Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Musical chair

At lunch today somehow my boss and I got to talking about relationships and marriage. Neither of us believed in soul mates, but him even less so. The French in general are quite skeptical about marriage, and I don't blame them. 50% of marriages in France end up in divorce, so if those statistics are to be trusted, the odds don't look good.

This said, my boss got married 6 years ago and had three beautiful girls out of it. So I just had to ask why he decided to get hitched anyway despite the odds.

"You know, when I was your age, I fell in love all the time. I could fall in love 10 times a day, and I'm not even exaggerating. At any given moment of my youth I'd have a girlfriend, and with every girlfriend I thought it was going to last. I really loved every one of them, and I could never understand people who complained about not being able to find love because I was in love all the freaking time. But I've never really had that one Earth-shattering relationship where my girlfriend was my everything, where I was ready to die for her, where being with her trumped everything else in the whole wide world. Maybe I'm just unlucky, or maybe that kind of love only happens to very few people."

I said nothing. I just wanted to know where he was going with it.

"And you know why it tickles me when people talk about soul mates and tell me that they've met theirs? It's the fact that these so-called soul mates always happen to live in the same city, or work in the same industry, or studied in the same university. For all I know, my soul mate could be somewhere in freaking Nepal and there's no way in hell I could meet her. But for some of these people, their soul mates happen to grocery shop at the same store or go to the same bar as they do. Isn't that convenient?"

Still not seeing where he was going with this.

"What I'm saying is, even if my soul mate were somewhere out there, I would never cross path with her. Now, does that mean I should never settle down with anyone? Just because destiny hasn't been all that nice to me, does that mean I can't get married?"

"So you're saying that you settled for the next best thing?" I chimed in.

"No, not really. If you think about it, love is like a game of musical chairs: you turn round and round, and all of sudden you realize time is running out so you decide to settle for the chair you have at the moment and hope for the best. That's all there is."

Then our conversation was cut off by this other dude who started going off at a tangent and veered away from our initial discussion, so I never got to hear the end of my boss' interesting train of thought.

I don't really know why I find his words fascinating. Maybe it's because I know for a fact that he's a devoted husband and father, which means that he makes do with the cards he was handed, and play them off magnificently well.

It's the kind of honesty and clarity of mind that I find essential, yet lacking, in our society today.


WP said...

Musical chairs as an analogy is quite interesting, but it's good only if you happen to need a chair, you know? I prefer to think that we all have numerous possible soul mates in the world. I refuse to believe in one single soul mate, if only for the reason that it would be really sad if your soul mate got hit by a bus and killed at 5 years old. Then where does that leave you?

Kahuna said...

I think everyone needs a chair, it's just that some prefer waiting for that perfect chair, some settle for the chair they kinda like, and a select few manage to find the perfect chair they really love.

One of the reasons why I think his analogy is pretty interesting is that he mentions how you'd settle down when "time is running out." Goes to show that humans are genetically programmed to reproduce and pass their genes down. Like it or not, there's this biological clock in all of us that goes off once we hit a certain age, prompting us to throw our ideals out the window and take what we can get.

Sabrina said...

The "musical chair" analogy is the same analogy used in one of the TED videos i watched.

Pretty interesting and i must say i agree. The speaker is of the same opinion with u anuar. x