So I have been thinking a lot about this after I watched 500 Days of Summer for the second or third time through. And one particular quote caught my attention that Summer told Tom at the breaking point of Tom’s (frankly pathetic) few months of depression in regards to meeting her husband:
“So, what if I’d gone to the movies? What if I had gone somewhere else for lunch? What if I’d gotten there 10 minutes later? It was – it was meant to be. And… I just kept thinking… Tom was right.”
It got me to thinking about the last girlfriend that I had and how we met. I distinctly remember turning down three different parties of people who invited me to see Transformers 3 that night. I was kind of on the fence with the first invite but I declined because… A 3rd one? Are you serious? The second invite was a bit more tempting because a few cute girls were going but I declined because… People actually like Shia Labeouf? Does he hold the Guinness Book of World Records for the most vowels ever in a last name? Has his name ever shown up on the National Spelling Bee? ‘Cause that shit’s ridiculous. And finally the third invite I declined simply because of principle.
After all of that another friend invited me to go play some billiards with him at his apartment. I quickly accepted… mostly due to the allure of him saying “billiards” instead of “pool.” And there I met this girl and blah blahblah blahblah.
If I got married to that girl, that would be a pretty crazy story, no? If I ever got to talk to Zooey De…sch…anel…? (Okay, seriously, these celebrity names are getting way out of control.) She would likely “aww” at the story and say that it was meant to be. We were soul mates.
So, down to the meat of it all, is that not just… life? I could conjure up a ridiculous, coincidental story like that with me meeting absolutely anyone. So, because that girl and I hypothetically got married, that particular story which would match up with thousands of others in my life in incredulity suddenly becomes meaningful?
I take public transportation from time to time and I am often plagued by the notion that if I talked to everyone I saw on this train, I very well likely could meet my future wife, or my future best friend, or my future someone who can walk my dog when I am on vacation. So… why don’t I? Oh yeah, because that’s just weird, man… But, but… dude! The most incredible woman you will ever meet in your life could be sitting right across from you in that cute Rutgers sweater and sunglasses that make her look like some sort of insect! And you are going to pass on that opportunity just because you are afraid she will think you are some sort of 20 year old serial killer who happens to only prey on girls that are exactly like her in every single way by asking what she majored in at Rutgers?
So, how about it, interwebs? Do you believe there is a soul mate for all of us? And to give it my best shot at trying to avoid any religious debacles here, anyone is welcome to substitute “soul mate” for “the one individual on this planet who is the exact carbon copy of whatever you desire and/or need in another human being” but frankly, that is just a pain in the ass, but the option is still available.
But more importantly, if there is this person, how much effort should we all put forth into finding this individual? Both extremes are bad… I could obsess over finding the “perfect” person, never being satisfied. But I have also heard the argument many times that “you should never purposefully look for the relationship, the relationship will come to you.” But would it really kill ya so much as to just start up friendly banter with that cute man you happen to see in the park throwing a frisbee to his black lab? Or that lady who has the audacity to walk into a Starbucks in pajama pants? Or that Rutgers girl? Oh, but you say the chance is one in the million? Well, to this I reply with the question that may very well doom humanity (and my Saturday nights spent alone pondering in the dark munching on my Wheat Thins)… What if?