Sad News for Boring Romantics

Posted on January 18, 2013


A couple who met on Facebook after realizing they shared the same name, Kelly Hildebrandt, have decided to divorce after three years of marriage, as reported by news organizations all over the world. Discouraged couples everywhere are asking themselves the same question: If a couple who based their marriage on having the same name can’t make it, what hope do we have?

This is a depressing end to a romantic tale that had captivated boring people everywhere. And if you think ‘captivated’ is too strong a word, let me mention I entered the name ‘Kelly Hildebrandt’ into Google News and 6,320 articles came up. If romance is dead, I blame the Kelly Hildebrandts for thinking their story was romantic.

The break-up is terrible news for couples that liked having a low benchmark for romantic stories. If Yahoo News says a couple having the same name is a good story, maybe us meeting in the line at Starbucks is a good story.

“Do you like coffee?”

“I love coffee.”

“Me, too. We have so much in common.”

“I’ve been looking for someone who loved coffee my whole life.”

Does this mean our marriage isn’t as stable as we thought? asked the couple who fell in love when they realized they both had brown hair.

Is this the end? asked the couple who fell in love at a restaurant when they noticed they both liked to use silverware when eating.

Will our love endure? wondered the couple who fell in love over a mutual interest in really wanting to fall in love.

My wife and I aren’t very romantic (read my post Unromantic Gestures). We don’t like sentimental songs or poetry. The closest I came to ever writing her a poem was combining a bunch of Larry King non-sequiturs from his old My Two Cents USA Today column into a card (read one of my very first posts Larry King Septuagenarian Hipster Genius).

And it doesn’t bother us that we don’t have a big romantic story of how we met. My wife and I met on a blind date. Nothing exciting. We had fun, shared a few laughs, and decided to go out again, mostly because she ended the date by asking to borrow money and I worried if I didn’t ask for a second date she’d never repay.

We don’t care that we don’t have a story as romantic as the Kelly Hildebrandts because this gives us an opportunity to make one up. When someone asks how we met, we both rush to start the fake story first and the second person has to add the next line.

“We met on a bus.”

“I was sitting behind her and asked for the time.”

“Because he was holding a box of ferrets on his lap and he figured they only had enough air to last an hour.”

“And it turns out we were both headed to the county fair.”

“Paul as a contestant in animal wrangling.”

“And she was the mistress of a carnival barker and had decided to confront his wife during the animal wrangling ribbon ceremony.”

This is usually as far as we get before the listener leaves. We’ve made up a hundred stories over the years in our efforts to create a romantic story. Little did I know we could have simply said, “We’re the Kelly Hildebrandts.”

Posted in: Columns