A Romantic Situation

Justin H. Lo


Kara stood in the middle of the romance and romantic comedy DVD aisle, one hand on her hip, an apathetic expression on her face as she glanced through the titles.  A few looked moderately interesting, most were neutral, and a few really made her cringe.


She groaned and a salesperson nearby rushed over, asking her what was the matter.


“You want to know what the matter is?!” she cried.


The salesperson nodded sheepishly.


“Do you realize how many times I’ve seen some form of this wretched catch phrase: ‘An unlikely couple,’ or some permutation like ‘love can happen in the most unexpected of places’ or ‘she was looking for a job.  Instead, she found the man of her dreams.’  It just goes on and on!  It’s pathetic!  Just look at these – a poor boy and a rich princess; the goody-goody girl and the cookie-cutter bad boy.  In prison!  During class!  On the day of an exam!  Just how long will it take for them to realize that they’re just choosing a new place and applying the same old formula again and again?”


“Haha,” laughed the clerk, who verified Kara’s findings with a quick inventory of the shelf.  “You’re telling me?  I reshelve these all the time.  My theory is that if there is a strange circumstance, or a situation where people are not traditionally supposed to fall in love – which admittedly is anywhere but a party or a performance – and you get a guy and girl, they just *have* to be paired up.  No ifs, ands, or buts.”


“It’s as if there’s no one else for them, and finding that one thing in common is their only criterion for love,” agreed Kara.  “As if anyone would fall in love just because they see a member of the opposite gender playing an electric guitar or reading a book or something.”


They proceeded to tally just how many romance movies hinged on an unusual setting with the “most unexpected” pairing of guy and girl.


“Haven’t you ever wanted to set it straight?” asked Kara.


“Actually,” began the salesperson, stopping short of finishing his sentence.




He continued, after some hesitation, “W-well, actually, I’m not much of a filmmaker, but I’ve begun a story.  I really want to show that you don’t have to have some ridiculous setup or, on the converse, one of those “everyday coincidences,” to get the spark for love.”


“May I see the draft sometime?” asked Kara.


“Well, it’s handwritten, but maybe we can meet at the café next door someday?”


Kara laughed, “Sure, it’s a date.”