“And if I brought you the fallen star?” asked Tristran lightly. “What would you give me? A kiss? Your hand in marriage?”

“Anything you desired,” said Victoria, amused (Gaiman and Vess 47).

Ah, the hopeless romantic. As I read about bland Tristran (I mean they chose brown hair and brown eyes for the poor kid. I can empathize.) try to grandiosely win beautiful Victoria’s heart I reminisced the many times I have watched The Notebook. Many, many times. Tristran is inadequate, not up to Victoria’s standards, similar to the way that Noah fails to initially impress Allie. While Tristran is average looking and does not appear to be particularly special (oh, but we know better, with that pointy ear of is) and Noah comes from very little money, they already don’t seem to stand a chance with gorgeous girls like Victoria and Allie. Yet they both make ridiculous attempts to impress these ladies. Noah swings from the bars of a ferris wheel to force Allie to go out with him, meets her on the street and again begs her to go out with him, and then finally is cunning enough to have his best friend set Allie up on a blind date with who? Noah.

Allie laughs off Noah’s first several attempts as crazy and is even doubtful as she begins their date together at the movies, but he was persistent and dammit she was going to fall in love with him. And she did, thank heavens, the poor guy got his britches pulled down in front of the whole fair the first time he asked her on a date. Likewise, Tristran went to great extremes, though they were imagined adventures, in his attempts to win Victoria’s love. Finally, he landed on the absurd notion to hunt a fallen star and return to Victoria with it, as mentioned in the quote above. This, Victoria decided, would be suitable, though she laughed as well, knowing how outrageous his hopes were.

This quote, and the clip from The Notebook, got me wondering why these women expect the men to go to such extremes for them. It is not enough to be kind and half good looking. If you want her, you’ve got to find a fallen star or worse, climb a ferris wheel and expose your whitey tighties. I thought about the poem in the beginning of the book and how it talked about how difficult it would be to find the type of woman that he was searching for. I feel like this quote connects to that as well, as both of these men go to such great lengths to be these women’s lovers, although the poem describes it as perhaps impossible and Noah was able to find and keep his woman in the very end.

I had wondered why Victoria needed Tristran to go look for a star and bring it back to her to prove his worth. Then I thought of The Notebook and nearly every other sappy romance, and the guy almost always does something hugely outrageous for the girl and we all love it. Because he’d be a dirtball if he didn’t. Yet, what if this had been Victoria pleading for Tristran’s love and Tristran was like “Yeah, if you get that star thing you can do whatever you want with me”? I think the gender roles here play a huge part in how we perceive this quote. While it appears romantic (and let’s be real, sort of idiotic -but still sweet) that Tristran is willing to go find that impossible star for Victoria, imagine how cruel Tristran would appear and how downright pitiful Victoria would seem were the roles reversed.