Ms. Loren studies the questionnaire.
“Where would you like your meet cute to happen?”
“Oh, definitely someplace unusual.”
Ms. Loren glances at a menu of options. “Accidental crashing into each other at the coffee shop is our most popular option.”
Emmy shakes her head. “Then everyone will be bumping into each other in my favorite coffee shop. Think of the craziness. Hard to get to the counter and order a latte.”
“Well, no, because everyone will choose their favorite coffee shop.”
“True. Is that really the most popular option?”
“Apart from accidentally booking the same hotel room, there’s always taking someone’s parking space, getting in a fight, and then discovering you have to work together.”
Emmy thinks deeply. “That sounds more antagonistic than Cupid’s arrow waiting to strike.”
“We can come back to the meet cute later. What attracts the two of you at your first meeting?”
Ms. Loren shows her a menu of options.
Sense of humor. Rescuing a dog. Being quirky. Saving the heroine from humiliation. Being smart. Being good with kids. Being really, really into Christmas or Halloween or fall or spring. Having a cool job. Being the only two people who don’t fit in at a big party. Being magical. Living in a mysterious mansion and seemingly aloof until the right woman comes along—
“Excuse me, Ms. Loren.” Emmy points to the menu. “But this one could also be the setting for a Gothic horror! Which I did not order.”
“Noted,” Ms. Loren says with a wry look.
“Okay. I guess I like the idea of someone rescuing a dog.”
Ms. Loren grins. “Next, obstacles. What are the obstacles to your happiness? Ex-boyfriend? Current boyfriend? Ex-girlfriend? Current girlfriend? Your parents? His parents? Small town girl dislikes big city? Small town boy doesn’t understand big city girl? Rival families? Competitors at work? Distance? She’s driven to go save the world? He’s a reclusive actor who thinks she’s just after him for the fame?”
“Oh. Well…there are so many other options.”
“These are mostly clean cut and G/PG. If you want other options, those are on our secret menu.”
Emma thought deeply. “How about small-town girl disliking the big city?”
Ms. Loren looks intrigued. “Hmmm. For some reason people love the reverse option, but this will make your rom-com unique. Now, something crazy that happens to make things spiral out of control.”
“A freak storm or snowstorm that forces you and the hero into extended togetherness. Someone quits the town’s biggest event and only the two of you can save it. One of you makes a wish. The local eccentric befriends you. Long-lost relatives contact either one of you out of the blue. You have an embarrassing moment on prom night that you can’t forget twenty years later. You’re handcuffed together and you haven’t been arrested.”
Emma’s eyes widen. “Did you mention magic? Alternate dimensions?”
“Covered under making a wish.”
“What is your biggest flaw—the lesson you need to learn? Do you need to trust more? Take more risks? Let go of the past? Stop dating bad boys? Balance your life and work? Stop judging others harshly?”
“Oh, stop judging others. Easily.”
“Now, you have the perfect rom-com job as a florist, so we need to find something unique for the hero…”
* * * * *
Emma’s mind conjures all of this up while she gets ready for work. She can just see her creation, Ms. Loren, a Mediterranean motherly matchmaking type who reminded her of her own Aunt Loreena.
As she leaves her condo in a small town (naturally), she heads toward the small but thriving flower shop that she owns called Emma’s Eden. The blue-and-white awning flutters in the breeze and a pickup truck pulls up to the curb with pots of flowers.
She unloads the flowers from the truck. A small dog bolts past her, and she almost drops the flowers.
A gorgeous hunk chases after the dog. He has the same facial features and killer smile as Glenn, the man she is currently dating in the real world. Except he frowns when he sees her. “Watch out! My dog could have been wearing a flowerpot!”
She shakes her head at the corny dialogue. “Your dog should be on a leash! Ah, I hope the doggie is okay. I love dogs.” Which is the truth. “Totally love dogs.”
She puts down the flowers and races after the dog, coaxing the canine. “Here, boy…or girl…which is it?”
“It’s a girl and her name is Daisy,” he says.
Emma smiles, genuinely. “Here, Daisy!”
The dog spins around, jumps on her, and licks all over her face. But the man looks stiff and stern. Probably a stuffy bore.
“Daisy is a city dog,” he says. “She likes all this wide open space out here in the country. Just don’t let her jump on everyone. People don’t like that.”
“Out here in the country, we do,” Emma corrects.
She notices her best friend Grace, who runs the accounting firm across the street, watching them both with interest. Emma turns and smiles at the stranger. “I’m Emma…owner of Emma’s Eden.” She offers him a bouquet of flowers. “And you are?”
“Dustin. Of Dustin’s Dynamic Marketing.”
“Now where have I heard that before?”
He shrugs. “Well, I imagine you hear about everything that’s sprouting in this town.”
Cheesy but adorable dialogue. This is perfect rom-com territory. “I’ll leaf that one alone. Get it?”
* * * * *
Emma’s romance proceeds after the meet cute. She judges Dustin, the city slicker, as stuck up and arrogant. Until a freak snowstorm destroys all the flowers in town and threatens to ruin the Flower Festival. Emma and Dustin must locate more flowers and Emma has to save the day with her flowers but also bring the town together. Dustin shows her all the beautiful flowers in the city and her parents, who retired from the flower business, tell her that she doesn’t have to limit her happiness to this one small town. There are more opportunities in the city.
Emma and Dustin—or Glenn—decide to divide their time between the city and the small town. Emma opens a string of flower shops, and of course, loves Daisy. And despite not figuring out her meet cute, she loves her leading man.
You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.
Fun story. All the meet cutes are what keeps romance novels and Hallmark movies so popular. :)