Thursday, August 13, 2015

How did you meet? by Amie Denman

I'm quite notorious for my overt curiosity, and being a romance writer means I'm tempted to ask personal questions about relationships. Here's one of my favorite questions to ask couples: "How did you meet?" On a recent family vacation, I met my nephew's girlfriend of several years.While waiting in lines together at Disney World, I took advantage of the long queue for Snow White's Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom to pop my favorite question. She was happy to share how she met my nephew (#2 below) and even told me how her parents met (#1 below).

Because I've asked this question so many times, I've developed a list of the usual suspects. I also think some of these meet-up scenarios are better than others, but even bad ideas make for good stories.

Where do people meet? Here's my unscientific list based upon decades of nosiness:

1. At work. This applies to full-time jobs, part-time jobs, summer jobs, paper routes, and college jobs. Of course the most interesting of these stories are the taboo office romances. Those make for great novels, especially when a boss is involved.

2. At school/college. I'm really glad I ditched my high school boyfriend years ago, but more power to those folks who've made that work.

3. Blind date/fix-up from a third party. This is how my parents met. My mother's older sister set it up. My parents just celebrated their 50th anniversary, so I'm a believer on this one.

4. Online. Wow. I know several couples who've met this way and married. I'm intrigued. If I weren't happily married, I'd be tempted to fill out an online form and see what happens. I could call it research...

5. Church or volunteer activities. This seems like a winner to me. Similar interests and values. Not too many villains lurking in the church basement or serving at the community dinner.

6. Vacation. Oh, yeah. This is where it gets interesting. I like a sandy beach for a novel setting, but I don't run across too many actual couples who've met while vacationing in an exotic locale. I'll keep asking.

7. Bars. Sigh. I wonder if there are any published stats on the longevity of relationships that start on a bar stool? Maybe I'd be surprised. Maybe I should frequent bars and ask patrons my favorite question.

8. Sports/recreation. You can meet a runner at a marathon or a biker or swimmer at a triathlon. I usually run along in the old lady part of the pack, but I've met some nice old ladies while running long races. 

9. Problem situations. This is a great one. Car breaks down and sexy mechanic helps you out. Brush with danger brings you into the arms of a hot police officer or firefighter. Hello, romance. I wish I could tell you I've heard lots of these stories, but I only know of a few.

10. Fill in the blank for me, please. What stories have you heard about how a couple met? I'd love to hear your input. 

Here's my story. My husband and I met while working at a local amusement park that is the inspiration for my January 2016 Heartwarming release entitled Under the Boardwalk. We worked together for three whole summers without looking twice at each other. Until the day we were both getting off work at the same time and decided to get a burger. Maybe it was seeing each other out of uniform. I honestly don't know what happened, but all of a sudden, I saw the man for me. We've been married over 20 years. Love at first sight? Obviously not. But lasting for sure.

How about some great "how we met" stories? Please share. Thanks!

23 comments:

  1. I love "how we met stories," Amie! My better half and I worked in the same office building for three years. He was one floor up. I took the stairs, and he the elevator, so we never met. His company moved out of the building. One evening, I was out with friends, listening to music at a club and he struck up a conversation. Turned out, he'd known my best friend since elementary school. She was friends with his twin sister. She wasn't with me that night, but when she heard we met, she was thrilled.That was over eighteen years ago.

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  2. I love watching couples and trying to figure out how they met! I'm a 7 actually. My friends and I took a girlfriend to the bar for her birthday. We lived close to a military town and there were always tons of GI's at bars. I was just getting out of a bad relationship and wanted nothing to do with a guy at the time...especially a GI. He was there with one of his buddies, who fell in love with my friend at first sight. The buddy kept coming over and asking her to dance. He on the other hand, sat quietly in the corner, sipping his beer and playing pool...totally unlike every other GI I'd ever met. I couldn't help but stare at him all night but I never saw him flirt with a girl, dance or do anything. Just before the bar was set to close, he walked over and asked me to dance. The bar closed, we all said goodnight and we we went our separate ways. I was convinced I'd never see him again. Then his buddy came sprinting across the parking lot, asking my friend for her number. It was years later that I found out that my hubby said, "You know, if we don't get their number, we'll never see them again." My friend and his buddy didn't last long, but 3 kids and 26 years later, we're still going strong. :)

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    1. I also have to add that my husband HATES to dance. I have to get him sloshed before he'll dance with me now. He said it was the only thing he could think of to do to come talk to me, so he bit the bullet and asked me to dance.

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    2. I love hearing about a happy #7!!

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  3. Love these stories. Does a keeping-company story fit? I've been dating the same guy for 17 years, and before you ask why date someone so long without marrying, let me tell you I've been told I have the best of two worlds. We have great times together and I control the remote 90% of the time. lol.
    Anyway, we met at the gym. He didn't ask for my phone number, but he looked me up in the phone book. (this was before the Internet got so popular)

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  4. Oh, this is fun. A newspaper where I once lived used to run "how we met" stories every week. Usually they were people who'd been married a long time and I loved to read those. My own dh and I met because I worked with one of his sisters. He was in the military and due home for his sister's wedding. The sisters talked me into going with them to pick him up at the airport because they wanted to break up a relationship he had with someone they didn't like. It worked well. We not only met, but by the end of the wedding, we'd decided to get married. My good friends actually came to talk to my parents saying no one knew him, it would never last, yada yada. All who voiced objections divorced and remarried, some more than once. Dh and I were married 51 years before he passed, leaving a hole in my heart.

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    1. The hole in your heart has just broken my heart in two, Roz.

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    2. Mine too. That was a great story.

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  5. Loved your list. I too like to ask people how they met and they all fit in the categories you mentioned. I met my husband while we both participated in a play – “Of Thee I Sing” – at a church we attended. We started as good friends.

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  6. I'm number three, going on 14 years.

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  7. Not sure where I fit. I was dating a friend of his, and when we met, Duane (my dh) didn't like me. We became friends, and he picked up the pieces when the other relationship didn't work out. When he went into the army, I couldn't imagine ever being happy with anyone, especially someone who was just a buddy. When he came home from Vietnam, I couldn't imagine ever being happy without him. It's been 44 years and I still can't imagine being happy without him.

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    1. Oh, and I love reading everyone's stories!

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    2. That's so sweet Liz Flaherty. Weren't you the one with the "opposites attract" story a while back? I loved reading that about you and your husband.
      ( :

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  8. I'm #1! (I've always wanted to say that, but it never applied before.) I was new in the secretarial pool at the L.A. Times and was sent to make copies on the 7th floor (1966 - so long ago that there was one copier in a 10-story building!) Ron shared his office with the copier. Even that primitive model (the copier, not Ron) had too many options, buttons, etc. and I must have looked as confused as I felt because he came to help me. He's been helping me ever since. 47 years.

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  9. I'm a # 2, met at college and married the day of graduation, 33 years ago. My parents were a variation on #3. A widow with two boys, my mother moved into a house down the block from another couple with two boys. They became friends and the woman invited my mother and boys along to visit her family on the farm nearby, where my mother met my dad. They visited several times. Nothing happened, until the family decided she was the perfect wife for him and arranged a double date to light a fire under him. They were married 56 years.

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  10. I'm a #2. My hubby and I are high school sweethearts. When you meet the right one, you don't let him go! We have been married for 18 years and have three awesome kids to show for it! The funny part is I fell for him when he was my best friend's homecoming date. I waited a couple weeks after homecoming to make sure they didn't start dating and then I confessed my crush. Thankfully, she was happy just being friends with him and told me to go for it. The rest is history :)

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  11. I met my husband through a mutual friend. Here's what happened: I was feeling down because my dad was sick at the time so I called my friend and he offered to come take me out to cheer me up. He told me his friend (my future husband) was at his house helping him to paint. Both came to pick me up and we were then on our way to get his friend's girlfriend. This was in NY and there was so much traffic that it took 2 hours to get to her. Meanwhile we spent those two hours talking in the car; a rather pleasant conversation. (I was in fact thinking to myself that all of the good guys are always taken.) Fast forward to after the evening was nearly over. While the friend was walking his girlfriend to her apartment, and we were waiting in the car, I expressed to my friend that this girl seemed all wrong for him in my opinion. He answered that in fact his friend had been trying to break it off with her for a while but that she didn't want to break up. Well, turns out he was interested in me after we had met that night, so he broke it off for good with his current girlfriend and we started talking. We were married almost exactly one year later, and it will be 21 years next month.

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  12. So many sweet meet stories here by the way. What a great post. ( :

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    1. Thanks, Laurie, and everyone for your wonderful stories! This is why I love romance!

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  13. Oh my goodness, I'm loving these stories. So romantic! I love to ask people how they met, too. I first met my husband when I was dating one of his employees. Later, after I'd broken up with the guy, we saw each other at a wedding and.... Twenty two years for us next week!

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  14. My parents met at a basement bar in Albany, NY, named O'Heaney's Tavern. They are 84 and still going strong!

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