All my life, I’ve believed that my soulmate was somewhere out there waiting for me. Whenever I had a relationship that went sour, or a boyfriend that turned out to be a dud, I would just remind myself that someday the man I was meant to be with would find me and whisk me away to a life of happiness. But now I’m entering my mid-30s and I still haven’t found the perfect life partner, and I’m starting to worry that my Prince Charming is never going to drive up to my house in his homemade station wagon with his mom in the backseat, honking his “La Cucaracha” horn and waving his 9-foot-long arms.
Maybe I was naïve to think the “perfect” guy existed in the first place, but I just didn’t want to give up on meeting my soulmate. I’m mature enough to know relationships are about compromise, and the guy of your dreams isn’t going to just climb into the car he made out of garbage cans, a mixture of horse bones and raccoon bones, and string that he found lying around his house; plop his mom in the backseat; and start driving toward my house at 100 miles per hour while he waves his 9-foot-long arms wildly over his head in a spasmodic fashion, only touching the steering wheel to blast his “La Cucaracha” horn.
That kind of thing only happens in Hollywood rom-coms, and last time I checked, I wasn’t Reese Witherspoon.
Deep down, I know that no one person can be the complete package, but for a long time I’ve pushed away men who have failed to live up to the fairytale ideal I’ve created in my mind. Sometimes, I’ll meet a lovely man with a homemade station wagon and their mother in the backseat, but their arms will only be 6 feet long, and so I’ll have to send them packing. Sometimes their car horn will blast “Happy Birthday” or the chorus to the “Macarena” instead of “La Cucaracha,” and in these cases I’ll sadly have to kick the men to the curb. I’ve never been willing to settle for anything less than the total package, whether or not the total package ever really existed.
Maybe it’s time to grow up and accept somebody who doesn’t tick every single box on my pie-in-the-sky romantic checklist.
Still, when I was a little girl I always dreamed that one day I would be sprinting across my lawn toward a tall, mysterious stranger with one eye dangling out of his head sitting in the driver seat of a station wagon he had built himself out of stolen microwaves and used shoelaces he found in his neighbor’s garbage. In these girlish fantasies of mine, the mysterious stranger would reach his sexual noodle arms out of his window and place his palm gently over my face while I was still 9 feet away from him. His mother would roll down the window in the backseat of the homemade station wagon and would see me and scream, “Get in here, you absolute knob!” That would make me run toward the homemade station wagon even faster.
And for years I would imagine my perfect wedding night: my Prince Charming speeding his car made of trash down an airport tarmac with me tied to the roof with bandages he stole from a hospital, the sweet sounds of “La Cucaracha” blasting out of his car horn and into the starry night. I would smile as he stretched his 9-foot-long arms out of the window to reach up to the roof of the car and poke me gently in the eye while he sped down the tarmac at 200 miles per hour until, eventually, the two of us and his cackling mother were all crushed by a landing jetliner.
For years, I swore I would never settle for anything less.
But now the years are slipping by, and I’m still single, waiting for Mr. Right to just plow his homemade car through my kitchen wall, pick me up by the top of the head with his 9-foot-long arms, and drive away into the sunset, waving me around wildly in the sky while his mother shrieks about how beautiful it is to be alive. Maybe it’s time to grow up and accept somebody who doesn’t tick every single box on my pie-in-the-sky romantic checklist. Maybe it’s time to compromise and find a man whose arms might be a little shorter than 9 feet, or a man who holds his 9-foot-long arms straight up into the sky but doesn’t necessarily wave them around insanely like I want.
Maybe it’s time to stop looking for somebody perfect, and start looking for somebody good.