The Matrix Factor

It has recently come to my attention that ‘girlworld’ and The Matrix must probably co-exist on similar planes of existence. Leather dominatrix secks outfits aside, there’s one thing that they have the most in common– a never-ending obsession with ‘The One’.

They say that every girl, even from when they were little, dreams of her perfect wedding with the perfect man. Someone who will love her unconditionally and who will share his life together with her in harmony. Someone who who will take her as his wife in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, and till death do they part. Someone who will be ‘The One’.

The way I see it, it’s not so much the wedding but the marriage that girls are fantasizing about. Marriage is the perfect culmination to a love-filled relationship. To find that one special person to spend the rest of their lives with is the ultimate female fantasy, just as a threesome with Scarlett Johansson and Marisa Miller is for any guy. But if that truly is the case, how much of it exactly is reality from fantasy?

The reality is, no one’s life is ever long. It’s way too short to be trifled in with the sad stuff in life. And everyone finds happiness and comfort in partnership. Which is why at a certain age, single people somehow feel a certain universal desperation for a life partner, a “soulmate”. This is especially rampant among women.

A little bird (and whatta geek this little bird was) once told me that Mathematics tells us three of the saddest love stories never told. There’s the story of Tangent Lines, who will meet at some point in their lives before parting ways for the remainder of time itself. There’s the story of Parallel Lines, who are never even destined to meet each other at any point in their lives. But then there’s the story of Asymptotes. Now these babies are the worst, the saddest of the bunch. Asymptotes will get as close to each other as humanly possible, but no matter how intimate they become, no matter how much effort they put into it, they will never ever be together. Some sort of intervening cosmic force is just hell-bent on keeping them apart. Romeo and Juliet never even stood a chance.

There’s always the possibility that there’s no such person out there as “the one”. What if this whole belief system of a ‘soulmate’ existing to be with one person only in the entire world is nothing more than an urban myth? Should we all keep looking for such a person, or should we settle for someone else? What if the person you’re destined to be with is in another country? Are soulmates affected by international laws? What about the language barrier? I couldn’t help but wonder, is the quest for ‘The One’ just a woman’s means to find purpose in life? Because let’s face it, life can be a bitch. Women are, after all, much more emotionally fragile than men. I guess this is where that desperation comes in. The practical solution is to find someone that you have enough similarities with, and be done with it. Instead of leaving it up to chance that you will find “the one”, settle for someone your reality shows you is right there.

My former classmate P had a seemingly lifelong obsession with this one guy. The two of them met in college. She was a believer of soulmates, and he seemed to fit the bill. He had bad-boy appeal written all over him, and she liked that. A lot. For a while, everything seemed perfect. For a while, she truly believed he could be “The One”. And even though he had a girlfriend back then, she believed his promises of a possible future, and how he would dump his girlfriend for her. He never did. Sometime later, life happened. He had to migrate up north, like across international waters and all, up north. And she had to stay behind. They were never officially an item. There were no actual talks about their exclusivity. She had no claim over him whatsoever. He did suggest she move there with him, but the plans just weren’t solid enough. And that was the end of that.

She missed him terribly. Days, months, even years passed. A steady string of boyfriends followed. Constant alcohol consumption and non-stop partying ensued. Yet still, she couldn’t get over him. And how could she? She compared every guy she meets to him. And blinded as though she was, no one was ever up to par. The guy was her “one that got away”, for all she was concerned. The internet allowed them to communicate every so often. And there conversations always held sweet promises, so she never stopped believing in the possibility between them.

The guy came back for a vacation after a few years. He had a girlfriend whom he met “up north”, but they found time to meet, they made sure of it, to rekindle whatever they had back in the past, however briefly. They consummated her undying obsession with his until it was time for him to leave.

+   +   +

I should’ve seen it coming when she invited me and another classmate to dinner one night. The uncharacteristic invite, the deliberate cravings for food and the blatant disregard to the aftermath it’ll bring upon her hips in the future, the shopping– the evidence was mounting. She was sad. She never let on, of course. She didn’t make a move or say anything. No, something held her back, probably shame. But she didn’t have to do or say anything. It was pretty clear to us what she wanted, needed. She needed fun, and silent sympathy, and just to be surrounded by friends and good people.

Frankly, I couldn’t believe how stupid she was. She was smart, she had morals, but somehow those smarts didn’t come into play. All for what? Her ideal partner? But I didn’t want to judge. After all, I barely have experience in the subject matter, what gives me the right to lecture her for such a blatantly obvious poor judgment?

What I can’t fathom up to this day is the fact that she tolerated his cheating. She was the other woman, she knew it damn well from the very beginning, and yet she still turned a blind eye to it. She was selfish, and she didn’t care. What would have happened if they did end up together? What kind of relationship would they have had? His actions now, to me, speak volumes. He could just as easily see someone else on the side while they’re together, and somehow I find it hard to believe that she, or anyone for that matter, would have been okay with that. And those poor women the guy had relationships with, I can’t even imagine how they would possibly feel should they have found out. For me, a relationship based on lies is not a relationship at all, or at least not one that deserves a future.

Of course, when you’re dealing with emotional wrecks, it’s always the friend thing to do to phrase your words nicely, or edit your sentences and omit a few lines. It’s almost imperative in friendships, actually.

“Face the facts,” I remember bluntly telling her. “If he’s really into you like you said he said he is, why was he still with his girlfriend? If he’s stringing this chick just so he won’t end up alone if you don’t go with his plans, then he’s more of a jerk than I thought. The way I see it, you lose either way. You’re in a no-win situation. He’s waiting for you to take that big leap, into his arms and into his life, but it’s pretty clear he would never do it first. And just in case you don’t do it, he still has a fallback person waiting for him in the sidelines. If you want to take that leap, then do so, like now. Because someone’s life is ruined either way.”

Of course, in my mind, that translated to, “Take that leap, and if he turns out to be the jerk you refuse to see he is, you can always remember him fondly as an asshole.”

But she kept arguing that what they had was special and all that crap, as if she was making him out to be the good guy she desperately wanted him to be. I remember wanting to slap her some much needed sense into her then. He’s not the one. He’s her ideal one, but he’s not the one. I didn’t understand why she couldn’t see this for herself, when it was clear as day for me. In the end, I remained silent. I wasn’t going to tell her how to live her life, or make her decisions for her. I could have assured her that she’d find love eventually, that she was capable of it. But I didn’t do it. I couldn’t do it, not when I couldn’t say the same for myself.

The truth was unraveling right before her eyes, even I could see it. But somehow, she missed the whole thing. The cognition that I started to see in her eyes was instantly replaced with that frustrating desperation caused by her unwavering desire to be with her ideal man. I had to ask myself, did she really think she was in love? Is this craziness every girl’s idea of what being in love is supposed to be like?

There was something about them. Maybe they’re in a relationship more than I thought. Maybe they have a ‘separate togetherness’ that works for them, and it transcends normal human logic. It’s quite possible in theory, actually. Maybe when people say that love is illogical, they’re actually on to something. But life is more than theories, or so I’ve learned to accept. It’s about definition, and that level of definition applies to all, even in matters of the heart.

The rules of love are simple and finite. It’s the romanticized fantasy that complicates things. It blinds the people involved, and distorts their better judgment. And more often than not, they lose their way. They forget about themselves. And when the going gets tough, too tough for everyone involved to handle, they still force themselves into delusionally believing that wherever their relationship stands, it’s worth sticking up for till the end. Yes, even when the whole world begs to differ. But in the long run, the romanticized fantasy is always transfigured into exquisite pain. It drowns them, and yet in their warped way of thinking, it’s all good. Suffering is merely a hurdle that can be overcome.

It’s a totally masochistic perspective I can’t quite force myself to understand, yet somehow find easy enough to verbalize into simplistic terminologies. Or maybe I understand it more than I realize. Sadness comes in all shapes and forms, but everyone can relate to it. Even the best of us human folk have had their fair share of it. Then again, at the end of the day, all I have are ‘maybes’. Nothing I say is ever really defined. What do I know about love?

I have this vision of myself. Someday, I’m gonna save the world. How, you ask? By saving the people around me, and in turn influence them to do the same for the people around them. I think it’s harsh, the way I give my opinions sometimes. But I think it’s also why I’m the voice of reason in my small circle of friends. I’m there to be their sensible perspective when they do stupid things in life. I used to always say, I’m not opinionated, I’m just always right. And it just so happens I ususally am. But only so many things can be said about a lame guy who can’t follow his own advice. The truth is, it’s their prerogative anyway to listen to my advice or not. What matters is that whatever they decide to do with my two cents, they know that while my shoulders aren’t always up for leaning, my ears are open for venting.

Maybe the constant search for “the one” is just that, a constant, never-ending search…

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~ by iamnotfrodo on February 11, 2009.

One Response to “The Matrix Factor”

  1. Are you Eddie Temple notfrodo?

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