Is it Love Actually

(Written: New York, 33rd St – Picture: New York, 5th Ave)

While I drink my Milky Way tea in the Starbucks right beside the Empire State Building (and let’s be honest there are worse places to drink your tea – behind your computer screen at work just to name one) I read (or rather greedily indulge) my new book:

Writing the Romantic Comedy.

Sold out in Waterstones London, but Barnes & Noble in New York luckily had it. And even if you have no intention of becoming a screen writer, if you love romantic comedies this book is like chocolate cake with cream and a little red cherry on top.

While reading – a girl sits down at a table next to me.

She has an Apple iMac laptop with her, and tries to connect it to the wireless internet connection in the cafe. She is American. It’s not crazy busy in the Starbucks, but most tables are taken, and 2 minutes later a guy with a cup of coffee in his hand is searching for a place to sit.
“Oh you can sit over here” she kindly says to him.
He does just that. He turns out to be from Finland, he plays in a rockband, has just played a gig in New York and is now enjoying his day off in the city. (As you have figured by now – I was more observing than reading)
The girl (smartly!) asks him if he has any idea of how to connect to the internet with her Mac.
He tries his best, but can’t really help her.

To keep a long story short, they talk and talk and 10 minutes after their initial meeting they have exchanged phone numbers, they know each others grandfathers names (no they don’t I made that up), and agreed on a date later that evening.

Now, I have 3 questions for you on which I really would like to have your answer:

  1. Hello. How the heck did they do that this quickly?
  2. Do you believe in love at first sight?
    I also ask this because the teacher I had for the rom-com course a while ago did. She had experienced sitting in her car meeting the eyes of a man – lightning stroke down and they got together. Of course they got divorced years after, but hey.

    I personally don’t really believe that you can fall in love with just one look in someone’s eyes, but maybe you have experienced it? (this is all research you see)

  3. And last but not least, an important one: Do you think I should buy an Apple iMac? (Update as people don’t seem to get the intention of this question – to improve my chances of dating! Not because I need a new computer or anything!)

For the fans of Richard Curtis (if you don’t like his writing, like him for this): here is a piece of his brilliant script for that brilliant film. The art of dating.

After deciding if he was going to see her with or without tie (classic scene, and – of course with) Lawrence steps into the Italian restaurant to meet Gina.

Anyway, it’s very good to see you and…
(sits down – opening the menu)

My father, in fact, came from Italy originally.

– Really?
– Yes.

I mean, you wouldn’t have known it if you met him.
He wasn’t dark or anything.

But he was born in the north of Italy somewhere…
and then the family moved on here
when his father died.

What age?

He was .

He ended up living with a very strange aunt called Zeppa…
in Dollis Hill.

Until he met my mom,
whose name was, of course, Myrtle.

– Myrtle?
– Yes.

And her father’s name was Horace.
Christ, they were an unlucky generation.

I can’t believe
I’ve already told you my grandfather’s name.

I’m not going to say a single word
for the rest of the meal.

From now on it’s you, you, you.

No, I’m the one who took the trouble to scrub up nicely.
You look just as bad as last time.
You have to do most of the talking.

Yes, I don’t really scrub up
no matter how hard I try.

The more I scrub,
the more you see the horror beneath.

From: The Girl In The Cafe – written by: Richard Curtis

13 thoughts to “Is it Love Actually”

  1. Hmmm. I dunno. People do dating in New York, whereas in London I think it’s more customary just to get drunk and shag. Still, good on them both for staying friendly in a big city.

    Still, if neither of them can manage to connect a Mac to a wifi network, I fear for them in the real world. Macs virtually invented wifi.

    Definitely get an iMac, they’re superb machines. Let me know if you need any advice.

  2. Let me just say – that I don’t want the iMac for the sake of the machine, but for it’s obvious dating potential!

  3. Lovely to read all the latest news (I miraculously managed a few days away from the computer, but was very curious as to how it had gone), it all sounds great – well, not the part of it being difficult to get back to a regular day-to-day life after such an exciting journey, but I suppose it’s only natural.

    As to your research questions:
    1) 10 minutes seems a bit of a record to me, but make that one hour and yes, I can testify to it – I married the guy, eventually ;)

    2) Absolutely. I’m living proof of it. It hits you like lightning and there’s no escape.

    3) It depends on what you use the computer for most. In my job, the software isn’t generally Mac-compatible, but I hear once you convert to a Mac you never want a PC again…

  4. 1) Was that someone you had never met before? As the girl and guy in the Starbucks hadn’t met until I saw them meet.

    3) That’s my point exactly :)

    2) Well I guess there must be something about it then. I always thought it sounded over romanticized and unrealistic and unbelievable.

  5. 1) Yes, first time we met and by chance, just like those two you mention :)

    2) Me too, until it actually happened…

    3) Where’s the nearest Mac-store?? ;)

  6. Ingrid, Don’t you see? Get yourself an iMac and you can have a date with Paul! :)
    That’s my advice anyway: Ask a boy for help with an electronic device and you might find the love of your life. (Years ago, a colleague of mine volunteered to help me fix my TV antenna. Not the ‘coup de foudre’ your rom-com teacher experienced, however, we’re not divorced either.)
    Hey, it’s great you’re back safe & sound from your fascinating journey! Looking forward to the things you’re going to share with us!

  7. iMac, TV antenna, scribble scribble I am making a list now :)

    Paul – I didn’t know the Brits where that direct! Come on get drunk and shag – that’s not very romantic is it?
    And I am going to have a problem here, as I normally don’t drink and therefore seldom get drunk. From drinks that is, I can get drunk from other things though.

    Oh and all those comments are really very useful, so keep them coming.

    @Zazz – well I hope I can live up to your expectations concerning journey scribblings!

  8. well Ingrid, in my opinion I dont think it was the imac that clinched it….the guy was a rockstar and I have encountered a few females that seem to be easily up for a date as soon as they find out I’m a ‘musician’…but then I do own an Apple G5 which must ooze way more pheromones than a lowly imac…hmmm…what do you think..? Its quite a debate…in fact I think I may start up a similar debate on my blog Making Music in London at

  9. 10 minutes sounds quick, but i do believe in love at first sight.
    Like in one of my favourite songs: I knew i loved you.

    “I knew i loved you before I met you
    I think I dreamed you into life
    I knew I loved you before i met you
    I have been waiting all my life”

  10. I’ve fallen in love at first sight on several occasions but sadly the other party has never noticed or reciprocated!! I regularly fell for men on the Tube when I worked in Fulham well over 30 years ago and would be haeartbroken when they got off at Putney!LOL

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