"You truly love each other - and so you might have been truly happy. Not one couple in a century has that chance, no matter what the story books say. And so I think no man in a century will suffer as greatly as you will." -Prince Humperdink, to Westley, The Princess Bride
Been thinking lately on the whole notion of soulmates. It always happens when I watch that movie, The Princess Bride. A really good friend of mine, her name is Eden, dragged me to see it when we were teenagers and I ended up loving the flick. And so I always think of her when the movie comes along, and the conversation we had about soulmates after the film was over and we were in Denny's smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.
Is there indeed someone out there, the one person who fills every little crack in your personality, the one person for whom you are perfect, and who is perfect for you?
Eden believed it with all her heart, but I think the notion is flawed. If there is in fact one person for you, what are the odds that you'll find her in time? Or for that matter at all? And if you have a shred of doubt as to whether or not whom you are about to marry is indeed the One, how do you go through with it? Do you in fact even have a sense that you're missing anything, if you haven't met yet? Do you have a false sense that who you're marrying is the One? And how can you tell if it's indeed a false sense?
What if you aren't your soulmate's soulmate?
I have to figure that when you find the One, it'd just knock you on your ass; there'd be no way of denying it. I would figure that it would be just like that love's first blossom, except instead of fading into something more comfortable and sustainable, it still burns white-hot inside you, year after year, never quite leaving you alone. Making you smile at your reflection in the mirror for the sheer luckiness of being you. Thinking that the time you spend together isn't pleasant, or comfortable, but sheer bliss, the very air crackling with life when you make eye contact. Knowing that you can bare your chest and rip your heart right out of your ribcage and show it to her, and blanket it in your deepest secrets, your ugliest scars, and your most soul-baring insecurities, and it will be cherished as if it is her own heart she sees - because in many ways it is.
Now I mean no disrespect to Tootsie, but I think Prince Humperdink was right in the above quote. Maybe one couple in a century have that shot. The odds are just too goddamn long for it to be any other way. Even idealists like my friend Eden have to come to terms with the ugly reality - she divorced her husband of many years some little while ago.
And I would imagine that the people for whom this adage is most painfully true are those who did not end up with their soulmates, but who saw him or her through a dark mirror - those who came close to that once-in-a-century thing, but for whom in the end the odds were just too long to overcome. That's probably the very worst thing that can happen to a person.