Sunday is Mother's Day—not my favorite day for a variety of reasons, but I love hearing stories about how people met. I always imagine them wandering around in their normal world then WHAM this person shows up who changes everything.
The very-seventies-dressed people in the picture are my parents. It was taken in the bar where they met. I wish I knew more about that story. I was a teenager when Mom tried to tell me about it once. I know she was working in the bar and Dad came in fresh from serving in Vietnam, then she said something about liking the way his butt looked when he bent over playing pool, and my teenage-self blocked out the rest.
What has always fascinated me about this picture is that Mom isn't wearing any shoes. There has to be a great story behind that because she hated going without shoes.
So, let's plot swap. What good "How they met" stories do you have?
If you're ever in need of this kind of inspiration, hit up ThatsHowWeMet.com, just be prepared to lose a couple of hours.
You can read the story of how I met my husband here, plus see pictures of twenty-two year-old me who still had to show ID to prove she was teacher and not a student at the middle school where she worked.
Oh, so sweet!
My friend, Susan Creighton, shared this story on Facebook. I thought it would be a great way to kick things off today.
My parents met at a USO event in Nashville in 1944. They shared a hay bale on a hayride. He had been severely wounded in North Africa and was concalescing at a military hospital there. They married 15 months later in Nashville.
His proposal was also cute: parachutes in WWII were made out of pure white silk. He got his hands on a new one and asked her if she could make something out of it to walk down the aisle with him. She did.
Is that not the sweetest thing you ever heard? Perfect for a historical romance.
Sticking with the sweet theme (for now—we'll get to some less-than-sweet—just keep scrolling!)
They met working at Chipotle, fell in love, and got married. Fast forward three kids, she goes into labor with child number four. They're on the way to the hospital. She realizes this baby is coming now! The 911 operator tells Dad to pull over the first place he can, which happens to be the Chipotle where they met! Mom and baby are fine, and they had a baby shower there! The article has picture of the Burrito cake. That's impressive.
This would be hard to use in a book because readers would be like, "Really? They just happened to end up at the same Chipotle? Whatever."
But you could definitely play off the themed shower or the work place romance. I spent a good amount of my teens and early twenties working in restaurants. The staff is always dating each other.
In high school, I worked at Del Rancho (which oddly enough, doesn't serve Mexican food.) One of my fellow waitress (also a teen) started dating one of the kitchen guys, got pregnant, and got married IN THE DEL RANCHO. These things happen folks!
Speaking of restaurant romance, let's get to the not-so-sweet.
So this guy was ordering the most expensive items on the menu, chowing down, then claiming to need something from his car and just leaving these women with the bill. One lady got stuck for $130.
What intrigued me about this story is the second woman mentioned. The manager at the restaurant recognized the guy, confronted him, and ended up comping the woman's meal. That's the guy I want a story about!
Online dating wasn't really a thing when I was single, but I have a whole series of essays I wrote for a college course that are about my experience going on blind dates. Those would make for some interesting plot swaps. Let's just say I eventually decided that my friends must have very low opinions of me if these were the guys they thought I deserved.
On a first date, have you ever had a guy stop his truck, get out, and pee on the side of the road WHILE HE IS STILL TALKING TO YOU? No? Funny...I have.
At least none of my misadventures ever turned into this:
65,000 text messages! How is that even possible? This story gets so much weirder. More than once, she broke into his house and took a bath—because that's normal, right? She finally got caught while he was out of the country because he saw her on his home surveillance. When police arrived, she was taking a bath...oh, and had a large butcher knife on the front seat of her car.
She also told him that she wanted to wear his body parts and bathe in his blood. All of this was after ONE DATE.
So much to unpack here. Clearly, domestic-thriller-stalking-type stuff, but what if the twist is she was being forced to do this? What if someone was trying to get back at the dude for something or set him up to murder her and make it look like self-defense, but in reality (or fiction-based reality) she thought she was playing a part and was being paid? Or they were threatening her sweet, little old grandma?
Speaking of grandmas, let's wrap this up on a good note.
One of my favorites
As I've mentioned before, I loved my great-grandmother. She was funny, drove a mustang until she couldn't drive anymore, and had three husbands before it was fashionable to have three husbands. One my favorite stories is how she met her first husband.
She had gone to party with a friend named Sam. This was back in the day when men would go out on the back porch to smoke and drink because it wasn't polite to do such things in front of the ladies. According to her, they'd been at the party quite awhile, and she was ready to head home. When she stepped out to the porch, she couldn't see very well because it was dark and she'd been inside with all the lights, but she figured that's where her friend would be so she just spoke to the crowd of men.
"Sam, I'm ready to go home now."
A man she didn't know stepped up and said, "Well, I didn't bring you, but my name's Sam and I can sure take you home."
And that was all it took!
She met her second husband at funeral, but I'll save that story for another time. Teaser: He gave her a "come hither" look.
So swap with me! Tell me some great "how we/they met" stories!
*If you enjoy stories like these, please sign up for my monthly News and Reviews email.*