FROM CHAPTER EIGHT
“Don’t worry,” my friends would say, “you’ll find her.”
I have a loyal and caring group of friends, people I love and cherish, but almost all of them—men and women—are married, and sometimes I get the sense that their interest in my finding a mate is motivated not only by their genuine concern for my happiness, but also by how much more convenient things would be, socially, if I were part of a couple. When I’m invited out with friends, it’s rarely with just one couple—it’s usually as part of a larger group of three or four pairs, and I’m usually the one sitting at the head of the table, or at the end of the table across from no one. To my friends, when I “find her” I’ll not only be able to enjoy all the comfort and warmth of a deep and soulful love, I’ll also put an end to all those pesky, odd-numbered dinner reservations. Getting a table for eight is so much easier than getting a table for seven.
But when people say, “Don’t, worry, you’ll find her,” it suggests a fairy-tale notion of some predetermined “her,” some singular, identifiable woman whom destiny has hidden away as part of some cruel “Where’s Waldo” test of skill and endurance.
I don’t believe in that. I don’t believe that some mystical force has jiggered the game by creating for each of us, from among the billions of people on this planet, only one person with whom we can create a relationship of true love and compatibility. I don’t even believe it’s one in a million. While I’ll acknowledge that finding someone with whom you can fall in love, and stay in love, is rare, my instincts tell me it’s probably more of a one in two hundred proposition. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily require two hundred first dates before meeting a permanent love—she could just as easily be number seven as number 198—it just means that she’s somewhere within that pool.
Thanks to the Internet, I’m currently at 22—and counting.
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Excerpt content copyright Ó 2007, Kenneth W. Shapiro