The first time I saw her was long before we spent any time together and also that was way before we became friends. While it’s sad to initiate a presentation with visual attributes, her beauty was the first inescapable thing about her. Her angled face, green eyes and tall stature immediately set her apart from mere mortals. Now, more human, I know her to be hilarious, intelligent and stronger than she should have to be. Then, I didn’t even know her name, she didn’t know mine, but just like we shared that first moment in space and time, we share also that, but here I will, respectfully, call her Lauren Bacall.
Yesterday, almost ten years into our friendship, part of my day I shared with her daily life as the mother of two. The oldest, a 3-years old, was intent on eating me. To “nom, nom, noms” and crystal-clinging laugher he “ate me” several times, blowing his stomach up to demonstrate his success. I tickled him, explaining to him that I was escaping from his stomach. The laugher was contagious.
His brother, a 7-month-old, repeatedly ended up in my arms. Carrying him on my hip I passed a mirror and casually glanced at the reflection that greeted me. Lauren and I joked about it and she told me it looked good, me with the baby in my arms. But it is an unlikely scenario. Mostly because the child was blond and blue-eyed and a man of genetics strong enough to conquer my dark features is hard to imagine. And partly because I’m not a particularly young woman anymore. With only a few years, half a decade or so, left before I am too old to have that experience myself it would be a battle against time.
It’s a strange thing to be the last one standing for so long, with only temporary somethings and let’s-remain-friends-but-not-really someones, to be the last one to find a home. Most of my friends relate to this “issue” in different ways, some more elegantly than others, but few have no opinions at all. I often wonder how much I let other people influence me on topics concerning the core of my own existence – either as emotional seeds that are planted or as pressure to either dos or don’ts, to chose this or that. On days when I am the person I want to be the most, this is not something that I concern myself with as though it is a problem, perhaps too addicted to the search to find actually something. In moments when I am not quite as much my desired self, I do sometimes wonder why it was over a decade since I heard the oh-so-dreaded L-word.
Yesterday as I was sitting on Lauren and her husband’s terrace, she told me that she thinks I deserve to find “someone special” and that I have been unlucky in things love related. The word “unlucky” lingered in my thoughts all evening because it feels so different from how I think of things. It might be a good word, maybe that’s really what all things in life comes down to, being at the right place at the right time, being lucky. I don’t know. But luck implies there is nothing you could have done, that there is no personal responsibility, no actual need for growth, no benefits in contemplating the outcomes of your choices nor the consequences of your personality.
Maybe I am arrogantly assigning myself too much power thinking that we largely put ourselves in the situations we find ourselves in. But I feel like, most logically, it was the combination of my own actions and how my personality traits resonated with past lovers’ desires that were what dictated the congruence of our union. Humbly, I would suggest that it is simply so that sometimes people love you but most often they don’t, and vice versa. So perhaps its the opposite. Perhaps it is not unlucky to not have ended up in a mutual affection state with someone, but rather very lucky to do.