When I first heard the idea there’s someone for everyone I initially misunderstood the concept. I was eight at the time. As such I believed it meant there is exactly one single person in the world with whom I will fall in love. Granted, that’s sort of the whole concept of monogamy: two people, one heart, romance, poetry, and cinnamon sunshine. However, my eight year old brain started worrying how one goes about meeting this individual.
The whole notion sounded like Fate. The universe set aside someone for me, and conversely I for them. This meant that at some point I would end up in a situation where I met this predestined love of my life. Such thinking provided a certain sense of relief until I became an altar server.
Those responsibilities resulted in my attending a lot of funerals, as well as my first realization that some religious ceremonies like wafting incense over a casket might be more to cover the smell of decay than a symbolic act of prayer. On these occasions I tended to overhear, from time to time, conversations about a variety of elderly people dying alone. Often such remarks were accompanied by phrases like they never found the right person.
But wait a minute, I started to wonder, isn’t there supposed to be someone for everyone? Yet, Catholic corpses kept turning up whose lives involved one grim romantic failure after another. It seemed the universe didn’t guide soul mates together. A fellow had to go out in search of the other half of his heart. This reconceived perspective brought on a crippling terror (though it would relieve me of the previous horror of predestination).
See, if there is truth to someone for everyone but no invisible hand of Fate bringing said individuals together then the possibility existed that my soul mate may very well be living somewhere I might never find them. In other words, the love of my life could be a farmer in rural China, whom I have to locate without any indication that’s where I’m supposed to be looking. This thought did indeed keep me up some nights.
After all, there is nothing in our society which dictates that being alone isn't a bad thing; happy endings only occur for those able to pair up at the end of the movie. Being aware of this at a young age can really fuck with your head. So I found myself trying to solve a mystery without any clues.
Part of the reason for this dilemma stemmed from the fact I had no conception of a quote, unquote dream girl. Up until the age of 17 my idea of a fantasy lover was a faceless female form whose proportions and skin color changed with my mood; I wanted to be with everyone. Most will be quick to point out this difficulty sounds like a complication due to raging hormones; I didn’t want to be with everyone, I wanted to fuck everyone. And I would be inclined to agree if it were not for the fact I don’t consider the two notions exclusive. I won’t speak for other people, however, if I end up with one person for the rest of my life, I hope we have sex on a regular basis. So excuse me if I tend to factor in sexual appeal alongside similar taste in movies. The real problem was my own unformed self at the time.
I didn’t grow up in an environment where personal experimentation was encouraged. My father to this day believes there is a satanic influence in rock ‘n’ roll; that the devil directly produced the music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, AC/DC – all the music he’s never liked -- to corrupt the world. I once came home with black fingernail polish on, and was made to clean my hands in front of him while he lectured me on how I’d embarrassed the entire family, especially my dead mother. (In my defense, I was, at the time, dating a goth girl, and I have never dated a woman who didn’t want to put makeup on her boyfriend. Plus, I looked fucking good.) So growing up it wasn’t easy to try out personality variations. Most of my conceptions of self tended to be hypothetical. But like all teenagers I learned the art of leading a double life: one way for my Pops, the other around my friends. When I finally did have a firm grasp of the kind of person I wanted to be I started cementing my notion of the perfect woman. At last, I could start looking for that special someone whom I could call my soul mate. This would only lead to more problems.
A fantasy by definition is not real. I made the mistake of crafting too precise a portrait. The consequence being I was looking for too specific an individual. I sometimes punch myself in the dick when I think about how I once passed up a chance to talk to a wonderful young woman because we didn’t like the same music. She has multiple sclerosis now, yet I feel like I missed out on something special. The point being that dream person should only be painted with broad strokes. The odds of finding a woman with violet cat’s eyes, an hour glass figure, pixie cut black hair, tattoos, none of which are fucking flowers, with a love of literature, heavy metal music, and horror movies – it’s not impossible, but holy shit is that specific; I’ve learned to be more flexible… but not about the flowers.
I don’t worry about romance, love, or meeting someone the way I used to. Love is like shit. It happens, whether you want it to or not. The real trick is to just let it. Over thinking these things only makes them seem more complicated than they are. Finding love is just a simple matter of saying hello.