My Apologies to Steve Carell… I’m a Cliche’ too

Hi. My name is Lauren and I’m a real, honest to gosh, chick flick cliché.

I came to this conclusion last night while watching “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” The movie, starring Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling, was much better than the anticipated formula chick flick. I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it, but there’s a great twist in the third act that I didn’t see coming. Carell was (as always) silly and loveable. Gosling was charming and under all the façade sweet. Emma Stone was adorable. Annaleigh from America’s Next Top model was surprisingly great as the baby sitter.

It wasn’t until the end of the movie that I had my revelation. Carell’s character gives this big monologue about how he found his soul mate at the age of 15. I quite literally said out loud, “Steve, you’re such a cliché! Who in the world actually meets their soul mate when they’re a sophomore in high school?”

***FLASHBACK TO FEBRUARY 2001***

I was a shy, goofy 15 year-old who was excited to be in the “elite” UHS Jazz Band for the second half of the year. Once you were a sophomore, you can opt to take only 1 semester of gym, and then the second semester of the year could be an arts class. I auditioned and got into the jazz band (only one of a few younger students that year!) Since I was friends with some of the older students because of marching band, I knew or hung out with just about everyone… except “Hot Piano Guy.” That was my name for him when I giggled about him with my high school BF Cassidy.

For the first few weeks I didn’t know his name, I just knew that he was a senior, pretty popular within the “major” cliques in his grade, played piano like a demon… and was tragically cute and would probably never speak to me.

“Hot Piano Guy” however did finally approached me one day after jazz band (the last period of the day) and asked to borrow a pencil. I’m pretty confident in the memory of almost dropping all of my books on the floor and frantically looking for one… in shock that he was talking to me. I ran to tell Cassidy immediately (who I’m also pretty sure was already over hearing about the guy and how wonderful he was even though we had never spoken until that moment).

The next day, he came to my locker to return the pencil… and asked me to go with him to Valentine’s Day Dance.  I couldn’t believe it. Nick Seiler… this cute, confident, smart SENIOR guy was asking little, geeky, just got my braces off and expander out sophomore to the dance. I can only guess that I stuttered out a yes. **Looking back… Nick, way to go with that “game” LOL**

I remember wearing a long black skirt and what would probably be considered now-a-days as a white long sleeve ruffled pirate top and “heels” that I could barely walk in (I had to appear a little older, right?). He brought purple tulips to the door and we were off in his 4-runner to Pugglioni’s… listening to Miles Davis’s “Kind of Blue” album.

I can’t remember a specific single thing we talked about during dinner. I just remember staring at him thinking that he had made a mistake. This guy could have asked ANYONE… and he chose me. HE was sitting there talking about movies, music, classmates and Lord knows what else with ME. This just made me even more self-conscience about being there in the first place. It’s a shock I didn’t just self-implode at that table.

We dated for a while and went our separate ways shortly thereafter. We reconnected during my undergrad at WVU and… there’s this great quote from “High Fidelity” that goes;

“…It’s a mystery of human chemistry and I don’t understand it, some people, as far as their senses are concerned, just feel like home.”

That’s us. We’ve both gone through a lot since our first date almost 11 years ago. We’ve dated different people, grown up a lot, found better understandings of ourselves and finally were truly able to come together… blah blah blah … but it’s true.

***FLASH FORWARD***

15 year-old Lauren would be like totally psyched that 26 year-old Lauren in 2 short months will have been married to “Hot Piano Guy” for 2 years.  That we have a beautiful home that we strive to make better each day.  That we can make each other laugh at the drop of a hat and go on adventures together.  That Nick is my very best friend.

I’m the girl from “She’s All That.” I’m the girl from “Grease”. I’m freaking Steve Carell. I’m one of those cliché girls they make those “we met in high school” love stories for… because it happened to me.  It may not be the story for Gennifer Goodwin and John Stamos to reinact… probably not even dramatic enough for Tori Spelling and that guy who left Leann Rhimes for Lifetime Television.  But it did happen.

So, I’m sorry for the harsh comments last night, Steve Carell.  I met my soul mate when I was 15 too.

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