Five Stories from How They Met and Other Stories

How They Met

We’d said we’d keep in touch. But touch is not something we can do from a distance.
     – from Breaking and Entering, How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan

Disclaimer: Some descriptions of the stories may be considered as a spoiler by some. You’ve been warned.)


  1. STARBUCKS BOY

Now it has to be one of Starbucks more brilliant marketing strategies to maintain at least one completely dreamy guy behind the counter at any given shift. This guy is invariably known as Starbucks Boy to the hundreds of regular customers who have a crush on him…

Starbucks Boy is the first story in this collection by David Levithan – and rightly so. It is an endearing story with a delightful narrative that gets you charmed by the characters. It is a dear to read (and fantasize about). I mean, this must be a worldwide phenomenon right? You see that cute guy at the counter or the bar, he asks for your name, and you look at his name tag, and you know his name (and part of his work shift) and you start day-dreaming.

I say, thank you Starbucks Boys (and Girls!) around the world for adding to the Starbucks experience!

…he always seems just accessible enough to be within reach, but never accessible enough to actually touch.



  1. SKIPPING THE PROM

We had spent the last week planning this, not telling anyone for fear that they’d want to join us. With the group, any set of plans was also an invitation.

Prom is such this great big deal for some. For others, it is a day where everyone is out and they can have the time to themselves, without the risk of running into anyone. Also, prom is the start of the end of an era. High school is about to end. Everyone’s separating. People are going to different colleges. So, in this story, that one night of prom, the unnamed narrator and Kelly decided to skip the prom and spend the night in town with each other. It was an ordinary night, and yet it was as special as a prom can ever be.

Did I love her then? Yes, in a genuine way. But I knew it wasn’t everlasting, and that was okay. We had the time that we had, and we would be together for the rest of it.

Quite similar to the line “…and in that moment, I swear, we were infinite.” in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, huh? 🙂


  1. PRINCES

I knew it wasn’t a date. I knew he wasn’t asking me out. But what my mind knew, my hope ignored.

Ah, how to even begin describing this story! It has the beauty of expression – in movements, in words, in movements translated to words. It exhibits that love that knows how to fight – to fight with, and to fight for, and a love that knows how to give way in silence.

That maybe he knew more about life than I did, even if I’d had more experience. Because knowing about life is really about knowing how it should be, not just how it is.


  1. THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO MEET ON AIRPLANES

I had never talked to a stranger on a plane before, nothing above the cursory regards. … I am a very strong believer in personal space, and I didn’t want it to seem like I was storming hers. I was about to retreat to my headphones when she finally found what she was looking for – a copy of A Room with a View. The same edition as my own.

I don’t know of any couple who met on a plane. But I have always thought meeting on a plane, or a train, or a bus is so romantic. Like the movie Before Sunrise. A story of strangers, both on a separate journey, with no knowledge of each other except in the conversations that they create in that short period of transit. That’s so romantic! And it is just the first part!

The second part, is the more important part. That at the end of that transit, a plan is formed to continue the conversation. Or better yet, the conversation was never ended. How sweet of a How-We-Met story would that be!

Love weaves itself from hundreds of threads. Happenstances.


  1. HOW THEY MET

This story is a 2-part story. It consists of the story of how David Levithan’s grandparents (from both his mom and dad sides) met.

     They met on Friday.

By Wednesday they were engaged and talking to a rabbi.

Three days later, after my grandfather’s baseball game, they were married.

Sometimes, we hear of stories that we call a whirlwind romance. A romance that blossomed “too fast” from when they met to when they were committed, engaged, married. DL’s grandparents (father side) are an example of this. Many people are critical and are non-believers of a whirlwind romance. But as David puts it,

But the moral of the story is that it worked. They knew, and they were right.

    My great grandmother was not amused.

… My grandfather squeezed in among the clunky furniture, made small talk, but was never offered anything polite, not even a glass of water.

On his mother’s side of the family, David’s grandparents didn’t know from the start. They were neighbors, but it took time for the attraction to blossom.

Then one day, sitting on the piano bench, my grandfather decided to open the piano. … My great-grandmother stormed in, disbelieving. Then slowly she went over to the window closest to the piano and opened it. … So the neighbors could hear. So the neighbors could know what kind of visitor they had.

The next time, he got a glass of water.


These are just FIVE (5) of my favorite stories among the EIGHTEEN (18) short stories found in this book.

RATING: 4 / 5 – I’d recommend this!

Til the next book,

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3 thoughts on “Five Stories from How They Met and Other Stories

  1. I’m sold. I really, really want to read some David Levithan right now. (I love the skipping prom one – yes, very much like The Perks of Being a Wallflower!).

    Like

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