On “time and chance”

On “time and chance”

Here’s a thought.

You meet someone you really like and want desperately to be “the one” (notice I said “want” and not “need” – until the other party agrees the general consensus is – whether people actually say so or not – is that it’s “want” and not “need” – but once both parties agree to be a couple it magically turns to need – this is an over simplification on my part, but it’s an idea that should be explored further with respect to infatuation/obsession which are undesirable “traits” of course).

I digress. So you want this person to be “the one” (or well, you might also feel/know this person is the one), but he/she says no.

You feel you are heartbroken (or something akin to it – or maybe it’s just unfulfilled/frustrated desires and nothing else), but people (both sexes, all religions) say it’s OK, move on, there are many fishes in the sea.

All fine and dandy.

But if that’s the case, why do (the same) people then expect (or hold the view/idea) that the ceremonies of one single day (wedding) with its attendant exchange of vows (during which time you could have got the couple to say almost anything with their emotions running wild and them being on euphoric “highs”) would automatically or magically change that view/belief?

In short one could argue that this view is predicated on the idea that while a person is single it’s OK to believe that people weren’t meant to be faithful to one partner for life but once we eat the jollof rice, that believe must magically change to the opposite? (I know I am exaggerating/over simplifying things – again :-). Human beings aren’t that simple and believes don’t change that easily – just because you recite some words – even religion has had a hard time of it, otherwise we should all be saints but as I was once told (correctly), “there are no saints anywhere”.

The point I am making is that people are “confused” if they (and that’s largely the case) support the above position. You can’t say you believe there’s “the one” for everybody out there and then believe as well that there are many fishes in the ocean (I tend to go with the latter position from a point of view of “time and chance” may ultimately determine who you end up with).

So “we” must choose one. Either:

1. We are not meant to be with one partner for life; there’s nothing like “the one”; and there are many fishes in the ocean,

2. Or, there’s indeed “the one”; and you can be lucky enough to find him/her; and you are expected to be with the person for life.

Thinking about the above a little more, I guess we can add a third possibility or a subgroup of possibility “2” above, which is:

3. If you don’t meet “the one”, then you might not remain (or are under no obligation to remain) with one partner for life.

The issue with 3 of course is that it’s likely to be abused – people are going to use it as justification for everything from emotional laziness (not willing to put in the work when things get rough or the initial spark cools) to just plain sampling something new based on purely animalistic urges (men more than women). Thus, this third possibility will open a Pandora’s box (which we have already been toying with for quite a while going by the rate of divorce and unfaithfulness in the society).

(Personally, my religious self prefers option 2 while thinking 1 and 3 are akin to blasphemy just the same way that the good book says that “God rules in the affairs of men” while mentioning somewhere else that “time and chance” happens to all men and women.)

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4:30AM “rant”. Will (realistically probably not) return to it some day ┬áto explore the subject in more details.

Saturday

Saturday

The taxi was old and rickety. I watched it as it made its way slowly down the street. A couple sat in the back. The man looked straight ahead. The woman looked out the side window. I know them. How long has it been since the big day: the wedding? Four years give or take a couple of months. How long ago did the raised voices late at night become a constant source of distraction? Two years give or take a couple of months.
And how long before the wedding were the walks in the evening, hand in hand; the whispering; the giggling? The outings? Maybe a couple of years give or take a couple of months.
I have marked time by the events in their lives.
More importantly, I think I have been here too long. Time to move on.
But to what? To where? It’s not like I have it any better than them. Yeah, there is a case to be made for two people who may be unhappy together over the single person haunting a building he calls his house, but does the headache beat the loneliness?
I know you will ask if I am lonely, why don’t I do something about it? Good question: complex answer.
When Cupid came for me, I was having a bad day. So instead of leaping for joy, I said f**k it all, and went my way. But the arrow was in my heart, so I had no peace. Then work issues cropped up and I went round like the living-dead for a couple of months. By the time I sorted that out and came back to myself and senses, it was too late. Even I could see how bad it looked. I wasn’t that guy, but my actions made me look like some vindictive, callous, unfeeling, selfish fellow who is nasty if he doesn’t have his way or get what he wants. I am not. But R. Kelly got it right when he sang (paraphrased) “Cause when a woman’s mind is made up (no matter how you beg no) There ain’t nothing you can do about it. It’s like running out of luck …”

The taxi has stopped. The man gets out, pays the driver and goes in the house with not even a single glance: the lady could have gone away with the taxi for all he cared. The lady follows shortly afterwards, bag in one hand and shoes in the other.
Lovely lady, I would have been perfectly happy with her if she was free and my heart was otherwise unoccupied. But I guess beauty and character are not always enough to keep the fire burning in a man’s heart, but I have been told that for a lady, the fire burns almost unceasingly: maybe, maybe not.

So if that’s not working out, why don’t I look elsewhere? You would be surprised at the reasons … as it is said in these parts: “… condition …”
But enough about me. I can hear the voices again: anger, despair and disappointment rolled into one.
Same lips that whispered those 3 universal words; that recited vows with glinting eyes in front of a few hundred well wishers and family.

Why won’t you give me a chance? Why do I make you so uncomfortable? All I want is to see you smile at me.

The raised voices are replaced by the noise of the crowd at a soccer game. Their TV.

I will see them in church tomorrow. Nicely dressed. We will share a word or two of greetings when the service is over. We will smile and comment on how the weather is changing. I expect to hear their raised voices later in the day while I think about you.

Time passes. Nothing changes.