My version of ‘When Harry Met Sally’

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ columnist

There was an important lesson to be learned from a recent movie night. If not learned, history will repeat itself … even if that history is complete fiction.

Last week, I wrote about a movie experience and changed friends’ names to protect the innocent because I didn’t seek their permission to retell the story. I’m doing it again this week, but the names AND the movie titles are changed.

(Check next week for my column about real people with made-up events: “And it was on the eighth green of the Casel Land miniature golf course that Anna Kournikova told me she loved me.”)

The night started innocently enough, with a friend referencing, via text message, a line from one of her favorite movies. To protect her, we’ll call her Stephanie and pretend the movie was “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”

She texts, “Dracula musical…”

I text, “If I put clothes on, it’s over.”

And so on, until she admits she now wants to watch her copy of the movie. As do I. We each have copies at our respective residences, and put it on. We follow it up by texting other favorite parts as they occur.

I find the account amusing, but think nothing of it until I mention it to a friend we’ll call Jenny.

After we rule that boneless wings are really jumbo chicken nuggets, I mention this movie incident. As Jenny navigates buffalo sauce away from her fingers with a napkin, she says, “Sounds like you had a ‘When Harry Met Sally’ date.”

The short version, Jenny tells me, is that Harry and Sally talk on the phone while they watch the same movie on TV. I went on a fact-finding mission later and found a transcript of the fictional history Stephanie and I repeated.

Harry and Sally discussed what they miss, if anything, about their old love interests, and debate finer points of the movie. Late in the scene, Harry tells Sally there are two kinds of women — high maintenance and low maintenance — and Sally is the worst kind because she’s a high-maintenance woman but believes she’s low maintenance. (The previous sentence really adds nothing to the story I’m telling. But it’s just something I think people should know in general.)

Discussing how a date went can be easy, and it can be difficult. One assumes extreme difficulty in discussing a date where one party isn’t aware it happened.

Since we dated via text message, I broke the news to her via text message: “Bad news: I think we may have had a date watching that movie. Google ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and ‘watching Casablanca.’”

There was no awkward post-date pleasantry. She expressed amusement and surprise, for she had not seen “When Harry Met Sally.” But she would now do her own research.

I fear Stephanie’s going to follow up, and this non-existent courtship may enter another stage: Quoting “When Harry Met Sally” to each other.

Wonder what she thinks of 71-degree weather.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail: