Behind the story: “First Dates”

“First Dates” is the first of three short stories in my just-released collection A Little Bit of Love. I wrote the first draft of this story in a writing class in Lincoln City, Oregon.

I’m not anti-romance, but I don’t write romances – or at least I didn’t think I did. The class assignment was to write a story for a pretend anthology called First Dates. I took that literally…and voilà! My very first romance!

This story is a “meet cute,” which Wikipedia defines as “a situation in film, television, etc. in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing.” I had never heard of the term, but apparently a lot of the movies I’ve watched over the years fall into this category.

One of the events in this short story actually happened to me many years ago when I was single. The rental house I was living in had many quirks, many of which will undoubtedly pop up in other stories. One of them was that the washing machine wasn’t balanced, and no matter what I did it insisted on moving across the kitchen when it hit the spin cycle. Meaning moving like a foot or two. I was unable to figure out how to fix it (this is one of the reasons I’m married…now I can just point and say “it’s broken!!!”), so I would sit on top of the machine to keep it in one place. One day a guy I’d gone on one date with called me at home while I was doing laundry, and when the washing machine started to wander across the room I jumped on it like I normally did. This guy actually asked me the question that Barry asks Julie in “First Dates.” Needless to say, we did not have a second date…

Here’s this post’s token dog photo: Jasper on Mt. Sanitas last week!

2013-11-14 Jasper

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