 2013 at 2:16 am

      I’m sure you’re right. I can remember being desperately in love with a boy in my class with greasy hair and acne. He was GORGEOUS.
      Nice to meet you, Margaret

  8. August 26, 2013 at 4:53 am

    I always think of lopsided grins as being slightly sinister! I prefer a grin that shows even white teeth ;-) Handsomeness is in the eyes of the beholder, I think. It’s interesting to consider whether you can be (initially) physically attracted to someone whose appearance you find gruesome?

    • Jenny Twist
      August 26, 2013 at 11:35 am

      I would have said it was impossible to initially be attracted to someone you find gruesome, but then there are all these people falling in love with vampires. So maybe you can.
      Thanks for commenting, Sweetie.

      • August 26, 2013 at 6:52 pm

        I prefer real people, not vampires or zombies etc etc. I fail to understand the attraction of vampire blood suckers, or of shape shifters either.

        • Jenny Twist
          August 27, 2013 at 1:36 am

          Me too. Surely nobody in real life would want a lover who sucks your blood and eventually condemns you to a life of perpetual darkness.And the sparkly ones are cold and hard to the touch. Not someone you’d want to cuddle. A shifter might be all right if it were a mammal and under control. But not my first choice.

  9. August 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    I don’t know…I would be keen on a vampire with a lopsided grin…or a shifter. Fab post, Jenny! :)

    • Jenny Twist
      August 27, 2013 at 1:42 am

      What are you like! I bet you wouldn’t like it in real life. Come on. be honest! Would you swap Eric for a sparkly vampire or a were-snake?
      (Careful how you answer that).
      Lots of love

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