He was small, Asian, kind of spindly.
I was small, Asian, kind of rotund.
For two years, he was my whole world, nicely packaged as a cute boy with a blue jacket, some of those long socks, and black Nike’s.
I lived for his smiles, the times we had class together, and the occasional times he would talk to me like an actual person. I was awed at his smarts, his intellectual marvels, his wisecracks at school. I drew family pictures of us in the future, complete with a pedigree including three children, one pair of fraternal twins and another daughter. They all had my eyes, but his well-defined jawline.
One time, he touched my hand.
I engaged him in conversation, probably made a fool out of myself, showed my nonexistent curves in an attempt to arouse his inhibitions. When the surface things failed to draw an adequate response, I went deeper, questioning him about life’s darkest philosophies, even shouldering my problems onto him, in an attempt to leech out some depth from his being.
He just didn’t get it.
I think we all have that dream for a Prince Charming type creature, for a stable partner and for immeasurable quantities of love, cuddles, and good sex. Maybe in the 2015 remake, Prince Charming did have some redeeming qualities, but in 1950, did he really? Was he really all that? Could Cinderella have married a nice country lad and have been just as happy? We have this idea of a soulmate, or someone so perfectly perfect for our own personalities that we can write him/her down on paper, word for word, complete with a realistic body-sized picture. If we went about this scientifically, smelling every eligible person in their birthday suit, without the advantage of perfumes and colognes, would be a very fool-safe way to narrow down the playing field. However, we choose to look for the things INSIDE of people, things that people themselves do not even understand. We choose to play with the intangible, and attempt to create connections when there is simply nothing to connect.
It’s funny how sometimes our brains can spin incredible falsities. We can shut ourselves in a bubble. We can envision someone to fit our own fantasies, and disregard the flashing red traffic signs screaming FALSE waving right in front of our very faces. We lie to ourselves in an attempt to make everything picturesque, but in reality, people cannot be molded to be Michelangelo’s David. Not everything is a story, malleable and flexible. Sometimes, we reach into a person’s head only to illicit a histamine response in the form of hormonal disgust. Maybe, just maybe, they aren’t compatible.
But in actuality, the logic is clean and straightforward. In a world of 7.1 billion people, he will find someone to make him happy, and so will she. We don’t have to forge relationships where they will fail, nor should we heighten certain people to fit our own expectations. Everyone is his or her own person, and in this era of exponential population growth, there is someone out there for everyone, regardless of how antebellum or immature the personality type.
So, make the word “soulmate” plural. It’s the 20th century. The Black Plague may have killed off all your potential suitors back then, but that’s certainly not the case now.
And that small, spindly Asian boy? He now has a six-pack, a brutal haircut, and my friendship.