I recall how I used to go to the General Post Office in Sydney to make a phone call home on the eves of Lunar New Year when I was not able to be home for the festive season. I would collect sufficient coins to place a call that lasted only several minutes. I could not have imagined that when my daughters were away three decades later, I could reach them via Skype or FaceTime wherever I was so long as I had my smartphone that was loaded with data or where wifi connection was available
In this information-overloaded era where everyone owns a smartphone, every update is one click away if you own a smartphone. What is important now is to make sense of information and process them, differentiate between misinformation and reliable information. I find that it is equally important to make it a point to stay away from our phones to give us the headspace that is much needed every so often.
While I appreciate the convenience and efficacy of electronic communications, I miss how I used to be so very pleased to see the postman in anticipation of a letter from my favourite pals. It was often sheer joy to receive letters or postcards from friends and acquaintances. I would study the stamp, cut it out and soak it in water before gently removing it from a scrap of the envelope. It was such a delight to receive those handwritten letters and pen my replies to them. I would marvel at the handwritings of the senders. When I was seventeen going on eighteen, I must have fallen for the writing of this boyfriend and his voice as he used to send me letters and cassettes with recording of his voice messages. My heart sank when I met him again at the airport, I wonder what happened. It might have been all that giddiness in preparation for my study abroad and leaving home for the first time that had clouded my judgment at the time.
To quote Nora Ephron :
“I have made a lot of mistakes falling in love, and regretted most of them, but never the potatoes that went with them.”
Amidst all my multiple reads, I usually like to pick up a rom-com for a fast and fun read particularly in these disorientating and challenging times.
Would like to Meet written by Rachel Winters is a charming story. It is certainly a delightful read painted with a vivid description of the café and places around London as the story unfolds. It definitely reads like a movie script. The protagonist, Evelyn Summers is young, conscientious, quirky and a workaholic. She is known to her friends as Evie and while she works in London, away from her close friends in Sheffield, her hometown, they stay connected via JEMS (Jeremy, Maria, Evie, Sarah ) WhatsApp chat group . The story begins with Evie going to Gil’s café in South London and she hopes to experience an amusing or charming first encounter that leads to falling in love just like in romantic comedies. She is actually doing it to save her job as an assistant to Montgomery, the TV and film agency that is in danger of closing shop if their star client, Ezra Chester does not deliver the film script within three months. She needs to get Chester to write the rom-com script. Since winning the Oscar for his movie script, Chester has been hailed one of the hottest talent in Hollywood but Chester is arrogant and conceited, he has not produced another script for Montgomery. Now he has a deadline to meet as some producers have commissioned him to write a rom-com, a genre that he scorns at.
Evie’s friends and her call Ezra NOB ( Number One Boychild). NOB is suffering from a writer’s mental block as he does not believe in meet-cutes. She has to convince Ezra aka NOB that one can definitely fall in love just like how it happens in all the meet-cutes in the movies so she sets out enacting or creating credulous meet-cute scenes with a hope to find romantic love. In that process, Evie embarrasses herself but she does find love in the unlikely places but rather predictable for the readers. As she challenges herself through all the meet-cutes and churning out reports to Ezra with a view to inspire and help him in finishing the script, she learns about who she is and what she really wants in her life. She realizes that she has spent seven years working three persons’ job with hardly any social life , doing everything her boss Monty asks her to do without complaint. She finally begins to stand up for herself more, becomes empowered and come into her own person.
Would like to Meet by Rachel Winters is packed with hilarious and outrageous situations that Evie lands herself in but the characters in the story are credible. Evie has supportive and fun loving friends who warm your heart and amidst all those outlandish meet-cute situations that have gone awry, she finally finds her love. It makes me want to watch When Harry Met Sally, Notting Hill and the likes again. In the meantime I have far too many good reads and time is precious, watching these rom-coms again will be the perfect escapade when I badly need one.