Drawing of a bouquet of rosesMy husband and I have a thing we do whenever we see people falling in love on TV. When we see stories of love at first sight, or whirlwind romances, or meet-cutes, we roll our eyes and say, “That’s not realistic. People don’t just fall in love like that.” It’s fairy tale love – doesn’t it deserve to be mocked?

Now, I’m no expert on the romcom. I don’t spend any time on the Hallmark Channel and I skip all the Christmas specials, but I know the stereotypical mad-libs plot lines from the jokes online. Type A woman working for a bank/law firm/ad agency/Puppy Kicking Corp returns home to her small town for the holidays to save the farm/store/community center/Puppy Hug Factory. There she meets the handsome carpenter/farmer/shopkeep/Professional Puppy Hugger. Meet-cute turns to romance. Romance is blocked. Obstacles are overcome. Couple saves the day and is united in time for Christmas tree lighting/first snow/New Year’s kiss/Puppy Hugging Festival. Ugh, right? 

Being a fan of more intense action dramas, science fiction, and fantasy, I am more likely to see a story where the extraordinary couple meets in horrible circumstances, is torn away from each other, and used as a plot device to inflict pain on one another, and one is potentially killed off  – you know, for depth and all. Perhaps they are united in the end, but their happiness will not last for a sequel. Speculative fiction is rarely kind to lovers. This love is INTENSE and DRAMATIC and doomed. 

Comedy, in simplest terms, is a movement from order to chaos to better order. Almost every comedy (excluding satire and dark comedy) is a love story or includes a romantic side plot. When tragedy includes a love story – well, you know how that ends. In the average drama? There will be pain. Which of these is considered deep, and which is the pumpkin spice latte of viewing (or is it the peppermint mocha)? Are happy endings shallow? Perhaps. The Hallmark version certainly is. Yet, in this case of tragedy and drama,  I pity the person for whom art reflects life. 

Comedies are the guide for life. In the real world, 99.99999 percent of us are more ordinary than extraordinary. We have some order in our lives, shit happens to disrupt our peace and happiness, and if we have the skills and fortune, we turn that chaos into a new and better order. Comedy is a healthy life  So why do we celebrate the tragedy and throw the meet cute into the bin marked “Basic Bitch”? 

Ten years ago, on May the 4th, I met my husband in a meet-cute. I was set up on a blind date without being told I was going on a blind date. When I showed up for a group hike, I realized that my friend had arranged it as a double date. My husband and I were introduced to each other as fellow geeks who spoke Klingon. “I only know one word of Klingon,” I explained, and in unison, we both said, “K’plah!” We hiked, we talked, we went on a real date, we texted, after three months we went house hunting, and after six months we were married. Neither of us was the type-A city dweller, neither of us was the small-town cutie trying to save Christmas. We didn’t overcome extraordinary obstacles, we didn’t save each other from bad guys, we didn’t watch each other get tortured.

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