Aisle 7

Today, I’m really excited to have one of my absolute favourite bloggers helping to hold down the fort while I’m away. Hannah Katy‘s blog is in a word, inspiring. In another, breathtaking. Her posts are always full of incredible thought and insight, and writing so beautiful it makes you want to compile all her posts together into a book you can keep forever. She has a passion for helping others and for making the world better, and is one of the best friends anyone could ask for.  I know you’ll enjoy her writing as much as I do, and please check out her blog – I guarantee it’ll be top of your Reader. 🙂

We were sharing awkward love stories like giddy children trading Silly Bands.

I told him about the time I fell for a boy who liked Dave Matthews Band better than breathing. I gave up sleep to study the lyrics of Mr. Matthews and memorized the backs of every one of his albums just so the boy might talk to me.

He told me about having an entire relationship – start to finish – over the internet.

“How do you feel about dating sites?” I asked. “The world’s favourite statistic these days is that 1 out of every 5 relationships begin online.”

“I don’t like them,” he replies. His words master a tone of nonchalance. “I think it takes an element away from meeting someone for the first time. There is no spontaneity to meeting someone through a dating site.”

My ears perk up. Before I ever wanted a career in New York City or a novel for the LA Times to rave over, using their biggest words and most luscious metaphors, I wanted a spontaneous love story. A “Gather round children, I want to tell you how your grandfather and I met…” kind of story.  A story that breaks boundaries and shatters sensibility.

“I know exactly what you mean!” I say. “I always think about it, like where I might meet him. I could be in aisle 7 of the grocery store and we bump into one another and we both just know!”

My hands are moving furiously. Passionately. Suddenly I am overwhelmed with this keen need to articulate how absolutely breathtaking it is to me that at any moment I could walk outside and meet someone who wants to give me forever. And then some.

“I don’t have anything against dating sites. I just think I might be too nervous to use one myself,” I tell him. My hands have settled. My speech has calmed to more fluent syllables.

Am I alone in finding it nervy to know that someone could be looking up and down a profile page? Judging. I can feel the beads of sweat already forming as I begin to wonder how this 500-word synopsis can even begin to do justice to the Aspirations that Keep Me Up at Night. The Dimples in My Smile. The Stories of Mine that Wait in the Creases of My Eyelids and the Crook of My Collarbone. I wonder how I can even begin to share online the musings of a little girl who used to connect the dots in her freckles and who fell in love for the first time with an archaic typewriter and the tap tapping that taught her heart to sing.

The path towards finding a soul mate in this busy world seems almost unbelievable sometimes.  Who would ever think that one day we could go from being single, one, uno, to the next day meeting the individual  who is about to hold in their arms a giant cluster of our childhood dreams,  pet peeves, embarrassing moments and dark secrets. And yet they still have room enough to hold us too.

I am holding out for something. For Some Random Coffee Shop. The Check Out Line of a Grocery Store. I have to believe that there is a perfect time and place that exists, and it sits and waits for him and I to arrive. He (whomever he is) and I have the same invitation to the exact same moment. We simply have not chosen to RSVP yet.

“Whenever that moment arrives, I will be ready,” I tell him.

Ready for that unexpected bump, the most intentional of unintentional stares, and the extension of my hand in exchange for a name that just might rewrite my storyline for the better.

Our conversation about “first meetings” sticks with me well into the night. As I do the dishes I am recalling the first meetings of my parents, my grandparents, my next door neighbors and my best friends. I am sorting through my collection of first meetings and arranging them alphabetically in my head as I brush my teeth. And I wonder if I am silly to want a first encounter so badly, to want a first meeting of my own to place into this delectable collection.

I climb into bed, doubts sinking deep into the pillow, and go to turn off my phone.

“1 New Inbox” the screen reads. I go to check the text message.

“Hannah, don’t give up on it. You are going to make some guy in aisle 7 of the grocery story feel very lucky one day.”

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28 comments

  1. As much as I agree that in personal meetings for a relationship are good – I should know I met my hubby through a bible camp when I was 15 and internet at home was still a luxury. While we were both at university the internet was the way we got in contact – it was cheaper than phone bills. On the other hand, I know of at least one relationship that has benefited from the internet and (thankfully) brought two people together who wouldn’t have met each other, otherwise – my friend Rubes and her fiancee B technically live either sides of the Pacific from each other but he’s moving to be with her soon 😀

    1. I have a lot of friends who have remarkable stories of meeting each other via the internet. They could not be happier, and that is was counts in my opinion. And oh the days when internet was a luxury.. Now it seems absolutely essential.. I wouldn’t mind falling in love via letter writing!

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  2. “He (whomever he is) and I have the same invitation to the exact same moment.” awww i’m all swoony before 10am 🙂 i always thought i could have some storybook love life, but i’m too shy (occasionally awkward) in person. i’m so glad i had my chance meeting on a “dating” site (i use that loosely cause okcupid is so many things). somehow we had our spark of knowing through email/chat, and i couldn’t be happier

    1. That is so good! I am very happy for you. I have made a profile for eHarmony but got so nervous that I backed out.. I think it is my own personal anxiety. But then again, I would probably run away in the grocery aisle as well ha ha, who knows.

      And I am glad I could make you “swoony,” always a good feeling to foster.

  3. I met my fiance on an Internet dating website, so I kinda take offense to the notion that meeting online is somehow unromantic or “cheating the system.” As far as finding it unnerving, I think it’s more unnerving to have to get dressed just “right” so that someone would notice me. What if my hair is a mess or I forget to put on concealer and The One takes one good look at me and runs the other direction? You think a wordless glance is any easier than coming up with a 500 word description that at least has the possibility of attracting someone who might enjoy the same things as you? Even a brief exchange at a grocery store is not going to do justice to all those things that you are afraid an Internet dating website will ruin.

    I think our love story is just as special as meeting in an aisle of a grocery store. God has someone out there for you and it doesn’t matter how YOU want to meet him. It’s not important HOW you meet, it’s THAT you meet.

    1. In no way am I trying to devalue the meeting of someone through a dating site. That was not my intention in writing the post so I apologize sincerely if it was read in that way. I was merely trying to highlight my adoration for spontaneous meetings and did so by fleshing out a conversation that I had with a close friend. I am in no way trying to be a judge of how people should meet.. I agree with you completely, it is not about how you meet but that you meet. I am sorry if this post stirred any kind of animosity, I would never intend for that.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  4. I feel like there is more to this story than is being said. Who is the guy she is talking to in the beginning? Does he have feelings for her? Or is he a brother or close friend? I really enjoyed reading this post because it read like a novel – beautifully. Although I don’t necessarily agree with her romantic viewpoint (I met my bf of 3.5 years on Match.com and we are extremely happy) I love that she is idealistic and passionate about love (too many people aren’t!)

    1. A little bit of ambiguity for the soul.. Ha, I intentionally wrote it in this manner to keep people wondering.. It is my mysterious style. And true, I am passionate about love and fate, but trust me I am not waiting around aisle 7 for my lover to come round… I just thought it was a fun and playful idea to write about.

  5. this was so well written I can see why you love her blog em. hannah this was so very well said and i loved reading every bit of it. never give up!!!

  6. I love your writing style. I don’t think there is anything “wrong” with meeting via internet. I know several people who have met and married through internet meetings but, I am with you in liking the idea of spontaneous meeting…. like “across a crowded room their eyes meet…..” That was what I titled my post on how hubby and I met “Across a Crowded Room” Doesn’t work for everybody but it worked for me!

  7. It would sure be wonderful to meet my future wife in the way that you discribed. It a makes a good movie. I have learned to accept love as it opens to me in whatever way it comes. Often times it is inconviniant to recieve it but great love only opens for a season. In whatever way it opens for me I will recieve whither it be conviniant or not.

    My love story will be unique without me trying ot make it so because love is and always will be a unique and differnt experiance for anyone who recieves it.

    1. I think that is an exceptional outlook to have… to welcome love in whatever way it unfolds. I am not trying to dictate my love story.. I am simply anticipating the meeting of my best friend =)

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  8. Hannah can you just write things like this and send them to me so I can wallpaper my house in them? Beautiful! I love that this is what you want and you’re not going to settle for anything less. Aisle 7 indeed!

    I’m all about friendship. I have to be friends with someone first. They have to know all my quirks and funny/odd things and really, truly, know me before I can be with them. I’ve known my husband since 1st grade. He’s seen me in every stage of my life and still wants to spend the rest of his with me. That’s our aisle 7.

    1. Can I just say that a) I adore that you just referred to that as your “aisle 7”. That made my night. I am going to use that phrase more often. and b) I would love to wallpaper your house with my words, that would be an honor!

  9. I love your writing so much. And I can definitely agree with most of your points. I want that crazy love story, as well. (I think I’ve talked about it enough on my blog.) I think online dating sites are great (some of them) and can lead to crazy love stories, but I don’t think they’re for me.

    1. I agree. I think there are many great matches that come out of dating sites.. And I also think it today’s day and age, dating sites are a route to go – especially for those who know what they want. We shall see what the future holds for you and I. I know you have a great one coming to ya love.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  10. Ahhh. The romantic lives on. 🙂 This post is so sweet, Hannah. And so spot on—in that, you really CAN meet someone (friend, lover, new kindred spirit) each and every time you leave your house. The world is full of amazing people, of awesome opportunity. Good for you for staying open to it all.

  11. Great post, Hannah!

    I feel the same way about the importance of The Aisle 7 Possibility. I tried an internet dating site once, and it just wasn’t a good “match” for me. =) When writing about it, I determined that “I can’t say that I hated it from the start, but it didn’t feel like the unexpected smile that comes when when someone new catches my eye.” So, yes, I know exactly what you are talking about in this post, and I totally support your non-internet dating position!

    Also, I absolutely love the concept of a time and place sitting, waiting for two people to arrive. (Great writing!)

  12. Great post! I also dream that I’m going to find my special guy when I bump into him on the street and have a moment of magic…. But I have recently made the leap into the world of online dating. And as someone who said “this won’t work for me” (and still am waiting to find out if it will, in fact, work for me) I can say that it’s given me more confidence in myself – which could maybe help me in meeting Mr. Right in a grocery store!

    ~Jess

  13. you write like a novelist!!! your words just overflow with passion and sincerity…. its really inspiring. It’s funny how I find myself losing this optimism for finding my soulmate. For the longest time, I’ve felt I’ve been a hopeless romanticist, but it seems that has all but diminished. After being single for so many years (6 now) and having repeated failed to get any relationships started, I find myself tossing hope in the garbage can and calling it naivete. …But this is great. This is the kind of thing I need to read. I’m so glad to know I was never alone. Thank you.

  14. This post made me tear up in the middle of my workday.

    I got cynical, forgot the stories of how my parents met (next door neighbours, ugh!) and the stories of my cousins and uncles and whoever else. I got cynical and sarcastic. Glib. Defensive.

    Thank you for reminding me. I’ll look out for that aisle.

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