by Diane Crawford from the March 28 2011 issue
Tagline: Clare and Andy would have a funny story to tell anyone who asked, "So how did you two meet?"
In a Nutshell: While shopping at the pet store, Clare hears a voice asking her out for a date. Turns out it's not the man shopping for dog supplies; it's a parrot. Attracted to him (the man, not the parrot,) she's later happy to meet him by accident in the park where she runs. After they run together, with his puppy, he mimics the parrot as he asks her out.
Observations: I pride myself on being observant and quick, but I only thought this story was cute when I read it. Then, when I started working on this analyses and re-read the title, I laughed, delighted. I'm sure that's why the editor wrote that tagline so that you'd be on the lookout for that funny thing, which was obviously the parrot helping them meet, but when you think of the parrot in the role of matchmaker...that boosts the idea into fabulous, at least for me.
As we've seen before, Woman's World stories often contain the element of coincidence, as you see in this story. Often you see the couple meet, then part, and one assumes they'll never see each other again. Then fate steps in and they meet again by coincidence. When you write this type of story you have to invent the reason and/or place where they meet again. In this case, Clare is a runner who was waiting for the weather to get better so she could resume her running. Andy's reason for being in the park is his new puppy.