My friend: I'm listening to Ironic by Alanis. Isn't it ironic to find the man of your dreams then later meet his beautiful wife?
Milai: Nah, the irony there is meeting the man of your dreams. (laughs)
The above exchange made me do a double take. Have I gotten too cynical beyond redemption?
There is no denying that I am romantic to the core. You see, I began reading romance novels at an early age. While most children read fairytales and picture books, I, much to my mom's dismay, took delight in reading Mills and Boon and Harlequin novels starting at age eight. I also loved reading the works of Barbara Cartland. At age ten, I was into Danielle Steel and at twelve, was into novels by Judith McNaught, Johanna Lindsey and Jude Deveraux. Reading about their heroines ending up with the man of their dreams sure made me think about my own happy ending.
Ten years after, my view on love, or rather, on men, soured due to the fact that some of my friends and acquaintances became victims of their infidelity or were in an abusive relationship. There were some too who fell in love with men who were difficult to love in the first place. And some who were with men who could not find it in themselves to commit to a relationship or marriage.
With the above, and also because I experienced heartbreaks and heartaches firsthand, I became very wary of love. Or rather, of men.
A friend in college said not just once that those like us who grew up reading romance novels would have a difficult time finding the "man of our dreams" basically because we already have our ideals on who or what we want in and from them. "Admit it, unconsciously, you have the tendency to compare a suitor to that dashing, romantic duke from the Victorian era in historical romance novels or to that confident, urbane, a little difficult but loving man you read about in your contemporary novels." And we laughed because it was partly true. Matthew Allen Parker from McNaught's Paradise, where are you? Ha ha!
Then there's this Linda Howard novel I read where they joked about Mr. Perfect being "science fiction." Ha! I just had to laugh on that one.
When I was home in Aklan last January, a relative, knowing I am already twenty-seven and most of my batchmates were already married, joked, "So when is the grand walk down the aisle?" I laughed and replied that I am even yet to find THAT man I will walk down the aisle with. Polite queries followed, with most of them asking all the hows and whys that they could think of regarding my being uncommitted and all later coming to a concession that I am just being choosy. Ooooooo-kay. Whatever.
Is there anything wrong with being single, especially when it is someone's personal choice and she's happy being such, as I said so in a previous post? Is there anything wrong with having standards for THE man a woman wants to marry? I'm not looking for Mr. Perfect because we all know that perfection in anyone or anything does not exist. But I do have standards for the man of my dreams. And on this I refuse to compromise. Why? Because we are all entitled to choose who we want to spend the rest of our lives with. And mine is to be with a man who is like Daddy. Oh, he isn't perfect. He sometimes drinks and used to smoke and he is scary when he gets mad but he's faithful to my mom and wonderful to us.
You may have noticed I wrote "on love or rather, on men" twice in this post. I want to emphasize this because men (and of course, women), may become unfaithful or jealous or insincere but love is not and never will be. It is and will always be the same kind of wondrous, saving love that it is made to be. Anything less than that is not true and lasting love - the reason why most relationships don't last these days and why some marriages crumble.
I want to end this post by addressing my cynicism. Yes, I admit to having gotten jaded over the years but there's still that part of me who sees the world through rose-tinted glasses. Who still believes in the wonders of love and in God's perfect timing for everything.
True love waits.