Let's go for a double-whammy of the romance tropes: friends to lovers and the fake relationship

Growing up, Mina has always held a torch for her brother's best friend Jerry. In recent years, they've grown apart, and that torch has nearly burned down to an ember.
Until one day, Jerry turns up on her doorstep. He needs her help, and she's only too happy to help. They manage to fool their families and Mina starts to hope that fantasy can turn to reality, but can a relationship built on lies last the distance?

extra trope-y note-ys:
Jerry's reason for picking Mina has to be good, because it has to weather the "don't date my sister"
For over complicated troperation, Jerry can be a newly-single dad who needs the relationship to gain/keep custody of the kid
bonus points for a one-night stand before they grow apart that both decide to never mention again because they think the other isn't interested
super bonus points if one or the other is trying to make an ex jealous

The Masquerade

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 16:01
The Masquerade is a fictional Girl Group existing only in my imagination. Originally conceived as a superhero team, they decided to become superstars instead. Assigning themselves codenames and only ever seen en masque, their desire for privacy cultivated an air of mystique. They have released multiple albums on the themes of friendship, growing up, relationships, and girl power.

Members of the Masquerade include:
  • Phoenyx (Nixy), lead singer and main spokesperson for the group
  • Fyrespark (Sparky), lead guitarist and SFX coordinator
  • Shadowkitten (Essie), keyboardist and main songwriter
  • Illusya (Illy), rhythm guitarist and stage designer
  • Crystallise (Tally), drummer and choreographer
  • Skye, backing vocals and costume designer
  • Zephyr (Zephy), backing vocals and makeup artist
  • Starspray (Starry), backing vocals and marketing
Although they never refer to themselves as such, Skye, Zephyr, and Starspray are collectively known as the British Blondes, as they all speak with a British accent, and are, well, Blonde. They also appear together in music videos and interviews, and provide similar function in the band.

Examples:
  • Adorkable: Crystallise
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Illusya, although Shadowkitten and Crystallise both have shades of this
  • Brainy Brunette: Shadowkitten
  • British English: Skye, Zephyr and Starspray all speak with a British accent and use British slang, which sometimes confuses the other members
  • Canada, Eh?: Illusya
  • Cloudcuckoolander: the British blondes go off on odd tangents in many interviews
  • Cover Version: between albums, regularly release covers of other artists, often including a full music video
  • Deadpan Snarker: all of them, to some degree, but especially Shadowkitten and Illusya
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Skye, Zephyr, and Starspray
  • Five-Man Band: fits surprisingly well into the traditional roles, despite the extra members, if the British Blondes are counted as one
    • The Leader: Phoenyx
    • The Lancer: Fyrespark
    • The Smart One: Shadowkitten
    • The Big One: Illusya and Crystallyse both tower above their bandmates
    • The Chick: Skye, Zepyhr, and Starspray
  • Friend to All Children: Crystallise and surprisingly, Fyrespark
  • Genki Girl: all of them, but especially Fyrespark
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Fyrespark, apparently, but only when not en masque
  • Jerk With a Heart of Gold: Fyrespark is abrasive, bossy, and confrontational, but never to children, fans or otherwise. Her bandmates are often forced to explain that she "means well"
  • Little Black Dress: Shadowkitten is fond of these
  • Ms Fanservice: all of them, but especially Phoenyx, who often dresses like a '50's pin up
  • My Nayme Is: Shadowkitten is the only member without a 'y' in her name, shoehorned in or otherwise
  • The Nicknamer: ALL of them. Quite apart from their stage names, they each have different nicknames for each other, with each girl using a different naming scheme
  • One of Us: Shadowkitten is a self-confessed Directioner
  • Only Known By Their Nickname: taken to extremes, until their actual names are totally unknown, and all identifying information (like birthdays) are also secret
  • She's Got Legs: Shadowkitten and Crystallise are both fond of short skirts
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Phoenyx is affable and friendly to everyone, right until you insult one of her bandmates
  • Smarter Than You Look: despite their ditzy Cloudcuckoolander tendencies, the British Blondes do pull out moments of genius
  • Southern Belle: Shadowkitten is one of these
  • The Stoic: Illusya
  • Token Minority: hard to tell under the masks, but Illusya looks like one of these
A radio station in NZ just ran a promotion where two strangers get married after talking once on air and meeting once while masked. This is the fourth time they have run this promotion, and it surprised me that all three previous relationships are still going strong. That little romantic part in me just got so happy when I heard that.

It also went into imagination overdrive. I mean, strangers getting married??? As a romance trope, I don't think it gets better than this. It's like the arranged marriage but modern, or the fake marriage but total strangers.

In short, I think it would make a fantastic novel. First comes the wedding, and then come the falling in love.

Of course, the sequels are where it gets super troperiffic. After the original We're Married, Let's learn To Live Together, you get
  • Our Crazy Friends Just Got Married But I Hate You (But You're Hot)
  • You Broke My Heart And Now We're Married (with optional side of Did I Just Become Stepdad To My Own Child?)
  • Your Sibling Is The One That Got Away (I Never Noticed You Noticing Me)
  • This Isn't Working So I'll Help You Win Back Your Ex (possibly combined with This Isn't Working So I'll Help You Net The Object Of Your Unrequited Love Since Forever)
if I ever write romances, this is totally going to be it (watch this space for absolutely nothing because I am that lazy hah)

Who raised us, fed us, clothed us, loved us. Who guided our first steps and applauded our first words. Who kissed our injuries better and comforted our heartbreaks.

Here's also to the mothers-to-be and all the sleepless nights and moments of joy ahead.

Here's also to the would-be mothers and all the lives they have touched regardless.

Here's to the mothers who have lost their children, through estrangement or bereavement.

Here's to the absent mothers, the abusive mothers, and to all who survived them.

And here's to my mom, who is always willing to listen, to talk me out of impulse purchases, to explain a new word or idea, who recognises I am an independent adult but sometimes still need advice and hugs, who doesn't like the taste of alcohol but will still try my cocktail concoctions.

Happy Mother's Day.
Today, for the first time, I got why everyone calls Canadians so nice. It's not that I've encountered rudeness before, it's just never been anything more than I've seen in NZ.

Today, I left Victoria: headed East for a month, back West for a month, then home to NZ. Through a mix up, my ride to Victoria airport fell through. I ended up taking a cab and arriving 13 minutes after check in closed. I'd checked in online, but I had a bag to drop.

Here's the nice: I arrived late, and the guy at the desk told me so. But he didn't give me any "rules are rules", and neither did any of his colleagues. Instead, he radioed through to check if my bag could still be put on the plane. It could, he did, and I got on the flight.

I don't know what I would've done if I couldn't make the flight but I didn't have to find out. There was no rigid enforcement of the rules I had so clearly broken, and no sneaky "let's see if we can bend the rules, just this once". There was simply an understanding that the rules are there for a reason, and if I could be accommodated without putting everyone else out, I would be.

Maybe I've overstated this. Maybe this is completely mundane and not really worthy of a blog post. But to a poor student who really can't afford to buy another flight and expect to eat this month, it matters to me.
Some six or so years ago, just after massive upheaval in my life, a man I respect offered me the following advice: learn how to ask for help. At the time, I had no idea what he was talking about. I didn't need help! I was fine! Yeah nah I totally wasn't.

Fast forward three years, I needed help. I'd needed help all along, but it took me a while to ask for it. Having others to shoulder the load made it so much lighter, even if they did nothing but offer moral support and an abundance of hugs. Over the next few years, I thought I'd mastered the art of asking for help. Yeah nah not yet.

Today, I asked for help again. I need a ride to the airport. Most of my friends have already left town, the others don't have cars or I'm too shy to ask directly for fear of putting them under pressure. That didn't stop me from hinting and hoping someone would offer. Yeah nah no joy.

I'm embarrassed to ask for help. I don't like being vulnerable. I'm better than I was; I know better than to hide when I'm helpless. But when I'm kinda able to handle it myself, I don't like imposing my needs on others. I consciously have to remember that people actually like me and want to be involved in my life. That people actually like to help (I know I do, which makes this omission rather selfish, if not hypocritical).

At least four people offered me a ride to the airport. I probably could've avoided asking everyone if I'd asked the guy who offered a ride first. But I asked for help eventually. I'm learning!
I'm a pretty lowkey shipper. I don't read much relationship-based fanfic, trawl for fanart, post any headcanons or imagines, complain loudly on Twitter about my noTPs. This doesn't mean that I'm not a shipper. My very first 'grown-up' tv show was Star Trek: TNG and I distinctly remember getting annoyed that Troi and Riker weren't married yet, despite being totally in love. I can't have been more than 10.

I'll admit I haven't yet seen the new Avengers movie. I'll also admit I went spoiler hunting on TVTropes. Finally, I'll admit that Clintasha have been one of my OTPs.

Yeah, you can guess where I'm going from this. SPOILER )

I guess the point of this late night super long first post is that sometimes we place more emotion into a thing than we think, and that it's ok to be upset when things you like, for one reason or another, no longer likeable in the same way.
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