When you imagine a romance novel, what imagery comes to mind? Maybe a shirtless man with long flowing hair and massive chest muscles? Perhaps he’s riding a glorious horse, both of their hair blowing in the wind? Well, for me, it’s a big fireplace with a roaring flame inside, with a plush rug lying in front of the massive stone fixture. The lighting is dim and the interior of the room is lit with soft candles. The feeling of the scene is cozy, although it’s somehow implied that the weather outside is frightful. That being said, now that I’ve grown up, I cannot deal with fireplaces. When I was a little girl, I recognize like they were the epitome of class and romance, however as an adult I’m just over the whole thing. You see, although fireplaces can be statuesque and beautiful in your house, they aren’t really practical for any sort of everyday usage. There’s nothing romantic about having a gas fireplace with fake plastic logs stuck definitely in the middle, and having a real wood burning fireplace, that requires splitting wood and tending to a smoking flame isn’t very sexy either. In my head, though, I regularly imagined a big strong man dropping a match into a pile of wood, and the whole thing bursting into a big satisfying flame. In reality, my husband is constantly repositioning pieces of damp, smokey firewood, and accidentally burning himself as he prods at the sparks. The house never gets warm enough, and the fire goes out quicker than I would like. In the end, we’re regularly covered in soot and coughing as we bump up the temperature on the thermostat and throw in the towel.