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-The Five Spot

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Hope That You're The ONE, If Not...

Lately I have had the strangest feeling. Cue Stevie Wonder. And then K-Ci and JoJo. Ooo yeah. Ok seriously. Lately I have had the strangest feeling on this whole thing about finding the ONE. The thought is everywhere I turn. And it’s not all on my own volition. It’s just the way things go when you get around your girlfriends. I mean the conversation just sort of veers in that direction. What kind of wedding do you want? What kind of man do you see yourself settling down with? What do you think marriage is really, really like? Next thing you know you’re planning a trip to the bridal expo just to look at stuff. Or you’re thinking about your exes, convincing yourself that such and such wasn’t all that bad… And then it gets even harder what with all these wedding shows galore on countless channels. Then that one person in your crew you never thought would get married does. And then you top that all off with getting older and having no children and no main squeeze in your life, and people start to examine you like you’re standing on the auction block, eyeing your uterus like it’s going to waste, parents talking about their imaginary grandkids, church folks, old folks, yo' folks get to questioning when you’re gonna find someone to settle down and have kids with. F what you heard about living life the way you want. It’s all about following society’s rules. Or not. You know cause it really all depends on the kind of person you are and how you wanna live your life. Or not.

But back to the ONE. That ONE person you are supposed to click with, have a spark with, always get butterflies when they’re around, talk about any and everything with, realize y’all are soul mates, argue with but stay in love with, and then finally lock it down, on some foreva, foreva EVA, FOREVA EVA, till death do y’all part stuff… Or until someone decides they can’t do this no more. But you hope it’s the former. That ONE. That ONE mothafucka. In my travels across this land or just walking around my house in jammies, I wonder if such a person exists for me. And if he does then how will I know that he’s the ONE? Will the hair stand up on my arms? Will I just get some spidey this man right here, oh yeah he’s the ONE sense? Will it just be a natural, instantaneous type feeling? Or will it be gradual? And then the thought that it could be all of this, some of this or none of this. And of course there’s no telling if it will ever even happen. And so I was reading my girl Carolyn Hax one day (I like to say it like I know her personally) and I came across the following question about the ONE. Carolyn summed it up quite nicely. Still has me thinking. Read, enjoy and discuss.

Hi, Carolyn:

How do I know if someone is "the one"? I've been with him five years, and the answer isn't coming to me. Marriage is obviously a huge step in life, and it's important to me not to make any missteps. It would be great news if there was a "The One" checklist.

1. If you're asking me, he's not it.
You're not marveling at your luck in finding this guy. He deserves that. You do, too.
End of discussion? Maybe. However, some people feel lucky just to have someone rich, or pretty, or breathing, so it's important to calibrate your concept of luck.
2. Do you love, not just like, each other?
3. Do you like, not just love, each other?
4. Do you talk to each other easily? Sit in silence easily?
5. Are you both past the point of comparing yourselves with or seeking approval from your parents? Peers?
6. Do friends and family approve? (Trick question.) Do you respect their opinions? Should you?
7. Should you respect your opinions? Can you spot abuse and control? Have you outgrown any need to delude yourself, can you admit when you're being shallow, stubborn, immature? When you're scorekeeping, holding grudges, shifting blame, undermining, told-you-so-ing, abusing substances or otherwise making suspect decisions?
8. Do you refresh, not exhaust, each other?
9. Are there no major objections, recurring arguments, unhealed emotional wounds between you? Do you two handle conflict well enough not to fear it? Are you free to be yourselves, where others seem to walk on eggshells?
10. Everyone has insecurities. Does each of you respect how the other handles them?
11. Can you share anything, whether you actually do or not? Does your mate know you as well as or better than friends do? Are you free to confide in both?
12. Finish this sentence: "S/he's wonderful, but . . ."
13. Do you understand that the only person you can change is yourself? And even then, only to a limited degree? That "potential" is fiction, it's as-is or nothing?
14. Okay, s/he's wonderful. But is s/he wonderful for you?
15. Have you purged the excuse "All relationships are work" from your lexicon?
16. Is pleasing each other a pleasure? ("Compromise," good; "compromised," not.)
17. Are you confident that, if you broke up, s/he would take it like an adult?

18. Would you be with this person even if you couldn't marry or have kids -- i.e., if there were no societal ticket to punch? (The silver bullet against settling.)
19. Has time -- not months, but years -- confirmed what you're witnessing and feeling?
20. Honesty check: Brutal yet?
And finally: 21. Do you understand that you can get all of this "right," and get everything else "right," and be raised by parents who got this "right," and still have things go wrong? That cosmically, practically and mathematically, the whole concept of "the one" is ludicrous?

This is sounding like an argument for serial monogamy. But operating from a fear of missteps is itself a misstep. Have the guts to accept life without guarantees, and to let good fortune speak for itself. Oh, and if you're wondering where sex is, it's covered by 1-21.

-Carolyn Hax

And now some jump off discussion questions for the class: Have you found the ONE? Believe that there is or is no such thing as the ONE? Waiting patiently (cause you know you can’t go “looking”) for the ONE? Think you let the ONE get away? If you found the ONE, does the mean you have to get married? Living a fuck the ONE, I’m the ONE, so I'm doing me type lifestyle? Do tell then!

That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!


Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

Thats like the GRE

mint julep said...

i really liked hax's list. especially "Would you be with this person even if you couldn't marry or have kids?" i'm a firm believer in the one but i think it takes some time to realize it. its like a job/career. if you're like me you can hold down any number of positions in any number of fields but when you settle into that one that's just right, it feels like home. and you may have been running from it or avoiding it or worried about what people thought about it your whole life but it just fits. that's what i think the one is like.

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