J. M. Whitaker
For as long as I can remember, I have been searching for the perfect girl. Since I was old enough to begin longing for female companionship, I have been on the hunt. I guess it started out as just a simple dream or fantasy, not unlike most of us. The strange thing about it was that it never stayed just a dream or a fantasy. The more people I dated, the more times I was let down, the more I hungered for that perfect person, the one that would fill all of my needs and desires, the one that would never let me down.
I dated girl after girl. Some of them were great while others got me into some trouble. Some of them made me laugh, but a lot of them made me cry. Through my journey, I found a lot of joy and a lot of sorrow, a lot of happiness and a lot of pain, but never the perfect girl. I had dreamed about her. Dark hair, darker eyes, a slim figure tinted golden brown from the sun. She had an accent and could play the cello. She would love to talk, but wouldn't expect me to talk too much. She would always ask me how my day was and would always have a smile on her face; absolute perfection.
I began to devise methods in how I would meet the girls I would date. I knew I wanted an intelligent girl, so I hung out in libraries and museums. I meet this real crazy girl at a library after school one day. She was smart and sexy and, well? crazy. I would rather not go into a lot of details about it. Let's just say she had some real deep-seated anxieties about our relationship and, consequentially, our break up.
I knew I wanted an artistic girl, so I went to music stores and coffee shops, I even tried a couple of classical concerts. I met this wonderfully cute girl who dressed really dark and loved to write poetry. She was great, we used to stay up all night long talking about the silliest things, but she ended up dumping me for some guy who did drugs and rode a motorcycle.
I got into a car accident with a girl driving a Pontiac Sunfire. She had no driver's license or car insurance, but she did have a really great smile and the prettiest hair. Instead of calling the police, we called in sick and went out to eat. We dated for a while but eventually came across an irreconcilable difference in opinions. She didn't always feel the need to come "straight home" after work. Okay, to be honest, toward the end of our relationship, she rarely came home at all.
Then there was the girl from the International House of Pancakes. She was an exact replica of my personality. I mean if you had met us both over some Internet chat room, you would swear we were the same person using multiple screen-names. Sounds sweet, huh? Have you ever considered marrying yourself? Have you ever thought about growing old together, just you and yourself? We both found that the whole idea of finding that "perfect person" was to find someone different from yourself to fulfill the empty spots within you.
I searched every where. I left no rock unturned, no leaf moved aside, but to no avail. After much pain and heartache, I began to believe that the perfect girl just did not exist. Then one day, I found her.
Her name was Malia. She was from Hawaii, raised in Italy. She wore silk pajama pants to bed. She had written a novel. She loved the beach and hated cats, just like me. She had silky, dark and curly hair that swayed perfectly if the breeze was right. She had a caramel colored body, etched out of a block of pure perfection, and her face was that of an angel. From the very first time I saw her, I could not seem to take my eyes away from hers. She was like a siren, calling my name, beckoning me closer to her, even when she was asleep. The attraction was complete, with no faults, no annoyances. Every time she spoke shemesmerized me and every time she moved she amazed me. She was... well, perfect. Oh, and did I mention she played the cello?
We spent all the extra time we had together. We spent so much time together that we decided to move in together. We were paying rent on two places, but one of them was doing nothing but collecting dust. We would sit on the porch when it rained and hold each other. We would lay on the beach and soak up a sweet combination of sunrays and pina coladas. Life was good. No, life was perfect and I knew it just couldn't possibly get any better than it was right then and there.
Two years later, Malia left me for a career-opportunity at a really prominent university in Europe. There were no harsh words, no angry feelings, not even any sad good-byes. She was so perfect that if she wanted to leave, I wanted it for her. That is, until she was gone.
I cried for days, and began to drink for weeks after that. I felt as if my life was over, that the only reason that I had existed was gone, and every breath I took from that moment on was a futile attempt to hold on to something I later found I never had: The Perfect Love.
Malia was perfect. She was perfect in each and every single way, but I was not. Our love for each other was a deeply committed one, but it was far from perfect. I know that now, but if I could go back in time to tell myself that in an attempt to save myself from all of that pain and suffering, I fear I would not have listened to myself.
I slept with many women, sometimes a different girl every week. I drank excessively and spent all of my money on temporary satisfaction. Anything to ease the pain. But the pain did not ease, it only grew stronger. It became a vicious circle of self-inflicted torture that eventually brought me to my knees and forced me to open my eyes to the real world. But not before it made me a bitter man.
I was wiser, but to this day, the decisions made left a coldness in my eyes that made my heart appear as lead to anyone who dared look. I became a loner, staying home on the weekends, saving my money for a healthy but lonely retirement, having accepted my fate. I was to be alone for the rest of my life. Kathy with a K. Actually, her name is spelled Kathyrn. Quite peculiar, but I didn't think so until later. For the longest time, I never even knew her name. But she was a sight for sore and lonely eyes. I saw her at work. I was her boss (actually, I was her boss' boss) and did not want to risk the chance of even speaking to her. She was just too beautiful, and I had become a beast with a past too horrible to mention. I would just watch her as she passed my office every day. She didn't walk, she frolicked, and I would sneak out for a break whenever she did just to watch that frolicking. She smiled every time someone spoke to her, a smile like the early morning sun, and her eyes were so dark that you couldn't see her pupils, only the glimmering from the light that made her eyes look like two bright stars. I was under her spell and I didn't even know her name. One day, watching her outside, I convinced myself to ask around about her. Find out her name and maybe even find out if she was seeing someone. Just as I had decided that she spoke to me.
Kathy with a K. She ended up asking me out, you know. I told her I couldn't that night because I had to work late. Actually, I was too scared. I called her and asked her if she wanted to go to Starbucks after work the next day and she agreed. It turned out to be the most romantic night of both of our lives. We were both still pretty new in town and didn't really know our way around. I had no idea what I was going to do or where I was going to take her next so I winged it the whole way. Like I said, it turned out to be the most romantic night of both of our lives. It was perfect.
She was not perfect, but neither was I. We both carried a truckload of emotional baggage and we both had a mountain of flaws. But it was perfect. She would always forget to plug in her cell phone at night, but I would always remind her. I couldn't do laundry worth a flip, but she showed me how. She could never get to work on time, and she hated to drive, but we both had to be at work on time so I drove us both there. Whenever she was slacking I was always right over her shoulder, and when I would lose track of what I was trying to do, she would help to keep me focused. We complemented each other in every single way. Neither of us was perfect, but we were perfect for each other.
When you're out there looking for that perfect person keep these things in mind. People change, no matter how hard they try not to. As you grow older you mature, and with each new level of maturity come different ideas, different needs and wants. The person who was perfect for you at twenty could be the person you hate when you're thirty-five. You have to find some one who will grow with you, change with you, laugh with you and cry with you. A person who fills in where you lack, a person whom you can fill in for when they are lacking. But what about the perfect person, you ask? They do not exist. Even Malia was not perfect because the perfect girl in my dreams was supposed to stay with me.
There are no perfect people, only people who are perfect for each other.