How We Met
First off, let’s talk about Michele A’Court (her last name is pronounced like acorn, but with a ‘t’), author of How We Met. Winner of the ‘Comedian of the Decade’ at the 2010 New Zealand Comedy Awards, A’Court (you’re thinking about acorns now, aren’t you?) has been making a living as a comedian and writer for 21 years, in New Zealand as well as internationally. She contributes to The Spinoff, and her first book, Stuff I Forgot To Tell My Daughter, was based on her popular comedy tour of the same name.
As a woman in the comedy industry, she says she gets asked a lot about whether “I think women are funny. Or whether they’re as funny as men. Or whether it is harder to do comedy if you’re a woman...Or some other gender-angled query about the work I do.” So she wrote a piece about it and put it on her blog (The Guardian and The Washington Post picked it up too) answering all the questions now and forevermore that she gets tired of answering. In response to “What is the hardest thing about being a female comedian?” she says “Answering the questions about being one. Everything else about it is just like being a comedian.”
Full of this spunky A’Court sass, her latest book, How We Met, is a slight turn away from full-tilt comedy and a dip into the romantic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still funny. But it’s primarily a collection of serendipitous and scandalous couples’ stories of their first meetings. A’Court’s theory behind the book is that the story behind the question, “So how did you two meet?” – the one that lights people up and gets them finishing each other’s sentences – that’s the story that weaves and holds them together.
How We Met is an entertaining education on how love begins and how it goes on for years and years. It is both sweet and scientific, with A’Court breaking down the science of attraction (with the help of a neuroscientist and a psychologist) to fortify her theory about that initial connection between partners.
I’ll be real with you now: I haven’t finished How We Met. Yet. But not because it’s not good! Because it’s not a page-turner, it’s a slow burner. It’s not a book you need to read from cover to cover to understand, because every couple’s story is its own narrative. It’s a treat that you take into the bath with you, a daily devotional you keep by your bedside and dip into at the end of the day.
Reading a chapter of How We Met is like eating a bowl of your favorite ice cream – an indulgent treat with a heavy sprinkle of laughs. Just like if you eat too much in one go you might start to feel a little queasy from all the sugar, if you read too much of the book you might start to feel a little sick at all the lovely romance. You might get brain freeze at the lack of problems for characters to overcome, or at switching from one couple’s story to another.
But just because you shouldn’t have ten scoops of ice cream at a time, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have two. How We Met is the perfect treat in bite-sized doses. And I’m taking my time to savor every story.