Love Story

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Today is the Anniversary of the day when my parents met (which they celebrate every year.) As of today, they have known one another for 39 years, a fact I am having trouble wrapping my mind around. So to commemorate that I decided to share a 70s picture, and read a book that ties in with their early dating years.

I have been told by various relatives that my Mother had a teenage crush on Bobby Sherman, and that she also thought my Dad looked a little bit like him. Coincidence? I think not.

My Father has shared that his first impression of my Mother was that he thought she was out of his league. My Mother's first impression of my Dad, she thought he was looking up her skirt. They met, at the age of 15, when they were working at the same restaurant. My Mom was sent to refill salt shakers, and unbeknownst to her my Dad had been told to tape the tablecloths to the bottom of the tables (so clearly it was a classy joint) and so he was on the floor, under the table, when they first met. My Mother began yelling at him, accusing him of being under the table with the intention of looking up her dress, and when I imagine this scenario I somehow always see her hitting him with a menu. My Mom doesn't like this story because it's not exactly a fairytale beginning - but I like to remind her that almost every romantic comedy begins with the couple disliking each other and arguing over something trivial before they eventually realize they love each other.

Today's book, "Oliver Barett IV went to Harvard, and Jenny Cavilleri to Radcliffe. He was rich, and she was poor. He was a jock; she was a serious music type. Nonetheless, they feel in love and got married. Their story is funny, touching, and infused with wonder, as all love stories should be. Unlike most contemporary fiction dealing with young people, Love Story makes no claim to showing where it's at. Rather, it simply shows how it feels."

Love thoughts:

  • I went back and forth for a few days on what book to read today, and I eventually settled on Love Story because the movie that the book inspired was what my parents watched on their very first date. Earlier today my Dad shared with me how nervous he was on that date because he was convinced he had been stood up. My Mother was late because she was too young to drive and therefore had to wait around for an adult to drive her to the movie theater, and the adults in question, her Mother and sister, were busy having a fight about whether my cousin should be wearing disposable diapers (My Grandmother being against them and my Aunt presenting the case in favor of them.) Lucky for everyone involved - and for those of us who are the result of the relationship in question - the argument was resolved in time for my Mom to get to the theater before my Dad left.

  • I am perhaps the last person left on earth who didn't know the way Love Story ends before reading it, and so when my Mother warned me that it was a downer I thought, How sad could it really be? And then I opened the book to begin reading, and this was the very first sentence, "What can you say about a twenty-five-year old girl who died?" So clearly I was laboring under some false impressions about what the book was actually going to be about. All I knew going in was that quote about how love means never having to say you're sorry.

  • Despite the sadness of the book, I really enjoyed reading it. Which is odd for me because I am generally the kind of reader who likes to be molly-coddled with pleasant diversions and a happy ending. I think what helped is that the book was unexpectedly amusing in places - and there's something about a book that makes me laugh and cry that is hard to resist (despite how emotionally dead I normally am.) So I would definitely recommend today's book - which earns the distinction of being the shortest book I have read this year at only 133 pages. Normally I like to read books that are no shorter than about 200 pages, but I just couldn't pass up the chance to read a book that was so perfect for this day. Besides, I think I've earned an easier reading day after reading a book that was over 500 pages earlier in the week.

And now dear readers, I would like to hear your How-We-Met or your How-My-Parents-Met stories.