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Friday, January 27, 2012

What Do They See in Each Other?

We all know one of those couples who prove "opposites attract." He’s an accountant, down-to-earth, says what he thinks, doesn’t care a whit if his opinion’s unpopular. She’s insecure, eager to be accepted socially, invited to parties, frets constantly about conversational nuances and their social pecking-order consequences.

I shake my head when I spend time with these two. Why on earth are they married? For 40 years no less.

I could give more examples—couples who seem an abysmal mismatch. Consider Jack Sprat (probably skinny) and his (presumably rotund) wife. Yet as the nursery rhyme tells us these idiosyncrasies result in a perfect pairing:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
And so betwixt the two of them
They licked the platter clean.

When I met my husband, he shared a rambling old house with four young bachelors. A friend engaged to one of the housemates kept trying to play matchmaker. She eliminated my future husband from the pool of three, insisting we wouldn’t get along. After being introduced at a party by another acquaintance, we laughed and talked the rest of the night. We had a chemistry my friend never predicted. The result: a thirty-six year marriage.

Bottom line? I’ve quit asking what makes people fall in love, become a couple, and, perhaps, most importantly, stay a couple. We see their public faces, but not the private ones. We’re not privy to shared laughter, the values that bind, intimate thoughts, whispered conversations or physical attraction.

I guess that’s why we’ve chosen Cupid to represent Valentine’s Day. Since attraction and love are such a mystery, it’s easy to blame love on an arrow that may not have flown as straight as Cupid intended.

So here’s a toast to all those linkages that baffle outsiders and amuse lovers. After all, these love stories provide the fodder for some of the best romance novels!

What “novel” lovers would you nominate as the most unlikely to wind up together, yet end the book in a happy-ever-after romance?

12 comments:

Robin Weaver said...

Hi Linda,
You always have the most interesting posts.
Thanks for sharing.

Donnell said...

Oh, gosh, Linda, at the risk of blatant self promotion, I'll mention my protagonists in THE PAST CAME HUNTING. Melanie Norris is reunited with the cop who arrested her 15 years earlier. Three were times I stopped writing the book because *I* couldn't figure out how they would ever end up together :) www.donnellannbell.com


Happy Almost Valentine's Day!

Linda Lovely said...

Donnell, Having read (and loved) The Past Came Hunting, I agree that Melanie and her cop are right up there among lovers that seem unlikely but end up being just right. So glad you kept writing!

Sarah Raplee said...

What a great question!

Hmmmm...the first novel couple that comes to my mind is Davy and Tilda from FAKING IT by Jennifer Cruisie. he's a consummate risk taker and con man, while she is terrified of taking any more risks.

Enjoyed your post! I've read and loved DEAR KILLER, but I'll have to add THE PAST CAME HUNTING to my to-be-read list. Do you know the author's last name?

Linda Lovely said...

Sarah--Always happy to supply the name of an author I enjoy. It's Donnell Bell. And I agree, Jennifer Cruisie does a great job of pairing up "odd" couples. Faking It was great fun.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I do like Jennifer Cruisie myself!
Love her sense of humor. I love unusual pairings of h/h in romance novels. I also love your cover art, Linda!

Best,

Jacqueline Seewald
TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS (book with unusual hero and heroine)

Pauline B Jones said...

Wise words! On paper people probably wouldn't put my husband and I together, but we've managed 36 years, too. Sometimes it is the differences that make life interesting and our core values are very much a share.

In books, I think it is too fun trying to bring couples together. My characters often have ideas of their own that surprise and delight me.

Ah, love!

Linda Lovely said...

Thanks for stopping in, Jacqueline. Your TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS also more than qualifies for the seemingly mismatched category. A great Regency option.

Judith Ashley said...

Great question, Linda. My mind is blank - although I do remember Davy and Tildy from Faking It. I think Stephanie Plum and Joe Morelli - both with intermitent commitment phobia and some other issues (she can't remain a bounty hunter and be married to him for example. As long as those issues remain as barriers between them, they'll have a romanctic relationship but it won't go any further. Yes, I know Ranger is in the picture but if, for some reason, Stephanie and Ranger end up in HEA, that will really blow my mind.

Linda Lovely said...

Judith, you're right about Stephanie and Ranger. The sexual attraction is obvious but I couldn't bet on them as a couple for more than a month.

Angela M. said...

How about Lothaire and Ellie? Sweet but tough country bumpkin meets uber-ancient, uber-rich murderous evil vampire. Talk about unlikely couple!

bj said...

My immediate reaction to your question is Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff from Emily Bronte's Wurthering Heights. But, then, that relationship was doomed from the start. If you mean one that actually works, I would like to nominate Marley Clark and Braden Mann from your very own Dear Killer. My reason for not wanting to introduce them to eachother--the age difference. But then I've been wrong before--lots of times.