Ah. Sigh. Swoon.
I just read a lovely young adult novel about young adult love and I am still sighing and swooning and sorta wishing I were a young adult again and on the verge of falling in love. Every once in a while—when you’re slogging your way through adult life, preoccupied by adult details like paying bills and planning meals (rice tonight with the chicken, honey? Or should we do potatoes?) and staying on top of what your own young adults are up to (please for the love of God, dear son, finish the online class you signed up for and promised to complete last summer because it’s an Ohio graduation requirement and you won’t get your diploma unless you freaking do it) and debating with yourself about whether or not the bathroom cleaning can be put off for yet another day—you read a lovely young adult novel that vaults you back into the past. It is a past when your biggest worry was what to wear to tonight’s party. Or whether you should go to the library to read that 19th century British lit novel or take it outside on the lush lawn in front of your dorm while frat boys fling Frisbees over your head.
Since I was the girl who usually chose the lush lawn and the Frisbee flinging frat boys, I totally get the fun angsty love plot lines that weave through many young adult novels. Aside: I read somewhere that all of YA literature written for girls can be summed up as following: My life sucks. I meet a boy.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith does follow that premise, I suppose, but oh, it does it so well. Boiled down to its essence it is simply: girl meets boy on a plane. In this case seventeen-year-old Hadley is heading to London to be a bridesmaid in her father’s wedding. Since she’s still ticked off about her parents’ divorce and hasn’t even met the bride, soon-to-be-stepmother yet, she’s not itching to go and is almost relieved when she misses her flight and has to catch the next one. It doesn’t help that she’s got claustrophobia and dreads the thought of being stuck on an airplane for seven hours. Enter: Oliver, a cute Yalie heading home to England for a dreaded visit of his own. The two strike up a conversation and over the next few hours find themselves happily distracted by each other’s company. There’s clever banter and adorable flirting but there’s also more serious stuff dealing with flawed families, fears, grief, and ultimately forgiveness.
Loved loved this book. Loved Hadley and Oliver. And loved seeing how fate brings them together again and again. It’s something you kinda forget about when you’ve been an adult for a while and consumed with bills and side dishes and toilet cleaning, but once upon a time, you did believe in love at first sight. You did. Because it happened to you.
Here's how: you and a free spirited sorority sister embraced the Wrestlemania theme of a frat party and dressed up as lady wrestlers even though you felt like total fools walking around half dressed in something you wouldn’t be caught dead in normally. So this guy dressed as a wrestler asked you to dance and you did and he was kinda nice, but whatever, and then he excused himself for a minute and gave you his beer to hold and while you were waiting, another guy, who was also dressed as a wrestler, asked you to dance and when you told him you were with someone, he flirted adorably with you and ended up drinking the first guy’s beer and towing you out to the dance floor where you danced with each other the rest of the night, wrestler capes flying. So that guy, guy number two, who truth be told, looked pretty darn cute wearing a cape, ended up being your husband. (Guy number one took the loss of his dance partner in stride and seemed more ticked off about losing his beer. He ended up being the best man at your wedding.)
Ah. Sigh. Swoon.
I must share this blog with guy number two, my husband of almost 22 years. But first, I’ve got to make a decision regarding the side dish for the chicken.
After careful thought I have decided to go with couscous.
(sadly, no photo of hubby and me exists, but here's a pic.
of the two wrestler girls at the beginning of the fateful night.
I'm the one on the right.
Sorry, JB. Please don't kill me!)