Saturday, January 31, 2015

Of Love and Romance: Special Guest Nichole Parks

So, my friend Melissa Tagg hosted Nichole Parks on her blog a few weeks ago and I knew, immediately, that I wanted to feature Nichole in a new series I am launching for Valentine's Day. note: my youtube embedding is not working on the blog today, but Rookie Blue is the most Torontonian thing EVER so make sure you click and check it out.  Points to Nichole for featuring Canadiana from my city!   This is the first in a fun series running over the next month about anything to do with love and romance

 Meet Me There 
Nichole Parks
Short bio: Nichole Parks majors in dark humor and dark chocolate at Taylor University. She makes her headquarters at Zondervan Library where she works remotely as Associate Editor of Splickety Love, blogs at, and perfects her application for The Bachelor.

I’d superglue my seatbelt. First night of The Bachelor, if I was one of twenty-five women slipping out of a limo to meet the man of our dreams, I’d superglue my seatbelt. It’s not the worst idea.
Bach would stride to my limo. I’d grunt all cute like (Can you grunt cutely?). He’d duck inside and reach across to jerk me free. Maybe he’d grunt all gorilla like then and flash me a reassuring smile. Maybe our noses would brush. Maybe just maybe he wouldn’t forget me. Not on account of my cliché green eyes either but as the “Buckled Babe.” While most contestants only clock fifteen seconds of awkward, with my first impression I’d gain more time, more genuine contact, and make him come to me.

Meet cutes—they matter. The part of the story where boy meets girl. From the day you pair up with your honey, the inevitable question how’d you two kids meet? will follow. Meet cutes are the first impressions—if not introductions. They set the stage. They are the “once upon a time” to your story.
            If you are Mom or Granny or not a hopeless romantic, you may believe a meet cute—cute or not—makes no difference. The man—he’s the most important part. Because, who cares about the how as long as you have the who?
            I get that. I do.
            Men are rather important.
            They just aren’t everything. On average, men live shorter lifespans than women. It’s a statistic thing, which is math and sad. This means one day I will be in a nursing home. Alone.
            Dear person reading, when I am in a nursing home alone at the knitting circle, I’d prefer to tell my love story, my meet cute, as it happened. But between you and me, if it’s lame, I’m going to make up a better one. I am going to make up a better one even if my family calls it dementia.
            Now, a friend railed on me about caring more about the how-do-you-do than the happily-ever-after. The Right Guy will make you forget all about that “crap,” she said. This made me feel like a heartless human being and in turn, question my aspirations to be a romance author all together. After all, how cute is a real life meet cute if the story doesn’t matter? Why bother writing romance if it’s all “crap?” 
            Naturally, I turned to my favorite TV couple for answers. (Because Hollywood is known for its oh-so-infinite wisdom.)
Rookie Andy McNally met an undercover Sam Swarek when she accidently arrested him. That was their meet cute. Adorbs. But my favorite scene takes place years later. Sam’s been shot, and Andy rides with him in the ambulance.
            She tells him a story of them being normal. At the end of the scene she says, “Ilove you. You are my story, Sam. You.”    
            Andy never once mentions how they met, which forced me to exert more brain power.
            Here’s what I came up with. Meet cutes matter because for some reasons firsts are unforgettable. Ask anyone of The Bachelor contestants. Remembering twenty-five names in one night is unrealistic. The second they step out of the limo, game on. They’ve got to put their gimmick into play and win the first impression rose.
            However, just because meet cutes are first doesn’t mean they’re best. Like Andy and Sam, the small middle moments will be the meat of a love story.

            How important do you think love story starts are? Do you have a meet cute story to share? I’d love to hear it.
And if you’re pumped to read meet cute stories, join the scene at Katie Ganshert’s real-liferomance page  It’s so fun!


Kara Isaac said...

I hate to brag (but I'm going to) but I have a super awesome meet cute story :)

In early 2008, I started writing a new manuscript. My heroine, Paige, meets her hero, Josh (who's a worship pastor from Sydney, Australia), at an airport.

I was in a big dating drought at the time and this hero I was writing was incredible. I remember saying (more than once). "Seriously, God, where is my Josh?"

Five months later, I met a worship pastor from Sydney, Australia, in an airport. His name was Josh. Sixteen months later I married him :)

Nichole Parks said...

That is scary cool, Kara. Excuse me while I go write my ultimate meet cute and cross my fingers. :)

Rissi said...

Gotta' love those meet-cutes! In some sense, they can determine the quality of the story that's to come. :)

Nichole Parks said...

Rissi, yes, yes, yes! And the best meet cutes come back to play a part in the happily ever after.