Are you ready?

The Star (St. Lucia) - - THE LIGHT SIDE -

Ire­cently re­con­nected with a close friend, now mar­ried with her first child. She’d flown back to the is­land from the U.K. to visit rel­a­tives. We met at the Rod­ney Bay ma­rina for lunch. Af­ter a few midafter­noon cock­tails, we dizzily danced down mem­ory lane, re­called how in­sep­a­ra­ble we’d once been, the fun we’d had, the times we vowed never to set­tle down. In­stead, to­gether we’d buy a great big house and live our lives ac­cord­ing to a par­tic­u­larly heated episode of Bad Girls Club.

As my friend sat across from me, her feet clad in mom-in­spired wedges, most of her face cov­ered un­der a wide-brimmed hat and huge sun­glasses; even as she checked ev­ery 30 min­utes or so on her two-year-old son, I was struck by how dif­fer­ent our lives had turned out.

Be­fore long my mar­i­tal sta­tus came up. I told her I was free, sin­gle, and not look­ing. She nod­ded slowly, as if I’d just told her I had an in­cur­able dis­ease, then re­minded me of a con­ver­sa­tion fu­elled by wine we’d had sev­eral years ear­lier in which she’d asked me if I was pre­pared to meet the man with whom I’d spend the rest of my life, should he show up. I’d said I was, and then she’d asked whether I would date my­self if I were to meet my­self at my cur­rent stage in life—her ear­lier first ques­tion with a twist. I’d re­sisted the temp­ta­tion to holler “hell yeah” while strut­ting my stuff around her liv­ing room. In­stead, I’d thought a few min­utes about her ques­tion. Just as I’d been about to re­spond, she’d vol­un­teered that she, her­self, was not.

Back then she’d pulled out a mag­a­zine and gone straight to a page that fea­tured ten ways to tell if you were ready to set­tle down. She’d ticked off just two. She’d only re­cently left school and was still fig­ur­ing what she wanted out of life. I’d dis­agreed. I’d felt then that the per­son with whom I was des­tined to spend the rest of my life would know life is a con­tin­u­ous process of growth, that there were no set rules or guar­an­tees about what needed to hap­pen and when.

Nev­er­the­less, her ques­tion had set me think­ing then, as it did now. Back at my own place, I fan­ta­sized about my fu­ture hus­band, what he might be do­ing just then. I hoped he wouldn’t be por­ing over a top ten list of musthaves for a lov­ing and last­ing re­la­tion­ship. As I thought about the per­fect man or woman (and won­dered whether we’d al­ready crossed paths with­out re­al­iz­ing it), I hoped he or she would be worldly enough to know per­fec­tion for John or Jane may not be per­fec­tion for Harry and Sally; that one per­son’s idea of per­fec­tion could spell dis­as­ter for an­other.

My per­spec­tive re­mains as it was the first time my friend posed her big ques­tion. I con­tinue to be­lieve my hopes, my dreams, my as­pi­ra­tions. And the fact that I am ac­tively seek­ing to achieve them is all the proof needed that who­ever catches my last­ing at­ten­tion will have struck gold. I de­cided fi­nally that whether or not we bump into each other, my de­ter­mi­na­tion to be the best I can be, re­gard­less of cir­cum­stances, will not be thwarted!

Per­fec­tion is in the eyes of the be­holder.

ALL WE NEED IS LOVE A col­umn about love, re­la­tion­ships, dat­ing and ev­ery­thing in be­tween by Sadie Love.

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