Welcome to February's Secret Subject Swap.
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Baking In A Tornado
My subject is
What is the greatest love story you've ever heard?
Well, right off the bat I'd say I know of a young girl who was a Mommy to twins toddlers. She met a guy, went on a date, three weeks later, they got married. Boom! A year later they had a baby. The twins are now teenagers wearing chunky platform sneakers, and the couple has been going strong ever since. It's not a fairytale, even if it sounds like one. Sometimes life does write the best stories.
Let's leave real life for a moment and focus on one of my favorite movies. If you have been following me for a while, you know it is When Harry met Sally.
Remember the adorable stories older couple tell about how they met?
The best part? I always assumed they were made up, but they're actually true. Just like this we're leaving fiction and go back to real life. Because, as we noticed, life writes the best stories.
Nora Ephron based these stories on interviews she actually conducted with couples she knew, and then scripted them to be performed by actors.
Man with German accent: I was sitting with my friend Arthur Kornblum in a restaurant. It was a Horn & Hardart cafeteria, and this beautiful girl walked in, and I turned to Arthur, and I said "Arthur, you see that girl? I am going to marry her", and two weeks later we were married, and it's over fifty years later, and we are still married.
His wife just sits there, nods, smiles and pats his arm.
Average looking older couple:
Woman: We fell in love in high school
Man: Yeah, we were high school sweethearts
Woman: But then, after our junior year, his parents moved away
Man: But I never forgot her
Woman: He never forgot me
Man: No - her face was burned on my brain. And it was 34 years later that I was walking down Broadway, and I saw her come out of Toffenetti's.
Woman: And we both looked at each other, and it was just as though not a single day had gone by.
Man: She was just as beautiful as she was at sixteen.
Woman: He was just the same. He looked exactly the same!
Miserable looking couple:
Man: We were married forty years ago. We were married three years, got a divorce. Then I married Margie
Woman: But first there was Barbara
Man: Right, Barbara. But I didn't marry Barbara, I married Margie
Woman: Then he got a divorce
Man: Right, then I married Kate
Woman: Another divorce
Man: Then, a couple of years later, at Eddie Collichio's funeral, I ran into her (points at his wife) I was with some girl I don't even remember...
Man: Right, Roberta. (Smiles) But I couldn't take my eyes off you! I remember, I snuck over to her, and I said (turns to wife) what did I say?
Woman: You said "what are you doing after?"
Man: Right. So I ditched Roberta, wo go for coffee, a month later we were married.
Woman (half smile) 35 years after our first marriage.
Man: (looks and smiles at her proudly)
Couple sitting there, interlocking arms, and this is hard to transcript, because they always interrupt each other, confirming or completing their statements:
Man: We were both born in the same hospital
Man: Seven days apart
Woman: In the same hospital
Man: We both grew up one block away from each other
Woman: We both lived in tenements
Man: On the Lower East Side
Woman: On Delancey Street
Man: My family moved to the Bronx when I was ten
Woman: He lived on Fordham Road
Man: Hers moved when she was eleven
Woman: I lived on 183th Street
Man: For six years she worked on the 15th floor as a nurse
Woman: I worked for a very prominent neurologist, Dr. Bendleman.
Man: Where I had a practice on the 14th floor in the very same building
Woman: We never met
Man: Never met
Woman: Can you imagine that?
Man: You know where we met? In an elevator!! In the Ambassador Hotel in Chicago, IL.
Woman: I was visiting family. He was on the third floor, I was on the twelfth.
Man: I rode up nine extra floors, just to keep talking to her
Woman: (excitedly) Nine extra floors!
Woman: He was the head counsellor at the boys' camp, and I was the head counsellor at the girls' camp, and they had a social one night, and he walked across the room. I thought he was coming to talk to my friend Maxine, because people were always crossing rooms to talk to my friend Maxine. But he was coming to talk to me, and he said...
Man: I am Ben Small, of the Coney Island Smalls.
Woman: At that moment I knew. I knew the way you know about a good melon.
Asian couple (the wife never says a word, just looks at him, occasionally nodding)
Man: A man came to me and said: "I found a nice girl for you, she lives in the next village, and she is ready for marriage."
We were not supposed to meet until the wedding, but I wanted to make sure. (Mischievous smile) So I sneak into her village, hid behind a tree, watch her washing the clothes. I think if I don't like the way she looks, I don't marry her. But she looked very nice to me. So I said "OK" to the man. We get married. We've been married for fifty five years.
So what about my own?
I gave up 9/11 ruined my dream of living and working in San Diego, CA, so I came back home to end up living and working with / for my husband. I wouldn't categorize it as the greatest love story just yet though. He's been cranky and taking me for granted lately, and I am not happy about that. But hey, we have time. We've only been married 16 years. Still a long way to go compared to these couples.
The other day he said to me "you know, actually SORRY is not the hardest word."
I was surprised. It sure seems that way sometimes.
He said "Actually I was wrong can be much harder."
Well, that's true.
"I need help ain't easy either" he continued.
He sure was onto something here.
"But you know what's really, really, hard to say?"
I was shaking my head.
And this, my friends, is everything you need to know about our relationship.