ROXANNE ROWLEY: A ‘meet-cute’ love story

Guest Columnist

I like the expression meet-cute. It is a term that has been used since at least the early 1940s from film and television. It refers to when a future romantic couple meets for the first time. There is usually awkward or funny meeting when boy meets girl. And they more often than not end up together.

It is a formula that was used to good effect in movies like “Moonstruck,” “When Harry met Sally” and “Groundhog Day.”

Mine and my husband’s meet-cute was in high school at my locker. I was stretching to reach a book that had gotten pushed back to the wall on the top shelf of my locker without much success. I was getting a little frantic because I did not want to be late for class. Along came this tall, lanky guy who retrieved it and handed it to me with a sly grin. I don’t remember what he said then, but we ended up as friends.

While I was glad to get the book, it turned out that our first meeting was also timely. We went from friends to becoming a couple in high school. And a year after graduation, we were married. Thanks to the 12-inch difference in our height, he has been reaching the top shelf to retrieve things that I cannot reach without a step-stool for several decades now.

I must admit that I chuckle when I see the covers of some romance novels. The hero is bare-chested, bronze and buff with long flowing hair. He smiles seductively as he is embracing a fair maiden who has an ample bosom and even longer, flowing tresses. They are wind-blown and posing in front of an elegant castle.

The cover of our romance novel would feature my hubby holding a hammer while I hold the board to be nailed. The wind is gusting and we are both wearing flannel shirts and posing in front of the garage. Romance has many shapes and forms!

I would call my husband a pragmatic romantic. Yes, he does open doors for me and occasionally brings me flowers. But he is really most comfortable fixing the car or putting up a curtain rod. His deeds are practical and he is happy to share his expertise as a handyman with others.

There is a lot to be said about someone who fixes a neighbor’s wheelchair or takes an elderly friend to a doctor’s appointment. When our children were in elementary school they would sometimes bring home a child’s broken toy, telling their little friend, “My daddy can fix it.” And usually he could.

It is hard to even remember all of the deeds he has done for others during the course of our marriage. Along the way he has earned the gratitude of many. As Oprah Winfrey said, “Helping others is the way we help ourselves.”

We have been married for several decades now. It sounds cliché, but the time has flown by. I honestly don’t know where it has gone. But this I do know: even now he reaches the high places for me and he still has that sly grin. I am thankful for that meet-cute at my high school locker so many years ago to my pragmatic romantic.

Roxanne Rowley is a retired early childhood educator and consultant. She enjoys writing and has had numerous articles published related to early childhood issues.


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