Most romance writers are familiar with the description of a heroine as "too stupid to live." You know, the gal who has been stalked three-quarters of the way through the book and still opens her front door on a dark and stormy night when she hears a noise on her porch. But there has to be some willingness on the part of readers (and movie-goers) to suspend their disbelief. If everyone in books acted responsibly and sanely, there would be no good stories to tell! If Cinderella had told her Fairy Godmother she was nuts if she thought she was going to get into a coach that was a pumpkin a few seconds before, in glass slippers no less, Cin never would have met her Prince. If Scarlett had stayed home like any other sensible woman in her widow's weeds instead of going to that dance in Atlanta, she never would have caught Rhett's attention. Questionable choices don't just exist between the pages of a book either. If Anne Boleyn hadn't fallen in love with a king already married to a Catholic queen...well, we all know what happened there.
The fact is, many women (and men) may not be "too stupid to live," but they oftentimes make decisions that aren't based on any logic or concern for their own safety. In my December Harlequin Intrigue, The Stranger and I, the heroine accepts a ride from another American tourist in Mexico...and it leads to a world of pain (it also leads to one hot hero). Before I sold the book, someone told me that this was unbelievable. A woman would never accept a ride from a stranger in a foreign country. Oh really? When I was in my early twenties, my cousin and I drove around Europe and routinely picked up hitchhikers, and most of them weren't even Americans (there were a couple of cute Frenchmen though). Too stupid to live? Maybe, but we were young, eager to soak up foreign cultures (try to keep your minds out of the gutter here), and invincible.
So have you ever done anything that would have some editor or agent out there deeming you "too stupid to live"?