The Best Stories of How To Meet Your Partner
If you’re reading this it means you have an internet presence that has led you to me, which means you’re probably single, like me. There’s no shame in it, I’m honoured that you choose to spend your evening reading my borderline domestic terrorist thoughts rather than spending it going out and meeting eligible singles in your area. But if you’re not single and you’re reading this, I’d imagine you have quite a boring story about how you met your significant other, something like “We met on a dating app” or “They were a friend of a friend”, right now I can already sense you opening up another tab to message me and tell me how you actually have an interesting story so I’ll stop you right there- I don’t care, it doesn’t suit the narrative. The raw facts, or so I choose to believe, are that true love only barely exists and that the dating pool is so saturated that you are at the exact level that your partner has deemed you not too good for them to feel insecure, but not so bad that they would look for something better. This has gotten off to an unintentionally morbid start so to completely 180: True love is out there! There can still be fantastical ways to meet the one for you, and while everyone else is swiping on their Tinders and their TikToks, what I’m giving you here is the opportunity to go out and make magic happen in a litany of poetic, beautiful ways. Alternatively, some of these are good ideas for lies if you’re embarrassed about how you actually met. Either way, it’ll be a great story to tell the grandchildren if your boy/girl parts aren’t sterile from all the laserbeams coming from your phone.
The inspiration from this list came from a vague memory I have of a podcast story set in prime Americana, that I will do my best to faithfully recreate or embellish for you here, should the need arise. Imagine, if you will, that you are a garden variety American, your name is Harold, or maybe Kumar, and you’re craving that burgery goodness of a tray full of White Castle sliders. It’s late at night and the only White Castle for miles is across the highway from where you stand. You steel yourself for a bout of real life Crossy Road, tuck one leg up inside your anus to emulate the default chicken character and hop across 12(!) lanes of highway traffic. A few close calls but when you reach the other side without having become the victim of a clichéd chicken and road punchline or stuck in the infinite loop of that game, you see the fast food fort in all its glory, like a medieval Vegas in its ostentatious simplicity. Emblazoned directly above your head, is the neon sign “Drive-thru only”. Unlucky. Being dirt poor white trash means you obviously don’t have a car or else you wouldn’t have risked becoming mangled roadkill trying to get there in the first place. There is nothing else for it, whether it was hunger or destiny’s lure, you realise there’s only one option. You’re gonna have to flag down a car on the highway by pretending to be a non-threatening hitchhiker. After a few minutes of convincing yourself you need that foul-tasting food, you put on your best “I don’t usually do this” expression and get your thumb pointing directly at the White Castle behind you. You specifically try to make eye-contact with each driver but every one of them speeds up as they approach you, you mentally note that now, more than ever, would be a good time to commit suicide by jumping into traffic, but not this time, you’re persevering. Ignoring the look of terror in many driver’s faces, you keep attempting to angle a pitiful mope in their direction. Perhaps they don’t realise the charming nature of your predicament? Just when you’re about to give up, you see a beaten up Nissan Micra start to slow down, fast food packaging lines the dashboard and inside is a young woman with her hair tied up. A brave girl to stop for someone with your combo of shaved head and goatee, this one’s a real adventurer, just like you. It sputters to a stop and you hop in the back seat, moving aside the handheld vacuum in the footwell.
“Can you just take me through the drive-thru please? I’ve got the famous munchies” you declare.
With a twinkle in her eye that you hope isn’t indicative of a blood alcohol above 0.08, your future wife looks at you. “Only if you promise not to murder me” and the rest is up to you.
But maybe you’re not into fast food, and you don’t want a weed-smoking, burger-eating hippy wife, you’re more traditional than that. I know we have a lot of incels reading this tonight, gimme a cheer if you’re an incel! (Incels in the readership cheer.) Maybe you’re an incel who thinks these burnout girls doing through the drive-thru should convert into the more homely, quaint housewife type. So in the spirit of that, for the next story of meeting a wife (Sorry ladies, men only for this one), I would like to cast your mind to a cartoonishly pleasant suburban street, kids are running past the well-kept lawns and white picket fences using sticks to roll hoops along the road. You stroll by in your three-piece suit and smile at the children. You’re not a paedophile, you just enjoy the sight of children having a good time and there’s nothing wrong with that. Your mind begins to drift to the thought of when you will have children, not that you care for them really, or intend to look after them at all. It’s just what one does when one is a traditional man living in the good ol’ days of the 1950s. You’ve got your big suburban house, your three-piece suit that you wear to your big Patrick Bateman-style job in finance. You just need the wife and children to go with it, but unfortunately all modern women are just bitches and feminists and wouldn’t recognise that you’re a nice guy if you said it loudly to them each time they rejected you. You turn the corner into the cul-de-sac where your idyllic house lives and it comes into sight like a big imperial ship sailing toward you from the horizon to rescue the weary castaway. As you mind turns to other things and you start to make a mental list of which are your favourite colonial era ship designs, you are disturbed by a certain smell. It’s not a bad smell, and yet it pervades your senses, after just a few seconds you can think of nothing else and look at where it has come from. It’s directly to your right, a picture perfect scene, better than even you could have designed: A pie is cooling slowly on the windowsill, now that you see the source of the smell, you notice something unusual about the steam coming from it, it appears to be forming a shape… almost human… yes, that’s definitely a hand and what’s that it’s doing? It’s beckoning you to come towards it, begging for you to go and enjoy that irresistible pie. But alas, it’s not your pie and you are no thief, as compelling as the steam is, it’s not enough to turn you to a life of crime. Just when you are about to turn around, you feel your feet beginning to get lighter, the steam is lifting you towards the pie, unable to resist anymore, your nose leads you ahead as you fall under the apple pie’s smell. Just before you arrive at the pie, she appears. The perfect blonde woman in a dress and a red apron, you begin to stutter an apology but she interrupts.
“Hello sweetie, would you like a slice of pie? I have no husband or children so I’m afraid it will all go to waste unless you can help me out.” You nod vigorously, you’re not used to a proper woman and can’t believe your luck. “Let me just go get a plate then and I’ll cut you a slice, I’m sure it’s cool enough by now”. The second she turns around, the smell hits you again, there is nothing you can do about it, you have to have the whole pie right now. You pick up the hot dish and dig straight into the middle like a pig in a trough. The woman in the dress turns around aghast. You put it down and with pie around your mouth you try to explain yourself but, quick as a flash, she grabs the rolling pin, runs over to your window and hits you swiftly over the head, knocking you out cold.
You awake in a cold sweat, Mountain Dew cans all around, it was just another Dew-induced fever dream. Of course it was too goof to be true, all women are actually bitches and feminists who refuse to bake for you, but there’s always hope for the incel, if not you can just make up a story to your Vietnamese grandchildren when you eventually give up and move to Vietnam thinking it’s the place where anime comes from.
If neither of these float your boat, you consider yourself quite alternative to the two options presented so far, let me try one final swing of the bat. This final story of the dream way to meet someone is for those of us who believe that a mutual love of fast food isn’t enough to bond a couple, nor is a subservient wife who only exists in your home and ceases to be as soon as you are not around. In that case, the truly greatest place to meet a lover is in the most classic of ways, a freak accident. Now imagine you’re at a construction site.
Inner city. Lunchtime. As you walk along through the feet of the towers above, listening to your favourite Elton John song, humming along and kicking a can down the road, you never expect that your life is about to change forever. So caught up, as you often are in the hustle and bustle of city life, you fail to notice that your usual lunchtime walk route now takes you through the new construction site for the renovation of the public library. A vanity project for sure, but one the mayor knows will win the hearts of voters. Work began on the project so quickly when the mayor realised that he was behind in the polls that you had no idea it would come around so soon and so you find yourself, before you know it, deep into the middle of road of scaffolding and safety signs. A sign advising the wearing of safety helmets catches your eye and you immediately realise your mistake. You go to turn around but a steamroller has come in behind you and your only option is to go through. Suddenly you see a frazzled woman about your age a few feet ahead of you who seems to have just made the same mistake. What are the odds, huh? Two goofy idiots at the same time, seems like fate.
“This is unfortunate haha” she jokes as her emerald eyes meet yours.
“Well, I suppose the only way out is ahead now.” you reply. The woman falls into stride with you and begins chatting, her coffee cup and formal suit tell you that this is a woman who has her life together, just like where you want to be. Suddenly you notice the woman looking up, paralysed in fear.
“Watch out!!!” you hear a deep voice from above as a cinder block dropped on the scaffolding bounces off a higher level and is now destined for the ground, or so you think. In a split second you realise: The block is about to hit her! You have no time to think, you step over and push her out of the way but before you can get yourself safe, it comes crashing down onto your head instead and everything goes to black…
You wake up days later in the hospital in a weary state, the doctor tells you that you were close to death’s door but the quick thinking and determination of someone has brought you back to the brink.
“They’ve waited for three days for you to wake up, they haven’t slept or left the hospital for anything.” Your heart jumps as the door opens and in comes Terry, the builder that dropped the cinder block on your head. Or as you know him now, all these years later: Your husband. And you couldn’t be happier that you weren’t wearing a helmet.
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