In his memoir The Physiology of Taste, the 18th century French epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin writes, “Un dessert sans fromage est une belle à qui il manque un oeil” — a meal without cheese is a one-eyed beauty. This was 1825, but the aphorism still rings true today.*
I’m a few days away from turning 31, an age that has no milestone significance at all with the exception of triggering a post apocalyptic ex files reunion. Milestones have a way of doing that to people I suppose. They are the reminders of what is and perhaps, what could have been. With another year as a fiercely independent single approaching, I reluctantly began to entertain the idea of saying yes. Or at least what ”yes” might look like and more importantly with whom. And so it begins …
I’ve briefly touched on it a few times, but to date haven’t addressed why I’m a nonbeliever in the notion of the soul mate premise. If in fact, there is such a premise — I don’t believe in it. The most notable reason being that the term itself is grossly mis AND over used. There’s a false sense of security that’s perpetuated to the masses via While You Were Sleeping romantic comedies and Corrine Bailey Ray love songs. Love, true love, conquers all and is easily attainable in 90 short minutes over Reese’s Cups and the will to succeed.
Not to mention shows like “The Bachelor” that line up a gaggle of community college’s finest former cheerleaders for an equally disappointing and overly man-scaped Trustafarian (Andrew Firestone, I’m talking about you) in hopes of tying the knot during May Sweeps. Round of applause for showmance — Why doesn’t it work out again? Oh let’s see … Because it’s a friggin joke love blasphemy and a perversion of real life.
While the idea of a soul mate is plausible to some, my mother being one such person — even though she’s met and married her soul mate(s) twice now with a third approaching in the near future — no doubt. I know a couple, Let’s call them Mr. & Mrs. Soulmate that met and married within two weeks of knowing one another in 1979. They have four children and they’re still together today. By show of hands who’s not blown away by this. Oh wait, what’s that Pretty Girl in the back of the room?? You know seven other couples that dated for varying amounts of time and within 1 year of marriage, they all ended in divorce. All of them. That’s ca-raaaazy! Or is it a simple case for Count von Count –The 1979 couple in is hence the exception and not the rule. So let’s see if I can’t circle back around to the conversation at hand, as I’ve been indulging in a bottle glass of Shiraz.
As I mentioned, two of my most recent ex’s, Hollywood and LLF, recently reached out to me a in hopes of rekindling the flame. Hollywood, whom I’ve mentioned in previous blogs but assuming you’re neither of my two subscribers, a brief description might be in order. Hollywood is like brunch. I can’t think of two people on the planet who don’t like brunch. It’s the perfect non-committal feel good meal. If I could, I would eat brunch every day, twice a day. Forever. However, at some point I might deduce, hey — it’s 1PM on Tuesday, maybe I should stop getting BLEEP wrecked do some work.
Hollywood’s life was in a constant state of brunch and for a season I was committed to being apart of that. It was b-a-n-a-n-a-s fun. Unfortunately things fall apart and he wasn’t the best person for me in every.single.soulmate.way. At the time Hollywood was content drinking metaphorical mimosas at 1 PM on a Tuesday afternoon and I needed more and so, we parted ways.
For me, that’s a lot of pressure to put on another person; be what I need you to be or else! ”Hey, you’re not giving me the fairytale today, GTFO.” I’m not a fan of building your hopes and dreams in the foundation of someone else. I have my own hopes and dreams, but I’m happy to build a guest house with someone else — together. I’m just not comfortable with making you, my everything. For me, this is essentially investing all of your emotions in Love Roulette on Red-Soulmate-36. Why would any of us intentionally do this? The answer is simple — because we’re hoping that this time — this one time — Red-Soulmate-36 is it. Hollywood didn’t hit for me, nor I for him (it works both ways).
When Hollywood phoned me last week to discuss “Sex And The City” of all things, the conversation segwayed into You-sound-great — who-are-you-dating-now? one. I didn’t feel the need to give him a run down on NsSA, the current object of my affection, whom I increasingly appreciate with each passing day. However, I did feel the need to decline his invitation to dinner in Sweet Home. Remember, “What’s dead should stay dead.” As much as I would love a dinner on memory lane, I understand that it borders on the township of sex with an ex, and that’s a bet I’m not willing to place. **Note to self, stay out of the lion’s den, that is Hollywood’s boxer briefs.**
If Hollywood is brunch, LLF would be dessert. For me dessert can be the best part of a meal. And the worst. Dessert in all its sugary decadence is nothing more than empty calories and an extra 30 minutes on an inclined treadmill getting it out of your system. In a momentary lapse in judgement three years ago I entered into a torrid relationship with LLF, a man I’d been the best of friends with for more than a decade. If ever there were a successful friendship turned courtship, I thought it would have been us — every time. I was wrong. Very wrong. Cousin – dad wrong.
I’d just finished chatting with NsSA when my phone rang. I didn’t bother to look at the caller id, naively thinking it was NsSA calling with a final thought. He’s funny that way. “The answer is yes” I said laughing. “Happy Birthday Pretty!” a voice grumbled on the other end. “It’s not my birthday and if you’re calling who’s running hell, LLF?” I quipped.
Now some of you might find that question a bit on the disturbing side, I would encourage you to think of what it might feel like to have a paper cut on your cornea. Now squeeze lemon juice into said paper cut. Exactly. For me, that is what my interactions with LLF are like. He is essentially, my relationship Vietnam or Paper cut to the cornea. If I may be so bold as to quote W, ”You’re the decider.”
LLF called to wish me a Happy Birthday — 10 days early and invited me to vacation with him in D.C. the following week. “Well in that case, the answer is no.” The conversation ended abruptly after that as he switched into Ike Turner mode which was my que to exit stage left. That’s the thing about break-ups, opportunities missed and even the possibility of a soul mates. They’re all stories … Stories with a beginning, a middle and an end.
Do I think there is one person wandering the Earth right now that has everything I need? Yes. No. Maybe. To quote NsSA “If there are 10 scenarios, five are yes — the other five, no. Timing is key.” Perhaps the real question becomes, if I’ve already had brunch and my just desserts — could my ideal mate in fact be Brie?
True cheese aficionados, prefer their cheese at center stage. For them, a cheese course — presented after the main dish and before dessert. A cheese course also presents an excellent occasion to study the gastronomic characters around the table: There are ”The Play-It-Safers” who shake their heads politely and pass — I believe these are the same people who put “Grown and Sexy” on evites, and there are ”The Trend-Setters” whose eyes light up, revealing unsuspected reserves of appetite. The latter seeing the imperfections in texture as a breath of fresh air. They’re disgusted by flaccid neon squares masquerading as the real deal.
According to NPR’s Cheese 101 – In putting a platter of du fromage together, the choice of cheese should first and foremost reflect your tastes, but as with the meal, you should strive for harmonious variety. Each item should be sufficiently different from the others to maintain the diner’s interest, and the selection should make sense as a whole. For me discovering Brie was like a religious experience. Love at first bite you might say. There was something different about it, and I just knew I would love it forever. The way it melts in your mouth … how versatile and complimentary it is. Brie, is the kind of cheese that you don’t mind introducing to your inner circle over a bottle of Shiraz. And should I ever be fortunate enough to experience it in the form of a mate, soul or not … The answer will undoubtedly be yes. Yes Brie, I’ll marry you.
And the church said A-woman.