Everyday, millions of people are bombarded with ads for dating services such as Match.com and eHarmony. They all claim that their unique program can help you find the “one” you are “meant to be” with. With so many singles out there searching for their other half, it got me thinking. Is there really a ONE?
This week, I find myself home sick again, and at one o’clock this afternoon a soap opera that every woman in my family has watched religiously since before I was born, came on the air. The plot lines had barely changed since the last time I’d watched. The characters were still wrapped up in webs of lies and were scheming relentlessly as ever. They were all trying to rearrange their situations and did nothing short of manipulate every one around them so they could get back their one “true love.” In these endeavors, not a single character had any respect for marriage or regard for the truth. They were morally bankrupt to the extent that their driving force was only to reclaim a lost love no matter what the expense to other families. One character repeated the cliché “true love conquers all,” even though it was clear that if true love was what they saw it to be, it surely had failed them.
I remember growing up watching this show with my mom when I was just a little girl. I grew up wishing I could have a marriage someday like Bo and Hope, wanting for someone to come rescue me at every turn like John and Marlena. For those of you who’ve had the misfortune of watching “Days of Our Lives” or ever had the delusions that a soap-opera romance was possible, you know what I am talking about. And it got me thinking, that THIS is exactly what’s wrong with the world. We’ve somehow all adopted the soap-opera mind-set. Deep down, we all want the fairytale. Whether or not we’ve yet resigned to the fact that life is seldom like that, deep down we are all dreamers to some degree.
How many housewives sit home everyday watching programs such as this while their husbands are at work, wishing to themselves that their marriage had the passion or drama as their favorite soap couple? How many husbands are needlessly belittled or undervalued because they cannot live up to the hype that their wives are absorbing day after day? Forget about the Young and the Restless, whatever the age of these viewers, deep down they are all wanting for more, believing the lie that romance, passion, danger and adventure are all there is to life. And when they have to undertake the mundane tasks of preparing supper or washing the dishes or getting the kids ready for bed, their hearts are growing colder, their minds are wandering, their situation seems more and more helpless. These are the real Desperate Housewives.
No one ever told them that the honeymoon eventually fades into the lull of everyday life, that marriage has it’s share of suffering, that the 24-7 soap-opera romance is impossible once the realities of life set in. That’s why people take vows for richer or poorer, sickness and health, good times and bad. Because it won’t always be exciting or fun, it may sometimes be unbearable. Yet the plots of these daytime dramas don’t show that part. When the marriage gets tiresome, when the passion fades, it doesn’t mean it’s time to tackle the problems that have weighed it down, it means you’ve settled down with the wrong person. It means your spouse is not the one! And if you are with the wrong one, then the right one must be out there somewhere, and it’s your duty in life to make sure that you find that one. The vicious cycle goes round and round and I’ll bet my bottom dollar that few of the women who undertake this attitude in real life ever find true happiness. They will always want more. They will always think they’re missing something. They’ll continue to buy into the lie like a sick addiction.
So is there really one person out there for each of us? In a world as big as this, it’s hard to imagine that it’s possible, and it does seem like an awful lot of work, doesn’t it? I do believe that God has a plan for each of us and so I do think it’s possible that there is someone special out there suited for each of us, but I guess there is no real way for us to ever find out, is there? We can either make the most of what we have, or we will be fated to the circular path of Sammy Brady, trying, scheming, manipulating and lowering herself whenever necessary to get the “man of her dreams” which, I assure you, varies from month to month.
Life with M has its share of problems from time to time. Surely, there are days when it feels like a fairytale but there are still days that bring their problems and challenges, but that’s just life and part of the process is learning to get through the hard times and making the most of the good times. Thinking that we can be happy 100% of the time or that any impasse means it’s the end of a good thing can only bring pain and regret. And I’m not a big fan of either.
Surely, we all eventually must realize that there’s more to life than candlelit dinners, spontaneous getaways and long walks on the beach. Though those don’t hurt either… "Like sands through the hourglass..."