Quite frankly, because I do not follow the rules. From my own experience with reading romance novels (and this is not all-comprehensive because of course I haven't read every romance novel that is out there) I have come to my own conclusions as to what constitutes a typical heroine, and--in my opinion--I simply do not fit the criteria.
1. To begin with, I am NOT drop-dead gorgeous. This is highly unacceptable for a heroine, and is therefore a pretty heavy mark in my disfavor.
Yeah. This is not me. (By the way, I'm not necessarily saying that Mary Crawley is drop-dead gorgeous...but apparently the gentlemen in her life seem to think she is, so I guess she's a pretty good example.)
2. I can cook, believe it or not. I am not a great cook, but, sadly, I can make food that is fit to eat...which is not heroine-like at all.
3. I am a bit sassy, which is good. But unfortunately, I do not make a habit of being sassy to complete strangers, so I'm afraid that leaves me little to no hope of ever attracting a true hero.
4. I have a horrible habit of thinking before I speak. This makes conversations and their outcomes very lame indeed, and allows no room for misunderstandings with the hero.
5. Also, I seem to have been very misinformed as a child, and have grown up thinking that if a misunderstanding does happen to arise between me and the-man-of-my-dreams, the proper way to fix the situation is simply to talk to him about it. I see now that, that is a very juvenile--not to mention irregular--idea. Talking through one's problems is not proper behavior for a heroine. AT ALL. (I'm sorry. I guess I'm just a mess.)
6. I like to read, but I am not an excessive reader, which fact is a plain mark against me, for every heroine MUST have her nose stuck in a book at all times...it's just the right way to be. And on top of that I am not a huge fan of poetry, which is totally unromantic.
(Anne would never approve.)
7. I am a very sensible person. I do not get overly excited about things and am not the dreamy type who's always got her head stuck in the clouds. This is a failing indeed. It makes me much too level headed and hinders me from making those kind of silly mistakes which every heroine ought to make in order to further the suspense of the story.
8. I am not prone to argue with men I have just met, which makes it impossible for me to get acquainted with the hero in the proper and accepted fashion.
9. I do not like men with big muscles. Oh, I do like men who are strong--of course--but I would much prefer their muscles to be quiet about it and not shout from the roof tops how amazingly strong and powerful they are.
10. Here's another thing. Would you believe it? I have never in my life been asked out on a date by anyone! This is a glaring representation of my lack of heroine qualities, for everyone knows that a heroine must be proposed to at least ten times throughout the course of the story. (Alright, so that's a slight exaggeration. But she must at least have two or three gentlemen vying for her attention at the same time...that's a fact. And me? Well, I haven't even got one.)
11. I also have this problem with listening to people when they're trying to explain their side of an issue. I know. It's terrible. It doesn't help at all with making a complicated plot. But, somehow--I don't know--I just can't seem to help it. That's just the way I am.
So you see? I would be an author's worst nightmare.
First she would try to get me and the hero together by expounding upon my unimaginable beauty. But as that is just what it is...unimaginable...the hero himself would never fall for it.
Secondly, she would throw us together into a perfect situation where I would easily be able to display my independent spirit (which is always so attractive to a hero), my brilliant wit, and my charming sassiness. But I would be too overcome with habits of politeness and decorum, that the whole scenario would end with him thinking me a most commonplace individual, indeed.
Thirdly, the author would try the old argument trick. Get the hero and heroine into a fight upon their first meeting, and you'll be guaranteed a wedding by the end of the book. However...I don't argue--not with gentlemen I have just met. So I'm afraid that would be a failure, too.
Finally, the poor author would have to fall back on the old childhood friend/turned lover scenario. But...
...I haven't got a childhood friend. (Oops.)
Yep, no Mr. Knightly. :(
So there you have it.
A perfectly hopeless candidate for the position of a romantic heroine. :D