I got married when I was 38. Before finding my wife, there was a lot of pressure to get married from friends, family members, and colleagues. Inevitably they’d say something like, “You might be able to find a girl at the supermarket or laundromat. You just have to keep your eyes open.”
I did. And going to the supermarket for 15 years as a single guy, I might have had a conversation once or twice with an eligible woman. So the book How to Meet a Guy in the Supermarket by Jessica L. Degarm grabbed my attention. Was there something I was doing wrong all those years?
Maybe, but maybe not. The book Sex in America lists the five most common ways people meet their spouses. The survey was done on people who were married for twenty or more years so internet dating sites wouldn’t make the list, yet. Here is the top five: School, work, introduced by a friend, church, and proximity (in other words, someone who is a neighbor you might see walking the dog, getting the mail, or in the supermarket). My wife and I are both teachers. We met at work through friends, so does that mean we met at school or at work or introduced? Either way, we met one of the most common ways. Obviously there can be some overlap.
Next on the list and in a distant sixth place was meeting someone in a bar. Meeting someone in a supermarket made the list but it was under one percent of couples but it was ahead of the laundromat, which also made the list. The author lumped them all together and called the category “meeting someone cold” – in other words, striking up a conversation with a stranger. Combined, it accounted for less than five percent of marriages lasting twenty years or only one marriage in twenty.
I wonder how many married people reading this met their spouse cold or are most of you like me - part of teh 95% that met their spouse the typical way? Or through match.com or some other internet dating site?
So why is there this big myth about meeting someone cold? It’s romantic and the thing you’d expect from a movie. Or maybe most people who met that way never get married or end up divorced before twenty years of marriage. So when I picked up How to Meet a Guy in the Supermarket, I wanted to know if it revealed this secret.
What I got was a delightful read. Quinn, the narrator, is able to laugh at herself as she comes up with one idea after another, most failing in bizarre ways. She has a personality that sets the tone and makes the book charming to read even though at times I wanted to scream at her. In a way, it reminds me Goldie Locks in the Three Bears, but you have to read it to see why I say that.
Let me get this straight, this is chick-lit romantic comedy. It is fun. Imagine yourself watching a movie like “The Proposal.” It has funny scenes that make you laugh. This book works in the same way. And I could picture it as a Hollywood movie. As long as you know what you’re getting into, this book is pure pleasure.
And what’s the key to a romance? Keep the two lovers separated. Create a lovers triangle or two. When the right guy comes along, the reader knows who it is, but Quinn doesn’t. And as long as they are apart, the book remains interesting. The story doesn’t disappoint and it stays interesting to the end.