How beautiful it must be to have a book written about you… for you. That’s the case with Saw Her Standing There (2016), a novel Patrick Formanes wrote for his wife Eileen. It tells the story of Ryan and Lane, two Filipino-American high school students in New York who meet and fall in love. It is also based on the love story between Patrick and Eileen, who have been together since high school.
The synopsis at the back of the book is funny because it preempts expectations. Formanes slyly wrote, “Did they turn into wizards? Witches? Vampires? Zombies? Or, are they monsters of unknown origins, their only aim to annihilate their neighboring monsters by gnashing them into delicious morsels with their ridiculously sharp incisors, leaving the planet to stew in the juices and horrific odors of rotten animal flesh, splintered bones, and exposed innards, then kill each other because: (1) they get hungry again and (2) they don’t like vegetables?”
It isn’t. It’s a straightforward story about teenagers falling in love and dealing with teenage issues such as attending school, going to parties, and hanging out with friends. It may sound like a simple premise, but it reminds me of the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hoo-gah), which translates to coziness. The philosophy advocates for shrugging off the stresses of modern life and soaking in the beauty of the simple things.
Like hygge, the book unravels like the love story of those before us, without any major catastrophe like vampirism or a life-threatening disease. And given the drama that surrounds us every day, I find that extraordinary.
Patrick Formanes’ Saw Her Standing There is available in Fully Booked branches in Bonifacio High Street, Alabang Town Center, Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center, Promenade Greenhills, Greenbelt 5, Century City Mall, and Eastwood City.