Monday, April 28, 2014

The One That Got Away

I've had a lot of things get away from me in my life. Sometimes, years later, I regret losing these things. I wail for years about how my life would have been better had things happened differently. But I've come to see it in a new light. Now I look back with perfect vision and realize that it was a lucky break and I'm the one who got away. 

Like the time I fell madly in love in March. March is one of those months that is so dull you simply have to fall in love if only to break up the monotony of winter and the seemingly endless wait for spring. I advise everyone to try falling in love in March, at least once, just for the experience. But never follow through on that love, because March loves are brought on by boredom, and it's never good to jump into anything out of boredom. Thankfully my love affair was with a pair of patent leather yellow platform wedges.

And I've come to my senses. Those are the shoes I got away from. 

I have had watches that got away, dresses that got away, and lipstick that got away by falling out of my purse. But that's only when I'm feeling dramatic, because I know, eventually, I'll find something new that strikes my fancy. 

Sometimes you know that you are making a mistake by letting them go. Other times you realize that you should have let other things get away too. 

People worry about the ones who got away. The significant others, be it men or women, though Judy Garland so famously sang about the eponymous man who got away. It's a nice notion that makes for a great tragic story. The man who got away. The one who was so perfect, and would have been the perfect one for you, but he got away, either through his own problems (in the movie I think it was extreme alcoholism combined with the inherent creepiness of James Mason [google him you millennial ignoramus]) or your problems. But if he got away, was it ever really the right thing? 

It's not really so much a matter of men getting away as the universe graciously rescuing you from making an extreme muddle of your life, allowing you to turn the song on its head and become the one who got away. The one who made a miraculous escape from the very jaws of a living death. The one who will be immortalized in torch songs sung over countless dirty martinis. And what person doesn't get a secret thrill from that thought?

So, you have three options. You can go ahead and sing dramatically about the men who got away, if you want to cast your life on a tragic note. You can marry them, for the completely new tragic novel which your life will be. The one where you realize you didn't let the man get away, and that has made all the difference. Or you can be the one who got away. The heroine of your own life, who, as Nora Ephron so brilliantly said, goes away to dream a new dream.

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