The words sounded so wonderfully simple. I wondered how they tasted on his lips. Infinitely better than the huge slices of cheap pizza in front of us.
We were still in college, and Joe and I were having one of those wise, “what we want out of life” conversations collegiate environments foster in the midst of lots of studying, drinking, and burritos.
Joe had just told me, “I’m looking for my other half.”
It wasn’t sentimental or dramatic, it was just truth. I’ll never forget this moment. At the time, I longed to speak such honesty and come out of it the same person.
Pac-Man often comes to mind as the image for that general feeling of loneliness when not in love, or Ms. Pac-Man as the case may be. When my boyfriend moved away during college, I would actually describe whole days in which I felt Pac-Man-y… like there was some big chunk of me missing.
Society has taught us that as privileged, college-educated women we are to be independent and strong. Wanting to find “our other half” admits to being incomplete, and to be incomplete is to admit deficiency. However, in utter contradiction, that same society places incredible emphasis on marriage. (See my last entry “Tis the Season”) So it’s not acceptable to look for the other half, but perfectly acceptable to shout it to the world once you find it. The evidence usually comes as cute Save the Date refrigerator magnets.
The math doesn’t add up. I need to be whole by myself and find my other half? I need to be 1.5 women? That seems like a lot to ask.
(Photo courtesy of Jchetan via Flickr)