Friday, October 5, 2012

Across a Crowded Room.

RHYS BOWEN: At the beginning of this month I went up to Ashland to the Shakespeare festival and saw a brilliant production of Romeo and Juliet. What made it so poignant was that they played the characters as if they were their true ages--14 and 16. Juliet is carrying a doll when we first see her. She giggles, blushes, acts awkward and embarrassed like a typical teenager. Romeo is equally awkward around her and then overwhelmed by passion.

In the last act everyone was crying because the innocence of their love touched us. And I began to wonder whether such love only happens in literature. In real life does one ever see someone across a crowded room, fall instantly and passionately in love and go off to live happily ever after (or die tragically?)

Only once in my whole life did I ever see someone across a crowded room like that. Our eyes locked. My heart pounded. It was at a rock concert, I went on to have a tumultuous affair with the rock star and it did not end happily ever after. Lesson learned.

So who believes in love at first sight? Can it ever work?

ROSEMARY HARRIS: My girlfriends and I used to refer to it as the "twinkle." Would you or wouldn't you (I'll let you fill in the blank...)We could tell in about 30 seconds. A good time, yes, but love, alas, is a whole other ball game.

My hubby? I fell in love with him the first time I looked into - them there eyes. So far, so good.

(Rhys....tell, tell. Was it Bryan Ferry? Still one of the sexiest men in rock and roll.)

LUCY BURDETTE: Hmmm, the psychologist in me wants to answer this one. Of course I believe in intense rushes of feelings, but are these the same as love at first sight? Me thinks not. That mostly works for movies and books...

As for my most adorable, sweet hub, it took a good six months before I realized I'd be a total fool to pass him by. He still reminds me of that:)

HALLIE EPHRON: I do think it helps to be young for it to be 'at first sight.'

I fell in love with quite a few Mr. Wrongs at first sight. Hey, I was easy. My true love and dearest husband of more than 40 years I did not get right away. He had to woo me. Didn't hurt that he's a great kisser.

I wonder what my daughter would say, though -- 16 years later she married the fellow she fellow she fell in love with at age 14. I think she knew.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Well, that's a great question. I certainly fell in love with Mr. Ryan at first sight. He did, with me, too. But so much for that. Real life was not so hot.

But then, I met Jonathan. We have not been apart since the day we met 17 years ago. No careful dating, no tentative  phone calls, no worrying or games. We met, that was it. Signed and sealed.  What was that, if not LAFS?

And yeah, Rhys! DETAILS!

JAN BROGAN - It worked for me.  I instantly fell for my husband when I saw him in my brother's apartment when I was only fifteen. I didn't see him again for three years. I heard his voice coming up the stairwell and knew exactly who he was.   Then I snagged a date with him.  That was thirty six years ago. IN all honesty, I'm still in love.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: I met my husband when I was nineteen and he was not quite sixteen. Yeeks. LAFS. We went together for a few years, in spite of the cradle-robbing issue, but he was (obviously) too young for a permanent relationship. We went our separate ways. I married someone else. Eventually, divorced. Married my LAFS childhood sweetheart in 1994. Still married:-) Oh, did I mention that we were next door neighbors? My hubby's mom still lives next door to the house I grew up in.

Rhys, do tell, please. Or at least give us a hint!

RHYS: My lips are sealed. You'll have to wait for my tell-all autobiography. But he was a lead guitarist in a Sixties beat group (but not the Beatles or Rolling Stones.) And I met my husband of 45 years at his girlfriend's party. He drove me home and that was that.But it certainly wasn't love for a while. At least not for me. It was only when I had a horrible flu and he sat on my bed and fed me scrambled egg that I knew he was a keeper. (He's never fed me scrambled eggs since, mark you).

So who is going to affirm that love at first sight really does exist?


  1. Aahh . . . eyes meet . . . hearts flutter . . . twitterpated. With luck, real love follows on those first moments. True, lasting, forever love may not be as ethereal as the “eyes meet . . . hearts flutter” of first sight because true, lasting, forever love takes work and happens over time. Twitterpated grows into love. [Around here, it’s the first marriage for both of us . . . thirty-three years and counting . . . definitely forever . . . twitterpated grows into Real Love.]

  2. Ohhh, Rhys, I can't wait for that autobiography!

    And I agree, Bryan Ferry made some very romantic music. The Avalon album gives me chills.

    Love at first sight? Yup! Happened to us. I was going out to my girlfriend's island cottage for a weekend and was met on the dock by her cousin. He says now that I had a sleeping bag under one arm and a six pack under the other and he knew I was perfect for him. LOL That evening we were planning the ideal wedding. We got married 14 months later and during the courtship we only spent one weekend apart. (He lived in Boston; I was in Maine.) We just celebrated our 38th anniversary. But I still tell him he's only my first husband!

    So it isn't just the stuff of fairy tales. :-)

  3. My grandparents had it. He was in the Air Force and was temporarily stationed in England during the Korean War. They literally saw each other across a crowded room, went on three dates when he proposed and when he got out a year later she moved to New Jersey with him. Still married to this day. I can only hope its like that for me.

  4. I think some people hit it off instantly, so if that is love at first sight, put me in the yes column.

    I am very practical on many matters, but I am of the "the heart wants what the heart wants" school of romance. Sometimes what your heart wants is the absolute wrong thing for it, but it still wants it.

    I apply this same theory to craving fried foods.

  5. Stevie Winwood?

    I think for guys it's more common to fall in lust at first sight, not love. Women generally grow on me. But as a 17-year-old working in a gas station nights, a Jaguar staggered in one rainy midnight. I ran out of my shelter into the storm. The driver rolled down the window. My heart almost stopped. I gasped. The most beautiful young woman was behind the wheel, and she needed my help, she said. I thought she must be a movie star. It took me about an hour to find her problem -- dirty distributor cap -- and fix it, all the while stumbling over my own feet, actually falling down once inside the station. I couldn't talk, except to charge her $5 for my labor. (Boy was the boss mad when he heard my tale). That year, I wrote a song about her for my garage band, and I still say the same thing: If she'd of asked, I would have gotten in that car with her and left everyone and everything I knew. Never a doubt.

  6. I'm voting for the lead singer of The Kinks!

    I do believe in love at first sight, even though I've never felt it before, not in the true sense. LUST at first sight? Now that's a different thing altogether.

    I'm with Ramona: the heart wants what the heart wants...Yesterday that included a chocolate cream tartlet. :-)

  7. We have this discussion all the time at home, because I felt love at first sight with my partner. He claims I'm full of it. I wouldn't necessarily say the first moment, but by the end of the first date, I was a goner.