Who says there’s only one right person out there for any other? I just don’t buy it. But go to the movies, and you’re still likely to find the romantic tale of “the One” – the notion of a single true love – preordained by fate, destiny, or “Kismet.”
Just after my divorce, two little kids in tow, recently laid off, my house on the market – I met a man who said to me: “You need to be rescued.”
I can’t begin to express how much that remark disturbed me, and how uncomfortable I was as he tried to convince me that the solution to “my problems” was him.
I’m running through the memory banks, not only thinking about “the One,” but all those pop culture and literary references to damsels in distress awaiting White Knights to the rescue. I’m wondering, for both sexes, if the love disconnect starts there…
Cinderella and company
Cinderella had her Prince, but let’s face it – the Fairy Godmother did the work and got none of the credit. Snow White had a run in with a bad apple, but her prince did come. Then there’s Pretty Woman, the 1990 version of Cinderella, with a dapper Richard Gere, a juicy Julia Roberts, and the oh-so-Rapunzel fairy tale ending.
Out of curiosity, I tried a Google search on “true love.” 148 million occurrences. That’s a lot of true love. In contrast, “sex” resulted in 78 million hits – surprise, surprise.
As for “love” – 1,510,000,000 references! Yep. Over a billion and a half!
I also approached the Kismet-connection from another angle. Sequels.
No Cinderella sequel. No Snow White sequel. On the other hand, we’ve had Rocky I-VI, Bourne cubed, Die Hard exploding into theaters several times… but true love sequels?
Serendipity is a sparkling movie with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, all about a love that’s written in the stars.
No Serendipity sequel. Nor a Pretty Woman II, or Sleepless in Seattle Part Deux, or any number of romantic romps promising and delivering “the One.” Is this because post-rescue, real life intrudes?
The Prince snores, the Princess gets headaches, the nanny quits, the castle market plunges, the royal kids are a royal pain-in-the ass, and now no one can buy their way into the right preschools…
I’ll admit we’ve had a duo (soon to be trio) when it comes to Bridget Jones, who more realistically hooked up with Mr. Wrong before stumbling into Mr. Right. I’m anxiously awaiting the next installment, to see what mishaps befall our imperfect heroine, as she and her One-and-Only move on with their lives together.
Sex & the City
Sex & the City is one of my pop cultural “touchstones,” not only for those shoes (!), but the friendship that endures among the women. Still – after many years and many adventures, the story line and characters play out the classic pursuit (and delivery) of “the One.”
The exception is the character of Samantha. While her one night stand with a much younger man blossoms into a rich 5-year relationship, she doesn’t portray an ever-after love affair, written in the stars.
Personally, I find this strangely hopeful. She’s my sort of post-millennial princess, and she rocks on, even at fifty.