In the world of romance novels, the “first meet,” the scene when the hero and heroine first lay eyes on one another, is an important hook for the reader, so I give my characters’ first meet a great deal of consideration when I begin a story. I for one, love amusing first meets, where the situation is a little embarrassing for one or both of the characters. Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins are known for their hilarious first meets.
Along this vein, in Ship of Dreams, my heroine gets her stiletto heel caught in a sidewalk seam and the hero rescues her (and her shoe). For the record, this actually happened to me — the heel in the sidewalk thing — not how I met my husband thing.
A romantic suspense might introduce danger into the first meet — the heroine is in the middle of a bank heist, and the hero is the cop who comes to the rescue. In a historical romance, the hero might see the heroine across a crowded room and wonder who she is.
I love real life first meet stories, too. I want to know if a happily married couple met on a sidewalk or in a hallway and did that little dance — you know the one where you try to pass one another but you keep shifting in the same direction, so instead you just keep running into each other. Or did they meet when she dropped an armload of books which landed at his feet? Or maybe he was lost (both literally and metaphorically), and asked her for directions (which she gave him, both literally and metaphorically).
My first meet story is nothing so funny or sweet. My husband and I were fixed up by a mutual friend. It was a pretty standard fix-up. Our mutual friend asked us both to meet her for drinks, and after an acceptable period of time, glanced at her watch and said she had to dash, leaving him to either behave like a gentleman and ask me out to dinner, or make up some excuse and get the hell out of Dodge. He asked me to dinner.
Dinner went pretty well. I found him fascinating. He was well-dressed, polished, and he’d traveled all over the world. When it was time to go, he politely walked me to my car — much to my chagrin — because the night before someone had stolen all four of my hubcaps and I had yet to replace them. Ironically, his gorgeous black Mercedes sedan was parked right next to my Chevy, which without hubcaps looked, well, ghetto.
He didn’t ask for my number, and I figured another one bites the dust. Did I mention he traveled? So about three weeks later my backline at work rang and it was HIM. Only our mutual friend had my backline, so I know he’d called her to get my number. He’d been traveling (as opposed to avoiding me), but he asked me out to dinner, and the rest, as they say, is history. That was twenty-two years ago. We’ll celebrate out twentieth wedding anniversary in May.
So, while our first meet wasn’t the stuff of romance novels, I have fond memories of it.
What’s your favorite kind of “first meet” story? Better yet, what’s your “first meet” story? The best story will win you a free download of your choice of one my romance novels and a $20 Amazon gift card. You can go here to tell me your story.