This Week's Topic: Love Freebie
Often one of the most memorable parts of a love story is how the couple first meets. I'm not just talking about the meet cutes we see in romantic comedies either (although those are fun), but the more fraught situations and even common ones where two people find themselves connecting for the first time. Here are some of my favorites.
Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane
Poor Peter. He's usually so put together and fully capable. Harriet really knocks him for a loop. It doesn't help that he first lays eyes on her when she's being tried for murder, and she first lays eyes on him when he visits her in jail to offer his investigative prowess to get her off. He proposes in the first minute and a half of their acquaintance. He's way off his game, but the banter is delightful.
Babara Grahame and Peaceable Sherwood
This first meeting also involves a rather precipitous marriage proposal. Also espionage, sleuthing, banter over a dinner table, Christmas, and some light poisoning. Not necessarily in that order.
Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe
The gif speaks for itself
Francesca Spinelli and Will Trombal
These two technically have a passing acquaintance with each other due to some bakery rivalry their grandmothers have over a supposedly stolen S biscuit recipe, but Will seems genuinely oblivious to that. Their first meeting occurs in front of the whole student body when he calls her out in front of everyone for talking. She gets him back shortly after when they have their first face to face conversation in a teacher's office. She shows him whats what, and it is a beautiful moment. Because Will is clearly: a) usually the smartest person in the room and b) not used to dealing with being told he's wrong and c) never had anyone point out to him that he is and d) finding it kind of hot that this girl had the nerve.
Matt Rosier and Layla Dubois
Her car breaks down. She goes to his house, which is the only place around for miles. He is having a birthday party and celebrating in the best of French ways. Lots of wine. Drunk Matt is hilarious. He automatically assumes she's his birthday present and starts dragging her around and introducing her as his girlfriend. It takes a while before one of his relatives (who have also been celebrating with wine) figures out she doesn't know him. Or any of them. It's one of the funniest opening scenes of a book. I can't do it justice here so clearly you need to discover it for yourself.
Tristan Rosier and Malorie Monsard
(Come to think of it, all the Rosier cousins have rather extraordinary first meetings with their significant others. Huh.) Tristan and Malorie meet in Kindergarten. He is a bundle of energy. She has to sit next to him because she is the closest thing to a calming influence. He likes to throw crayons around to brighten up her world and generally keep things exciting. Awwwww. When they reconnect as adults things are not so fluffy (still awesome), but the picture of tiny Tristan giving crayon gifts and proposing to tiny Malorie gets my heart.
Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel
This couple's first meeting is so epic, it's referred to in the very title of the book AND on the cover art. Both Dimple and Rishi grew up in traditional Indian homes. Dimple's mother is obsessed with her finding the Ideal Indian Husband. The Shahs and the Patels have been exchanging letters. Rishi is totally on board and can't wait to meet his future wife. Dimple is so not anywhere near the ship that her parents don't bother to mention they've set up a meeting with the boy they hope she'll marry. What happens next can partly be blamed on Dimple's parents for their secretiveness. Rishi also bears some burden of blame due to behaving like a complete dork. Needless to say he ends up covered in her iced coffee.
Sandra Foster and Bennet O'Reilly
There are no explosions or confrontations or earth shattering moments when these two meet. They meet as so many couples do: at work. They meet for the first time thanks to a mis-delivered package Sandra has to take down to his department. While this might not seem very memorable in comparison to the others on the list, it's one of those moments heavy with importance. Their second meeting is truly amazing though as they sit and snark corporate policy at a mandatory touchy feely meeting they're forced to go to.
Minerva Dobbs and Calvin Morissey
The first meeting between these two is a perfect example of dramatic irony and it plays out beautifully on the page. As the reader you know Min and you know Cal. You have her history and you know what he's been up to that night. But the things they don't know about each other cause for a frustrating, confusing, and all around weird encounter leading to an evening for the both of them. She thinks he bet someone he could get her into bed. He didn't. But he DID accept the bet that he could get her to leave the building with him. He doesn't know she's just been dumped by the guy who tried to make that bet with him. So they don't get off to the best start, but it is hilarious to experience as a reader because their banter is just so good and yet neither is completely understanding the other.
Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy
This list wouldn't be complete without them. An introvert, who is totally over this party is uber-extrovert of a best friend dragged him to, insults a girl unknowingly close enough to hear. She holds onto her grudge over that like a toddler grasping a toy someone told her to share. It's always delightful to re read for me. Or rewatch. Whichever.
Are there any first meetings that stand out to you? What are your favorites?