Support for this American. Life comes from ZipRecruiter, some job boards, overwhelm you with tons of the wrong resumes. But ZipRecruiter finds the right people for you. And actively invites them to apply. Try it for free at ZipRecruiter dot com slash American. Ziprecruiter, the smartest way to hire. Tis Merican life from WBZ Chicago. I'm Eric glass and here at a radio show we were talking about romantic comedies now. They don't get a lot of respect. I think maybe because the bad ones every part of them just feels too obvious, you know, couple meets, but they hate each other at first they go through some things that make them, you know, weren't some important lesson about themselves. You know from the very beginning of the gonna end up together. And then no surprise, they do what has not done. Well, it's all too obvious and tired, and you can feel the gears working in the thing. One of the producers on our show, Neil. He wholeheartedly really loves romantic comedies has favorite cities watched over and over dozens of times he wants collaborated with producer of sleepless in Seattle on a rom com. Scrip the never got made. He's all kinds of thoughts about them. And he realized this thing about rom coms, and what's so satisfying about the good ones. They really think is true. I used to say that it was just watching just like close ups of two beautiful people being. Funny and clever and witty to each other. Yeah. Being there sort of vessels or sometimes west were selves, but then eventually their best selves, and that was kind of enough for me. You know, what happens to people shut everybody out quit, peaceful light. Now, they fester let's make Ryan and Kevin Kline with the fake Frenchaccent in the movie, French kiss. By investing inside, fester, and rot. I've seen it happen. You'll become one of those Hunchback lonely old men sitting in the corner of a crowded cafe mumbling to yourself twitchy. You people make to h. If there's a simple thing that resonates for me. It's that in the best of these movies. You get to see two people get along in a way that is freight. This is like nice to see that part of people. Yeah. And and I think it's also I think if you're projecting it all it's the idea that you can like be that connected to someone receive someone that well when you see it like, oh, yeah. That would be nice. That's why like the ones where people spend a lot of time together that's key for Neo and ios personal ranking of these films, which has the two thousand nine film, the ugly truth at the very very bottom. The three round comes at the very top like the tussled hair above Hugh, grant's head are French kiss two weeks notice which is real estate rom com. And it's very favorite thoughts people's favourite when Harry met Sally, and they're all at the top of the list for this very reason because of how much time the couple spends together talking. Take when Harry met Sally. The thing that I like about it is that at least you get a vision of what their relationship actually is. Because they spend twelve years together before they finally get together. So you get to see real fights. You get to see there really should grow. You get to see their personalities clash, and so they actually have a chance to fall in love by talking to each other as opposed to in romantic comedies now or like with is the montage and music playing. And then you just supposed to come out of that thinking, they're in love they actually spend time with each other. Like, there's a sequence of scenes in when Harry met Sally where they're just getting along. And there's talking on the phone. Well. Leave me. No, I was watching Casablanca channel eleven. Thank you got it. Are you telling me you would be happy with victim is low then with Humphrey Bogart? Did I say that when we drove to New York? I never said that I would never have said that. All right, fine. How did you away? Even sleeping why? 'cause I haven't been sleeping. I think if I was dating someone who hated when when Harry met Sally, I don't know that I could date them. I don't know that I could like if you're not interested in like the relationship between Harry and Sally, I don't really understand what kind. Wow. You're a bad person. It just means. I don't think I understand you. Okay. Romantic comedies are contrived. The people are way more clever and better than real life. The stories are full of things that would be ridiculous names. Maybe even on the stock side, they haven't any of us. But this totally artificial forum when it works reminds you of what it feels like to be in love. And if somebody who wants to listen to what you say. And who says things that you want to us to. And so today, we devoting our whole show to rom coms today's episode, by the way is rerun and each of our acts today, we found a story that reminds us of some aspect of a movie rom com, and yes, we did go on a search for stories of people running sprinting down the street in real life in an urgent rush to tell someone that they love them. Stay with us. Neat cute. The first thing around come needs is a couple of meat in an appealing way, the meet cute the mikita supposed to make you feel like no matter. What happens these two people should be together? There are so many ways to do this in the wedding planner. Matthew, mcconaughey? Hey saves. Jennifer Lopez from a runaway dumpster that is rolling down the street in Pretty Woman. Richard Gere gets Austin, very fancy car and Julia Roberts gives them directions bringing a baby Katherine Hepburn picks up. Cary grant's golf ball on a golf course. Reality bites. Winona Ryder throws her cigarette into Ben Stiller's car and kneels favourite when Harry met Sally. The thing about when Harmon Sally's has an extended cue, which I like, they take a road trip from Chicago to New York. And so they're kind of meeting for several hours and from the very beginning. It's contentious because Harry has all these theories about relationships that she finds like crazy off pudding. What I'm saying is and this is not a come on anyway shape before. Is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way. That's not true. I have a number of men friends, and there is no sex involved. Yes. I do. Yes. I do think you do you're saying I'm having sex with these men with that my knowledge what I'm saying is they all want to have sex with you. They do not to they do not do too. I think it's the chemistry. Like, it sets up that there's something about them that you wanna root for macoutes do happen in real life. But for this first story in stay show. We have a piece of fiction story where the meek you plays an important role in the story as a turning point for one of the characters the story by Simon rich, the actor Daniel Radcliffe ready for us. I don't understand professor zoned Kaplan said while his girlfriend's sobbed into a pillow. I thought you liked to I do she said, it's just you get them from the every year is starting to get a little impersonal. I mean this time you didn't even include a card Zonda. Winston a reasoning was sound. I apologize. He said I obviously made never in judgment. He tried to take a hand. But he pulled it out of reach. Do you? Remember what I did for your birthday? She said I knew Bunsen buddy wanted I met you a pair of wool socks. So your feet wouldn't get cold in the lab. You never make that kind of for me. All you do is think about yourself. That's incorrect onto said what about MLA diem? It took me nine months to synthesize that element. And I named it off to you. You were going to synthesize that element. Anyway, Emily said you needed it for you secret project Silva all thing in your lab. And the lady wasn't about me. It was about you. I mean for God's sake. You wouldn't even tell me what it does. Zoned aside is that anything I can do to make it up to you. Emily blinked back some taes. I don't know. I mean, it's not like you can just go back in time and get me a different present. Zoned is expression. Brightened wait there. He said I'll be right back. Zonda? Hurry down the whole crept into his laboratory and locked the door behind him his time machine was right where he left it. He climbed inside the silver orb and flicked on the palace, which his plan was simple travel back in time to this morning, finding you gift for Emily and bring it to the present. But there were a couple of risks. That was a chance for example that using the machine would cause the universe to explode. He'd never tested the thing out before there was also no guarantee that he'd be able to find a good present. He only had enough Emily idiom to fuel five minutes of time travel that didn't give him a lot of wiggle room. Wherever he went. He would have to shop efficiently. Zonda was usually a pretty good problem solve up. He had for example, invented a time machine. But quantum physics and nuclear hydraulics trivial compared to the rigors of gift shopping. He massaged his temples trying to remember if Emily had dropped any hints lately he vaguely recalled her staring at a vase in Creighton barrel. Without place was full of vases. There was no way he'd be able to pick out the right one. He was trying to remember the name of a favorite perfume when thought entered his head. Maybe he was thinking too small his machine could transport him to any time in place in human history. Why go back a few hours when he could go back a few centuries. He knew Emily loved. Shakespeare, she Dritan. How senior thesis on one of his tragedies why not travel back to the globe theatre and swipe an original script. It wouldn't be too difficult. He reasoned bullied have to do was dash backstage and grab one. It would be the most impressive gift she'd ever received in her life. Which tragedy? Emily written a thesis about he knew it was one of the king ones, Richard something Charles something. But there are a bunch of those what if he got it wrong. It was too risky. It was always jewelry. He knew the General Construction dates for king Tut's tomb. He could park in front of the pyramid run inside. And snatch a Jade stone. He ended the coordinates. I'm was about to push the lever when he started to second guess himself again. Buying women. Jewelry was always Chauncey Emily had very specific tastes. And what if she didn't like Jade, it wasn't like he'd be able to go back and return it? He thought back to the night they met he was finishing his PHD at the time and his lab and closed early because of Easter he'd stopped his papers into his briefcase in shuffled through the rain to the hundred and sixteenth street station. It was four zero five AM on the platform was deserted. Except for Emily. It had been several days since on does loss compensation with a human. And when she started to speak to him he felt the stirrings of a panic attack. But Emily's friendly smile managed somehow to put him at ease. She was awfully cheerful. Given her circumstances. A metro card it expired. She said and the machines were broken she been stranded for over twenty minutes. Would he be willing to sell her a ride? Sandra noted and watched as she rooted around in her hus- some cash to pay him back. It was a moment or two before it occurred to him that she had given him the chance to be gallant. You don't have to reimburse me he said, I'll swipe you in for free. She thanked him enthusiastically, and then shockingly wrapped her arms around his torso Zonda wasn't used to physical contact. And although the hug was brief. A course his entire body to Tingo from head to toe. It was a startling sensation. Like walking through an electrically charge failed. He still felt that way whenever she touched him. It's on. There was an and believed fiercely in random cozy. But by the end of their sheds subway ride. He was sure he'd experienced miracle. This wonderful person had shown up out of nowhere and given him a chance at love. And in return, he given her three years of misery. He thought about all of his Saturday nights at the lab. Ignoring her Kohl's making excuses. He thought about the way she cried when he handed to the tulips. How could he make up for threes of romantic ineptitude with a single birthday present? He closes is and concentrated. The had to be a right answer. Klay Patras crown. Joan of arc sold. A baby dinosaur. What was the greatest thing? He could give the very best present in the world. It was the hardest problem he'd ever attempted to solve. But then as always the solution caned him. On the his time machine by the hundred sixteenth street station and dashed into the subway. It was three forty five AM little over three years in the post. Emily was standing by the turnstile swiping and Reese, wiping her expired metro card. He took a deep breath and approach. Let me guess he said expired metro code she chuckled. Had you know. I had a hunch come on also three SI K. She said I'll just go to the machine upstairs. The machines are all broken. He said. You better catch this one. He said the next one won't come for another twenty minutes before she could protest. He took out his metro card and swipe to through the turnstile to smile back at him with confusion on you coming. She asked as the train pulled into the station. Zoolander voted his is he worried that if he looked at her he would start to cry. I need to take a different trying. He said, well, at least let me pay you for that. That's all right. He said his voice breaking to present. He was about to turn away when she leaned over the Tunstall and hugged him. Who's exactly as he remembered it long Brown hair brushing softly against his neck is entire body tingling with wolves. Thanks. She said. He tried to say you welcome. But the words in his throat. He waved goodbye. People the train. Then he marched out of the station alone. Radcliffe reading the short story the present by Simon rich from richest book glass girlfriend on earth also star Simon riches new TV show miracle workers the series premiere February twelfth. Now, you we got. To the obstacle. The main body of most romantic comedies is there's something there's something or a group of things keeping them apart is always obstacles that are keeping the the these two people who are faded to be together apart. The obstacles can be big little Tom Hanks's over his dead. Ex wife in sleepless in Seattle in Notting hill guy, falls of somebody who's famous for him and Bridget Jones. He's going after the wrong guy, which of course is pride to prejudice. And I don't know so many films. It's one of the most common, and when Harry met Sally, they each you're involved with other people for out of the film, but the real obstacle is that the friends which this as a special meaning because if you remember when Harry met Sally on that car ride originally, he told her that he didn't think that men women could ever just be friends. So this is new for him but Christmas scene in the film with sidekick character best friend by Bruno Kirby where they talk about those relationships. What do you enjoy being with before? Attractive? I sleeping with them. Afraid to let yourself happy. Why can't you give me credit for this? This is a big thing for me and never had a relationship with the woman that didn't involve sex, Philip growing. We went out looking for a real life. Couple facing some obstacle that kept them being together. And that's not actually very hard to find. But one of our producers own Baker heard about a couple where the obstacle confronted them. Once the relationship got going was pretty unusual. It was a couple of one of her friends was in years ago quick warning. Everybody's listening to this podcast version of our show. There's some words that we have and this and other stories in the program, if you don't wanna hear that maybe listening with kids, you can get a beep version at our website this American life dot org. Here's my friend. Michelle Bhutto is one of the most Daesh is ballsy people. I know and she brings us attitude into all aspects of her life, including relationships. This is a story about her and her boyfriend it starts in the nineties when she was eighteen going to college living in Miami. And as college students, do she adopted a new cool persona herself. When that wore dark lipstick cargo pan and danced in reggae clubs every weekend. I loved dancing like I want to be a fly girl on in living color. I definitely would have been like snoop Dogg's like video had the chance. And yeah, I was out one night at a teeny Bopper club. And that's where I saw him. I remember there the smoke machine was working. It felt like we were at a bar mitzvah somewhere in jersey. And literally when the smoke cleared, I'm like who is that Tallboy with the khakis on and the big old chain in the. A curly hair. How do I talk to him and of just sort of like inched my way over to him on the dance floor. I remember like doing this move where we're like we both sort of like roll in teach with his body. And I can you like get a whiff of his Jakarta Warren associate. And like, my heart was beating so facet could hear it. And I'm like, oh my God. This is what love is. I feel like a Puerto Rican. Molly ringwald. Like any good I encounter there were magical coincidences we were walking out to the parking lot. And we realized we both at the same car Mazda protege's both lease by our moms. Was that a moment where you're like, this is fate. I mean, not only did I go to this club. Oh, definitely. I'm like what like out of all the cars in the world at of all the dance clubs you and me he was eighteen to, but he seemed to really up he worked at best buy selling TV's, and he was also a drug dealer, and in my mind, I was like oh my God. He's so cool. He so good at math like he counts. So quickly. In case you're thinking drug dealer red flag. He was barely a drug dealer. He dealt. We'd nearly every woman I know has dated a week dealer. They quickly got serious, and he was Michelle's first big relationship. He was funny smart. They had good banter. And he was this incredibly accepting person made her feel comfortable confident about her body and about sex, which she'd never really felt before she imagined a real future with him. The plan was I mean, looking back on it seems so basic, but just to be with each other to have fun to have kids and to go out to dinner after moving on a Friday night. You know, all garden. Cheesecake factory just kind of exists in a really cute apartment with beige carpet in white blinds. Yeah. The American dream fast forward three years into the relationship. Their lives are totally entwined. Their families are close they've AK Shen together. It was that point of no return place in a relationship where just like here it is. This is it. But there was this one thing that seems sort of off a lack of photographic evidence. No pictures of himself as a kid specifically. No school pictures. No, prom picture, even his mom didn't have any shots of him. It was just weird. And then one night I had a dream that he called me up. He told me that he never graduated high school own. I called him the next day. And it was like a head is crazy dream. He just started crying. I could just hear him gently sobbing and he's like. Not only did I not graduate high school. I don't even know how to read. I'm just like how like I thought. I knew you like what? Like haven't we read something together their entire relationship flash? Before her eyes one moment after another, suddenly, it all made sense. And I was going back. You know, I realize like oh my God. This is why we go to the same restaurant. We would go to the same restaurant, and he'd order the same thing because he couldn't read the menu, and we like to go to restaurants that head pitchers of the food. You know, I would write him poems and stuff, and he's like read them to me, you know, it's better when I hear it from you never want to go through his mail. I had to help them when you stop and think about it. The fact that he'd been able to navigate the world convincingly and keep this from Michelle for over three years. It was an incredible feat. He must have been covering this up constantly when he told me why he didn't know how to read a just made my heart break, even more. I mean, his dad. Dad died when he was young. And so his mom had to work three jobs, and he was depressant as dropped out of the fifth grade, and nobody ever noticed his mom didn't want to deal with it. And you know, a much judging 'cause must've been so hard for her. The only thing that kept going to my mind. I remember was I wanna save you. I wanna help you. I wanna make this better. You know, we're going to get back on track to what we planned. She was not going to allow this obstacle to push them apart. She jumped into action this was before you could Google everything. So Michelle went to the library and did research on adult literacy, she broke it down into manageable steps and wrote out a time for him my game plan for him. It was I had a list of places he could go to to go to night school a therapist. He could talk to easy adult reading books. Tips and tricks. There was like a whole sort of care package of lake had just take it on. And he was like really overwhelmed by it. I know like, okay. This is a really big deal. I get it Michelle's dyslexic and her boyfriend didn't have a learning disability. But still she empathize with how hard it can be to read. And at first Michelle's boyfriend was totally on board with the plan. But after a year of Michelle offering him solutions, he still hadn't taken any action. It just seemed like he didn't want to he got around the world just fine without reading she started realizing wait his literacy was away bigger problem for her than it was for him. And it really started pushing them apart I stopped being his girlfriend is sort of became his coach or his or his mom, and it wasn't fun for either one of us. I tried every tactic. I was patient. I was nice. I was stern. And then I Blake kind of backed off. I'm like whatever he needs to do on his own time. It started to bleed its way into every moment. They shared together like she could never fully relax anymore. Even when they were happy, she'd snap herself out of it and think wait now, we're forgetting that there's this huge looming problem, and we've got to fix it before everything can be okay. She started to resent him. We don't even laugh anymore. We're not even like holding hands like we used to. We're not even having sex like we used to simply because you're not even going to class like if he just went to a class. I would just be so happy. Did you feel like if you love me, you will learn to read? Absolutely. I mean is that weird? But I totally felt that I was like who's gonna read books to our kids at night. You gotta get it together. This was like the vein of my existence. I was like, and I couldn't really talk to anyone about it. Because how embarrassing 'cause I didn't wanna I didn't want my friends to think less of him. You know, and I want him to still feel like a man. So I just kind of like carried this by myself. And at some point is looked at myself. I was like he got to go. But even then it was like, how do I leave somebody when they're down? Well, in a sense it actually like it made the relationship lasts longer because everything became about him reading. And so if you could just crack that or fix that. Then maybe it would work out. Oh my God. What are you? Dr Phil with tits. Yeah. I mean, I feel like I always live like that. If I could just lose those twenty pounds. If I could just have a clean house all the time. I could do everything I really wanna do on my list. And so, yeah, there was that you know, we could just get past this. Then we'll, you know live the life riposte to live. That's the promise of an obstacle. You feel like all you have to do is concrete, and you get your happy ending. How would it play out in rom com? The obstacle being his literacy. Ooh, okay, bone. He learned how to read he writes, like a New York bestseller leg situation. It becomes a movie. Channing Tatum place him Lisa on plays me, and we live happily ever after with like a bunch of mix children in a huge apartment with beige carpet by cheesecake factory amazing. See I was imagining that he would like greet you at the airport with like a sign that he had handwritten himself that was like Michelle I can read now my God. And you'd see it and he start crying. And he's worked so hard behind your back secretly going to night school the whole time. Oh, I know just like fucked stripper. Okay. She wasn't a stripper, but she was sleeping with Michelle's boyfriend Michelle suspects that the entire time. She was struggling to get him to read. He was cheating on her. She was so focused on the obstacle. She thought they were facing. She totally missed it. Of course as Rahm comes go. The thing missing from this story is calm at least until Michelle started doing stand up and figured out. How to tell it on stage. When did you just I like this story's finan- when a put my act like it's actually like really sad. But here. Here. You know, most of my my the first ever wrote was about him. Will you tell me? Sure, it's lines at DisneyWorld. Remind me of my ex-boyfriend three hours away. Ding for two minute ride AL. But the story I didn't feel comfortable doing it on stage till? Thirteen years later, I stayed with him. But then it got like real ratchet like we get into arguments, and I'd say shit like, but you said you learn how to rave a moon. Like, that's not how you why your first ship to. In her act chief and talks about how great it feels to tell the story on stage. But it just felt so good. It was so cathartic. I was like, yes. Got to get this out and start doing jokes about him and blogging about him and my friends alike. You gotta be careful 'cause you're using his first and last name. And I was like bitch. Give fuck that motherfucker camera. All right, good. I everybody. I gotta go. Baker is one of the producers of our show shall Patel is the host of the podcast late night. Whenever you NYC coming up a real life rom com than above Shakespeare, real kisses that are like stage kisses and the police that's an a minute Gog radio when our program continues. Support for this American. Life comes from ZipRecruiter, some job boards, overwhelm you with tons of the wrong resumes. But ZipRecruiter finds the right people for your job and actively invites them to apply. So you get qualified candidates fast. See why ZipRecruiter is rated number one by employers in the US based on trust pilot rating of hiring sites with over one thousand reviews. Try it for free at this exclusive web address ZipRecruiter dot com slash American. That's ZipRecruiter dot com slash American. Ziprecruiter, the smartest way to hire. It's American Myra glass. Today's program rom com stories mostly taken from real life that mimic things that we have seen in romantic comedies. We've arrived at three of our show at three the run this, of course, in romantic comedy is the scene where somebody has to cross town at some point literally sprinting to chase down the person they love and stop them from either marrying somebody else winning back somehow it doesn't end up at the airport. But lots of these do an honestly say I was surprised we found this ever happened in real life. But here is one Serie like that Cohen's dad used to like to tell the story it was about his own marriage. He died a couple years ago. His name is Ron the story goes like this when he was getting together with Marissa's, mom versus mom, Debbie. Drove across the country to move in with Ron in Florida and for two left. She had the post office forward her mail to his house in Florida. And he saw got her arrive from her ex fiance. I think it's. Crazy. But my dad decided that he saw that letter and he had to read it this Marissa. So he just opened the letter read the whole thing. And as my dad put it my mom's ex-fiancee was declaring like his undying love for her and was like begging her not to go and was saying he wants to get back together with her and my dad freaked out. He decided this is it it's our never decides is going to meet her in Dallas, which is where she has her car trip. And also is where the ex ex-fiancee lives he hurries to the airport the way he told it was he was going through the airport. You know, running through the Florida airport gets a rain out of a little like Gumbo machine. Puts like, you know, how much that costs like a quarter or whatever in the Gumbo machine pulls out a Mickey Mouse ring, because it's Florida naturally gifts on the plane flies meets my mom and Dallas and right there in the airport gets on the second. He sees her. I had no plans of seeing next say at all whatsoever. His mercies mom, Debbie. She had no idea the ex-fiancee had written a letter or rhonette opened it all she knew you'd offered to drive the rest of the way across the country with her and was going to meet her in Dallas airport. He gets off the plane and I greet him. And practically the very next thing out of his mouth is will you marry me? And he opens up his hand in his hand. He's got this little Mickey Mouse touring in his hand. And I am not proud of my reaction at all. Do you wanna hear it? Yeah. Yeah. Actually, are you grazie? This is the craziest thing I've ever heard of barely know you that was my reaction. I have to say that is my favorite part of the story. I could have been a little more gentle. Now, what I love about it is that in the movies when somebody does a gesture like that like often it's way crazier than what he did. Yes. And kinda stock rish, but the movie just acts like, oh that was a totally lovely thing for a person to do because out. And I like that you had the normal human reaction that a normal person would have would be like are you nuts? Right. Right. Right. Right. Yeah. Well. I'm too pragmatic to fall for that one. I guess. Eventually did win out though at the wedding. In addition to a regular ring. She also wore the making. On another story. We heard about somebody running to win love which actually kind of paralleled the run that happens at the end of Neal's favorite rom com. When Harry met Sally, when Harry met Sally the way it goes is that it's New Year's Eve, Harry's wandering around the streets of New York, and he realizes that. He loves Sally has to tell her now breaks into a run to go. Tell her very New York Centric in this one because he's like tries to catch cab. And of course, you can't. So then he disliked he's going to run the entire distance David Kessler. Bam has are real version of this story about a guy named Steve Snyder the thought that someone actually made one of these runs in real life seemed so unlikely to me that I wanted to see where it had happened retraced the steps of so I met Steve where the run began at this burger place on Ludlow street in New York City. Steve is the kind of guy who is not very good at hiding his feelings. Like, if this were movie, title, it say everything the setup to the run is this he'd met this woman, Emily at a birthday party. He was totally Smith. What I remember is. The party kind of turned into sort of a tunnel vision moment. All I really did was talk to hurt. It didn't go grave. He kept asking her you want to go to movie, maybe we could hang out some time. If there's a trajectory of my life. It's going from clingy to a little less clingy. Steve Email there after the party nothing came of it. A year passes and just like in when Harry met Sally. They meet a second time in Stephen Emily's case, it's at the very same birthday party same apartment, and they become friends. It was the kind of friendship where really it could go either way she seemed kind of interested in something more. But maybe not enough and the longer they were friends. It was like, well, maybe that's what they were. Steve had a job as a film critic say we go to movies, lots of movies where they would not hold hands and not kiss. There is a pathetic moment. So Lincoln centre station. We're waiting for the train. It's like some crazy twenty minute. Wait, where the words actually out of my mouth, you know? Hey, if you ever want a film critic as a boyfriend, you just let me know. I think we were talking about it fit into the context of the conversation somehow, but I can't think of anything more pathetic. What was her reaction? She just kind of laughed, and I was like. Yeah. Okay. Okay. The run happened on a night where they were not going to hang out. Steve, thanks. He was working on a review of some mutant ninja turtle movie. After work. He goes out with some friends to music place music so loud, and it's kind of fun. It's a great night, and we're dancing. I actually started dancing for once. We leave the place we're going to get some greasy food because we're hungry. And we haven't eaten and I my bag and everything. So we walk into the burger joint the place. We're sitting in right now. Greasy spoon tiled white walls and painted brick. It's like a piece of a subway station that somehow above ground. There's what five tables here it's tiny. And so I remember it's kind of throwing my bag down. And then I pull my phone just to check. And it's one of those weird nights. Right. Like, I just haven't checked my phone almost any night any night ninety nine percent of nights. You know, your phones right next to you. It's buzzing you hear it if you're if it rings you hear at I don't know if I'd bad reception in the place 'cause it's kind of an older building. But I looked down that I swear to God, I have like twenty two text messages, and I'm. What? And they're all from Emily. And so I run out of the burger place street got side. Okay. Rush out here. I rush out here. And there is not exactly a lot of room. I mean, there's there's not room at all. This is a crowded like this is where you hang out till four AM. So I rush out, and I I start reading through the messages, and it starts very kind of innocently very like, hey, what are you up tonight? Oh, are you? Oh, maybe you're out. I was wondering if maybe wanted to like get a drink or something and then. And then it starts escalating like, wait. Are you? Are you not texting me or why don't you texting me back usually it was pretty quick getting back to her because I was totally into her. And then it started being like started getting a little more paranoid. And then I think she started thinking I was on a date or something in just two hours. It looked like she through all these phases. Everything laid out all these texts ending with one that Steve was not expecting the last text message said, maybe we need to talk about this whole not dating thing. I I thought like this is this is it like, whatever's whatever's about to happen. This is the moment. And so I immediately called her. I'm mmediately just hit dial. I didn't quite know what it was going to say. And I think she picked up the phone set. Hello. And I just kind of started going into it. Like, I don't know what to say here like. Yes. I I want to date you and. What are we doing? Screaming in the street. The cars are moving people. Stop walking by me. They just stopped to see what's going on here because I'm screaming like, I love you. I don't know how to be clear like I love you. So I'm screaming this. And this crowd is starting to cheer me on someone does yell like say, you love them like say, you love him yelling to her through the phone and. I love you. All I remember her saying, it might have been all that. She did say was you know, like you need to stop yelling. If you wanna talk about this, you might as well just come here. And as far as I'm concerned. This is the moment like it's on like this happening. And I just start running down the street looking for Cavs Trent. Let's run. So I start running. We are now jogging up Ludlow street. It's actually kind of exciting the crowd, the crowds. Looking at me wondering what the hell am doing. And literally I'm like banging on every cab because it's that time of night where some just saying they're off duty. So I think I hit a couple I'm sort of can you take just up to the east village not that far a taxi after taxes like no someone in it. So he keeps running I didn't tell my friends where it was going. I left my laptop all these screeners that I had taken assignments to review that the movie studios told me they needed back. I ditched everything we took him at the running. Yeah. I just love involve running. That is interesting. Why did I feel like I had to run in the movies they run? But usually it's because someone's about to get married or about to get on a plane like it felt very urgent to get there. Very quick. This has been building up for years in for a moment. She was willing to consider it. And I was going to get there before she said it was too late or she was too tired. Steve told me he'd been living in the friend universe for so long. And that was like this little worm hole had opened up. He didn't know for how long you might be able to slip into the parallel universe of boyfriend. Steve did eventually get a taxi made it to replacement and he stayed over and they did become boyfriend and girlfriend in the movies. This is often the final seem the end of the movie is the beginning of the relationship. You don't really get to see how it how he gets clingy. One of the meet someone else out, just fades. But that is not this story. We got married. And now, we have two kids, and I still can't believe it's all played out the way, I know things don't always work out. But sometimes you just want to hear the ones that do. Wanted to produce show. For you had me at Hello shafter. Harry does run across New York City on New Year's Eve and reaches. Sally. He explains to her that he ran because once you realize you wanna spend the rest of your life with somebody you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. And he tells her all the things about her that he notices loves about her. That's the final thing you need around com. You need for somebody to declare that. They see you in ways that you are usually not seen. Maybe you don't even know yourself, and it does happen in real life. Sometimes after some obstacles, Diane move has a story like that she filed for him in an acting class. Jillian was a serious young actor bent over her desk. Taking outs when Jeffrey got up in front of class to read from a midsummer night's dream. I just remember hearing his voice I actually looking at from my notebook in just watching him do the scene. He was so so good. Any of this? Really awesome voice. It's like super low and really resonant and. He was really hot too. By the time. He sat back down. She was done. I was immediately like more attracted to him than I'd ever felt attracted to anybody before. And I didn't know how to talk to him. I just I knew that I wanted to talk to them. But I just didn't know how is like a mix between wanting to be right next to somebody and then like run away and hide Jillian was young twenty she'd had boyfriends, but nothing too serious, and they'd always liked her more than she liked to them until Jeffrey they were working together at Shakespeare theater in New York at the end, they put on production of the winter's tale unstaged, she'd sometimes get so distracted that he was there that she'd forget her lines sometimes offstage, she thought maybe Jeffrey was flirting with her. But she couldn't tell for sure. And anyway, she had a rule never sleep with a cast me. So for four months, she kept her feelings Tercel. F- cut to the night of the final cast party. Everyone's at the bar that they always go to and it's a first night. They're no longer co workers. So on her way over Jillian makes it her mission to try and kiss him that night, she talks to him a lot at the party, but keeps chickening out. Finally, she gives up and decides to go home. And so I was standing there. And I was getting ready to to hail a cat finishing at the end of the cigarette. And I felt him come up next to me. And yeah, he just it was kind of like, I remember. I'm just like brushing back hair kind of off of my cheek. And is that moment, you know, where you know, that you're actually gonna kiss like he just feel it in your two bodies and just very lightly pressed his lips against mine, and then it was like a one can actual like deeper kiss. And I know from the outside we made it look good because if very much felt like one of those like the good stage kiss. After their perfect. I kiss everything falls into place on Q. He invites her back to apartment she flicks. Her cigarette to the curb he opens the door to the cab. She glides into the backseat more kissing ensues. And I think that's probably the first time I've ever made out with anybody in the back of a cab. I think I was probably like this cab drivers here they make out all the way across Manhattan over bridge and up five flights of stairs. Somehow Jeffrey manages to unlock the door without removing his lips from jillions this impresses her very much. Everything is going so perfectly. So then I use bathroom because I've been drinking beer all night. And. I'm so nervous. I noticed that my hands are shaking in the mirror and so nervous. And it just like look myself in the eye, and I actually gave myself a pep talk like pointer fingers and dancing in the mirror and being like, this is everything you waited for. It's actually happening. It's like excitement nervous. I believe in you. Yeah. Then Jillian encounters the first obstacle in. What will turn out to be a very strange night for her and my whole heart, just sinks? I'm not actually going to be able to have sex with him. I just got my period. I realized that like making it with him in the back of the cab, and and just like my cigarettes in my leather jacket. You know, it makes me seem that goes really cool city girl. But the reality of who I am is this very nervous person who grew up very conservative like very very conservative Jillian grew up on a farm in rural Canada. This one time when she was young and got her period while wearing white pants her whole family participated in a weird game of denial everyone just pretended. Like she sat in some jam. She didn't even like to say the word period. It was something that was kind of like very hush hush and not something I was used to discussing openly Dylan, thanks. There's no way we can sleep together tonight. So she's disappointed NT stressing over how she's even going to tell him, but you can't hide in the bathroom much longer. He's waiting on the other side of the door. So I left the bathroom and. It was like I stepped out into another world is like romantic world where you actually taking a scarf and put it over a lamp. So like the lighting MRs like, orange mood lighting. He didn't have his shirt on my mind for members, and glistening, he probably wasn't actually listening. But that's how my mind remembers him. We checked her mind remembers, right? Jeffrey told me, and he said, yes, this is very embarrassing looking back. But while she was in the bathroom, he fathered on baby oil to make his muscles pop. Anyway, they start to kiss, and I remember like at first being really into it and the remembering my situation, so my mouth does that thing where it curls up a little bit. And we kind of laugh a bit. And he goes into kiss me again. I do that thing where I pulled away again. And he he was so sweet he was like, wait what's going on? You know, he noticed it. He wrote it right away. I was like we don't have to do this. I wanna be clear like nothing is expected of you in this situation. We don't we don't have to have sex. And I was like I want to I I really like honestly, I want to it's just an kept trying to think of how am I going to phrase this? I think of this thing that my roommate used to say she calls it her at flow. So I look at him. And and I tell them that my aunt. Flow has just landed. And she's very much in town. And he gets like a little bit confused. He asked me if my aunt is like just arrived at the airport, and if I have to go see her or something so Venturi, I just fed up. And I tell them like, no, I have my period, and in pretty sure I whispered it. I'm pretty sure I have my period. And he's mildest like half smiles like, so. So what do you mean? So. And he just he didn't care. He didn't care. He was older than her group with bunch of sisters, Jillian is briefly astonished considers this totally new possibility not carrying decide she's into it. And they start kissing again. And because this is a family show. I will just say that everything that happened next went really well. In fact, it was the first time this particular activity went quite so well for Jillian I felt like I finally understood what it was about. Lying there. Listening to his heartbeat. Yeah. Just like listening to his heartbeat. It's such a comforting sound. I can still hear it so distinctly and an after a while he gets up to go to the bathroom, and he kind of like flicks on that little late. She's talking about the lamp by the bed, and I I turned off that light and he flipped it on again. And then I turn it back off. We have this. Little shared moment. Laughter and he leaves and turn the light on again. And it looks like a crime scene. There is blood everywhere. This is the first time I had seen so much of my own immense, stroke fluid. I was afraid of it. I got good even found him. What he was going to think about it. Just when Jillian thinks it can't get worse. She looks up from the bed, and then I don't know how this happened. But my very own like red bloody hint print is on his whitewall. God, I just like panicked, Jillian tears the sheets off the bed and throws them aside next the handprint hinny water anything in his room. So use my own saliva to wipe. The the bloody hint the wall. Like out out damn spot. Next. She bundles up the sheets, but she has no idea what to do with them. She starts to put them in the hamper. But then realizes that he would still have to take them in wash them himself, which she cannot bear to imagine. She peeks under his bed to see if she can stash them there. But then she thinks no that's crazy. He'll still find them. Jeffrey will be out of the bathroom any minute. She's running out of options. So I stuffed them into my own backpack. We gonna take them. Oh, yeah. Well, I have to get out of there. You're not gonna get away with that though. He's gonna notice sheets gone. I know, but I wasn't thinking about that. At the time. All I can think of is that I didn't want him to have to wash the sheets, and I didn't I didn't. I didn't want him to have to clean up my mess. I guess to cover her tracks Jillian throws the comforter over the bed. So you can't see the sheets are missing strains billows and gets ready to bolt when Jeffrey comes back from the shower, she makes up a lame excuse about why she can't stay the night. Something about having to go to work early. The next morning. She could tell ho- flimsy, it sounded as she was saying it, and I just oh it breaks, my heart. But I remember him looking so hurt and so confused. I I wish that I didn't leave. I wish that I'd stayed. But she didn't different offered to help Gillian hail a cab. But she was like, no, it's fine. I'll. Take the subway. She walked to the station, totally miserable. Like that. It really hits me that I have stolen this man sheet. How do you come back from that? How do you? How are you? Not the weird girl who liked took his bedsheets. Yeah. So then I'm so inside myself, and I hear this voice being like, ma'am. Excuse me, ma'am. And I look up and in New York, they have this station outside of subway entrances with this folding table on the NYPD stands behind, and it's a it's a random beg search. No. And here Jillian does what any sensible leading lady would do when confronted by law enforcement. I pretend I don't hear them. And I try to like exit the subway station like a brisk like run walk nothing looks more suspicious than trying to avoid a random facts aren't sure yet. Oh, the officer catches up to Jillian unzips her backpack and pulls out the sheets, which are covered in blood. I remember him like in the subway has such distinct lighting like I just remember him holding up these sheets, my menstrual sheets of shame like menstrual sheets have doom, and I realized that they didn't look like menstrual sheets. Do they look like murder? She's active. He asked me to explain it. And I just are crying. I can barely get the words out of just like trying to explain to him like it's my period on those sheets, and I stole the sheets from the guy that I was with. And I know that that's wrong. I knew what the actual theft of the sheets is wrong. And I promised the officer that I would return them, but I just needed to wash them. I the police officer looks Jillian up and down asks for high D And points her to go stand in a little box taped on the floor by the wall. She watches him walk over his partner and have a very furious looking conversation the sheet, stay crumpled up on the plastic. Folding table comes back in the gives me an ultimatum. So we can go down to the precinct, and they can file a report and they've got to keep a sheets just in case. It's evidence, you know. And they're going to ask me of your questions and follow up more. I can take him back to the apartment the apartment. That I just came from and have my partner corroborate my story like an I had to think about it. Like, I honestly the honestly gave it a really solid. Good thing. There was a huge part of me. That would rather go to the police station that have to go back and show Jeffrey these not only showing these sheets, but also bring the police. But, you know, my my comment sense caught up with me like this looks like I've done something very wrong. They make the long walk to Jeffrey's apartment. Silently they get to the doorstep and buzz wait for Jeffrey to walk down five flights of stairs. When he gets there. The police officer does all the talking good evening. Do you know this woman? Jeffrey says he does that they just been hanging out then the cop reaches into gillians backpack and pulls out the sheets. Do you know what these are Geoffrey says, those are my sheets the police officer asks can you identify the substance on these sheets and? From being fascinated because without hesitant hesitating almost like in this like stronger voice. He just says menstrual fluid, which is like I call him my period and a thing of than what it actually was. So for him to look a police officer right in the eyes and just say, very confidently menstrual fluid. The sound scientific in very grownup. The cops having fulfilled their narrative purpose and successfully reunited are couple leave. And then I'm alone. Definitely I'm trying to apologize to him namely stealing sheets, but also just for just for everything for bringing the police back to his house, Jillian remember sobbing through all of this. She's mortified all of a sudden, Jeffrey stop, sir and says this thing that still hits Jillian and Asaf spot. They don't be. Looking at me like you're so strange. Wonderfully strange. Everything that you could possibly think of going wrong went wrong, and it it all still turned out. Okay. Hey, still liked me. No matter what. This is like my favorite moment in any rom com. It's a scene in ten things. I hate about you and Julia stiles reads her poem to Fletcher in front of the entire class Jack Nicholson as good as it gets telling Helen hunt. How he just can't believe she runs into strangers all day long. And they don't know that they just met the greatest woman alive. And of course, it's Mark dicey. At the bottom of the stairs telling Bridget Jones. I like you very much just as you are to me the whole point of ram calms is to set up that line. It's what we all want to hear and say to the people we love most. But real-life doesn't guarantee a plotline that pushes us to say it. Dan will show Jillian and Jeffrey data for a few months? And then they broke it off when real life new jobs her expired visas from Canada got in the way, she says she's got it ended for anything bad happen keeps the memory sweet just like a movie today. Jillian wash is a comedian Toronto version of the story for on the risk podcast. Wis? Have no. Peter stay by Neil drumming and Diane. Woo. The people put our show together. Includes Baker release Bergerson, Ben Calhoun, Dan Chavez, Sean Cole Winnie Dangerfield of even Cornfeld Stephanie food Damian. Great Kimberly Henderson, Khanna Joppy Kasim. Southland Alvin Malik. Be parker. Bent falen, Robin semi ship Christmas. Atoll tyranny and Julie Whitaker senior producer for today's show. Brian read managing editor. Susan Burton to people are leaving our show today. Emily Khandan who's help grand the show for years is often Minnesota and a new life Stephanie food who actually has one more story we're going to Erin a few weeks off to write a book. The both added so much here. We'll have great best wishes for them. Both I web site this American life dot org as American lives to live with the public radio stations by PR X, the public radio exchange spoke for this American life comes from cozy TV broadcasting the office, every weeknight Steve corral, Jennifer, and John Krinsky because db is the digital broadcast channel from NBC between a twenty four seven lineup of shows like Frazier. Combo will and grace and many more. Thanks as always progams co-founder. Mr. Trump t-, you know, he and I were reminiscing by the taxi ride we had years ago in England, Margaret Thatcher. And I think that's probably the first time I've ever made out with anybody in the back of a cab America's back next week more stories at this American. Next week in the podcast of this American life. This is a little community radio station in a small town in Syria. Don't be waiting. But in current worth. This town is run by extremists isthmus who decided that it was offensive for women's voices to be on the air. So. Guys them. Incredible and unusual inside Syria during this war seemed through this little radio station this next week on the podcast on local public radio station.