Ridiculous Romantic: Published February 2011 in Shack Row Times
Dear Drunk Slutty Aunt,
I have recently realized that I’ve been living for something that may never exist: true love. I’ve never even had a boyfriend. And yet, I wake up every morning, smack my alarm clock, and say a little prayer—to whomever may be listening—that I happen upon my true love that day. I am now 25 years old, Slutty Aunt, and I’m tired. Exhausted, actually. Should I keep looking? Should I quit? Help!
Yours with Hope,
Dear Ridiculous Romantic,
Many times I have spent frantic minutes searching for important items, usually my keys, in vain. These are usually precious minutes, probably because I am late, but mostly because I am engrossed in one occupation: searching. I usually begin to sweat, become frustrated, speak in angry tones, and lose control completely. In my haste, I have missed a certain beauty in life. However, once I have given up, calmed, and let go of my anger, I find that the keys are somewhere obvious: my hand, at the bottom of my purse, beside my front door under a wayward scarf. I breathe. Smile. Walk away satisfied.
It seems that you have found yourself in a very similar situation, just magnified. You’ve spent so long searching, my dear Romantic, that you’ve become completely obsessed with the act of searching. I will not give you what you want and are probably expecting here, though. I will not tell you that as soon as you give up you will find your true love, what you’ve been seeking. I will not tell you that you will breathe. Smile. And Walk away satisfied, hand in hand with your soul mate.
What I will give you, however, Romantic, is you. Give up this addiction that you have been feeding since the time you could comprehend the words “Happily Ever After.” You are missing so much beauty in life because you are sweating, being frustrated, speaking in angry tones, completely out-of-control. And in search for someone that will make you whole, you’ve missed a wonderful and liberating notion: you, yes, you yourself can make you whole. There is such love and beauty in the world that you can uncover, and it has nothing to do with the mystical soul mate. Reality, my dear Romantic, can and often is so wonderful that it is magical. And love is most enjoyed when you feel it for yourself.
Yours also with swelling hope,
Drunk Slutty Aunt