Hit me like a ton of bricks on the head. All at once. Just bam in the moment. Watching one of those Ed Burns New York period films. NEWLYWEDS I think. Anyway at one point there’s this woman on the screen, a closeup, just her face. She’s an older woman who’s been married for 18 years who has a son who’s about to go to college and getting divorced.
I’m kicking back watching this movie and staring at this woman’s face, who’s perfectly normal looking, in fact she’s the epitome of plain, nothing wrong with her. But she’s old. Probably mid to late forties. But not bad looking. And she’s talking about now that she’s divorced she’s going to go out with all these men. So as a man myself I’m staring at her and thinking “there’s not a chance I would ever go out with that chick. Look how old she is.”
And then it hits me. I’m married. And to a woman who’s older. With kids even. The Associated Press interviewed us last year for an article about “cougars and cubs” for Gods sake. And yet I totally love my wife. I mean I am madly in love with her. Always have been. Since the moment we met. Kids and all. And I had a strict “no kids policy” the entire time I was a single man. Never even entertained the idea. Not once. Not one girl in 20 years as a single man.
And yet here I am. Married for almost three years. Kids and all. Wanting to have more kids even. And happier than I’ve ever been in my life. And that’s the thing. The age thing. That may matter when you’re watching a movie and you’re in your head and thinking about whether or not you’d be attracted to some strange girl you see on the screen. Same with looks and size and facial or body features or maybe even where the persons from or what they do for a living.
But in real life it doesn’t work like that. And that’s a good thing. A real good thing. In real life none of that matters. When you meet the one you just know. And it doesn’t matter where they’re from or how old they are. You turn around and look at your special someone and you get that feeling inside. Your heart melts just a little bit more. As it always does. And you know.
You know that as hard as we try when we’re single and searching and wondering who are perfect mate is going to be that none of those thoughts we have really matter. They’re almost completely insignificant. You can make list after list. God knows I did. And you can spend hours upon hours at the local diner talking to your friends about it over brunch every Sunday.
But none of it matters. Because when you do meet you just know. Something bigger than your mind’s perceived preferences and qualifications takes over. Sure it’s chemistry in the beginning. But it’s more than that. Way more. And it’s got nothing to do with what’s on the outside. Call it magic. Fate. Destiny. The invisible hand of a mysterious power as of yet undiscovered that brings the two of you together and bonds you in a way you’ve never experienced before. It makes you understand why humankind created the term soul mate.
And I’ll take that any day over a perceived perfect match based on outer shell characteristics like age height weight education religion nationality or even gender. All of which in the bigger picture don’t even really play a role in how you feel about the person once you’ve met and realized how much you love and cherish them.
One might call it true love. And to be fair that’s what I believe it is. And it sure as hell has nothing to do with anything we think it does till it actually happens to us. We just can’t really understand this till it does happen to us. That’s the thing. But when it does… Well then. That’s when we finally get it. That’s when we know.