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Feeling the romance in the Atlanta rain

Updated: Feb 5

A street scene on a rainy day in the metro Atlanta area

It’s the Atlanta Gray Days. This is what I call it when the fog and drizzle descend on my favorite city making visibility incredibly low. 

Hubs hates it with a fiery passion. Not enough rain to justify using one’s windshield wipers but enough to eventually build enough moisture to require the wipers sporadically. You have to work your wipers like one is shifting gears. It’s not a coasting type of weather. 

I love it. When we moved to Atlanta it was raining this particular gray day mist which eventually morphed into higher quality droplets. I associate this area with a lovely light rain that kisses the face without mussing your hair. It’s like rain designed for aesthetics. 

I’ve been around town seeing women in these cute little kicky duck shoes and Hunter wellies matched with lightweight anoraks and trench coats. 

And it just all seems a little romantic to me: shared umbrellas or coats, ensembles assembled for both style and function, cozy hoodies and warm coats, people enter buildings from the weather with that little shiver that asks for someone to hug them and welcome them in from the gray outdoors. 

There is a romance trope of the couples kissing in the rain but, for me, the best rain to kiss in is Atlanta rain. 

I might have romance on the brain. I am leading a writing short romantic fiction workshop at the East Cobb library on Feb. 3, and I am transitioning from my mystery/noir space to a romance space. I’m listening to romantic books on Audible. I am watching romantic television – or at least keeping it on in the background. I am thinking about what makes something romantic, what makes couples sizzle, and what makes couples work. 

And to paint with a broad brush, I think romance all boils down to specificity. 

Where one person might find hearts and flowers romantic – even mandatory – others don’t. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band were talking about country romance when they sang “Fishing in the Dark”. 

My students were bemoaning The Bachelor a while back. In typical teen know-it-all fashion they were railing about how foolish it is to think someone could find “love” on a game show. But I pointed out to them that while people are unlikely to find true love, it is an excellent journey for someone to go on if they want to live the full stereotypical romantic experience, someone who wants to know what it’s like to go on romantic dates, wear ball gowns, get roses, and look at this very attractive face on the reg. 

Would I like it? No. No. No. It all sounds like too much work. 

But for someone who doesn’t think it’s too much work and wants to know what it’s like to be festooned with romantic sentiment and surrounded by one’s competition, they should allow themselves that experience if they can get it. 

I actually do think sharing an umbrella in the rain is far more romantic. It requires two people who are comfortable enough to stand in close proximity to each other to focus on the goal of making it from point A to point B without getting wet, but knowing it’s okay if you do. 

The writers of romance –good romance–understand the specificity of what the people in the couple find romantic. And if the love interest, the protagonist, has feelings of romance, the reader will also feel that romance. Those are the moments that readers will talk about. 

Read books. Wear boots.




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