Most of us only get one chance at falling in love. Of course there are those who have extenuating circumstances and will fall in love more than once, or some who might never get to find it. And then there are those of us who just can’t get enough…
My own romance is why I read and write romance. See, I’m what people might term as “different”. I like less-than-perfect characters and watching them find true love, because, that’s how it worked for me. I’m not perfect, neither is my husband, and parts of our love story is one that qualifies as truth is stranger than fiction. However, from my true story, I was able to come up with plot ideas for the fiction I write about how my characters fell in love–look for the book title in italics that goes with each idea.
A few years ago there was a popular county song titled, “Living Our Love Song” by Jason Michael Carroll about a backwoods boy and a fairytale princess falling in love. This song describes my husband and I to a T. One of use grew up drinking from a garden hose and the other ate dinner on antique Spode dishes each night. Two very different worlds.
When we first met, we were finishing up our senior year of high school and I was dating someone else and he was “dating the backboard”. That’s Tennis Speak for he spent all his time practicing tennis. Me, having a moment of rare bravery, blurted out that I fancied him quite a bit–after knowing each other just a few short weeks. And by knowing him, I mean we SAT in the same room for an hour each day, but on different sides. However, it was those 15 second intervals where I’d talk to him as I positioned myself next to him to leave the room, then walk down the hall and to the staircase, that I just KNEW he was the one for me. (To Win His Wayward Wife)
After my ill thought out declaration, the infuriating man went from the sweet person I was first attracted to the equivalent of a hormonal pregnant lady. Sometimes he was really sweet, other times he was a pain in the you-know-what. One day I confronted him. His answer? “I’m conducting an experiment.” (Her Sudden Groom) Apparently, if he thought he was unfriendly, I’d like him more??? I guess this does go to support the Bad Boy theme we all love so much. But it doesn’t work for me. However, his admission, and infuriating reasoning got my ire up in a bad, bad way and I may or may not have done a few things to him just to pay him back… (Liberty for Paul)
Needless to say, he was not my date to prom. However, when the summer started, we started talking over the phone (just as friends) and when I moved to the college, it was then that I knew I had him snagged! Of course, I had to spend a few afternoons doing *cough, cough* mutual interests *cough, cough* like learning to fly fish (Her Reluctant Groom) and paddling a leaky boat around all over the pond to find prime fishing spots, or teaching the other a skill or two they probably could have lived the rest of my life without knowing. (Her Imperfect Groom)
But I was just priming him for his quick and everlasting demise (Intentions of the Earl—except I DID want my plan to result in marriage!). And then it happened…
I finally had landed the catch of my lifetime–and only six short months after graduating high school! Go me. So we decided to do something to be sneaky, only it backfired on us! (Her Secondhand Groom) See, we thought to avoid the stress of a big wedding and elope! Brilliant, right? Yeah, well, instead of crossing state lines and getting hitched like normal young lovers who just can’t wait, we thought it’d be good enough to go to a neighboring town and do the deed. But because we weren’t out of state, we had to wait seven days from the date we applied for the marriage license to use it… So here presented a little problem. We wanted to be all sneaky about it, but… Unbeknownst to us at eighteen and nineteen, they run these applications as announcements in a newspaper that has a circulation of more than five hundred thousand people, including my soon-to-be father-in-law’s friend who called to say, “I hear your son is getting married!”. Yep, four days before we eloped, the elopement was out of the bag and nobody was happy.
As strong willed as we both were, we weren’t going to let the constant calls and endless messages keep us from getting married! While applying for the marriage license we were told that instead of scheduling with the JOP, to go across the street, there’s a man who does small ceremonies and elopements all the time. Of course we scheduled that appointment immediately and when the day arrived, we went to our classes (the week before finals, no less) then I put my hair in hot rollers and donned the dress I’d worn to the winter dance the year before–except when I’d worn it before, it’d been at night and I didn’t notice it needed a slip that I now lacked… My (now) husband put on the suit he’d been swindled into buying a few days before and borrowed a pair of unwashed socks and shoes that were two sizes too big. Then we bribed one of my roommates, who I’d nicknamed The Clogger, to act as a witness and drove around downtown looking for this hole-in-the-wall place for what felt like an eternity with my hair still up in rollers and tears stinging my eyes. Not because I was sooo happy I was getting married, but that I was late to my own wedding! When we found it, the guy was quick to inform us that he also does couples counseling–should we ever require such a thing, then explained to me the aisle was to the right and the parking lot was to the left, make my choice carefully.
After a brief ceremony in which my husband made an extended trip to La La Land and required some assistance in the form of calling his name (loudly) a few times and almost being smacked with my flowers to return long enough to say, “I will.”, it was done.
The only problem then was, I’d been in such a hurry to snag him we’d really just been friends before we’d gotten married and had to come to really fall in love afterwards. (His Contract Bride)
Oh, and something else that *might* one day be a problem–we have yet to know for sure–when I took the marriage license down to have it recorded, the clerk seemed to find the “minister” who’d married us to be unfamiliar. But that’s not to say he wasn’t licensed to perform weddings just because she hadn’t heard of him before–even though he’d sworn up and down he performed weddings all the time.
So what took me a thousand words to say that could have been summed up in a sentence or two is: I love reading and writing romances because it reminds me of my own love story. Whether the book is mine or someone else’s, I always find something that reminds me of my own romance and it feels like I’m falling in love all over again (and believe me some days, this really, really helps when I feel the urge to brain the infuriating man I married).
There you have it, wild courtships and bizarre weddings you only read about in romance novels between people from two entirely different worlds DO still happen and almost eight years later, we’re still proving them all wrong and Living Our Love Song.
If you’re still awake and didn’t fall into a coma reading through all that babbling, please tell me if you’ve ever read a book that mimicked your own love story –or is one you’d like your story to be (or if yours, too, is stranger than fiction) in comments section, with your email address, for a chance to win a $50 to Amazon or B&N from me and for an entry into the grand prize. Afterwards, be sure that click here to go hop again.