My friend Carrie and I often like to look at situations as though they are the movie version of our lives. It's not all about the fantasy of that idea. True, in the movie version of our lives, we would probably more often get what we want, and we would be wearing decidedly more fabulous shoes when we got it. But the exercise goes beyond wishful thinking. I sort of think that to imagine myself in a movie is to imagine a life less ordinary, a life where I take more risks and believe in more possibilities. There are worse mindsets to cultivate, don't you agree?
I've had enough unexpected encounters recently that my life is starting to feel like a highlights (or rather, lowlights) reel, and I can't help but wonder (I hate that Carrie Bradshaw has fully ruined that otherwise innocuous and useful phrase for the rest of us) just what that might mean in the movie version of my life. In the past month or thereabouts, I have run into or unexpectedly heard from five (count them: FIVE!) men whom I once went on dates with. As I've said before, Minneapolis is not Star's Hollow; I can go for weeks or months on end without running into anyone I know in a public place where I'm not expecting to see them; so to run into FIVE past dates in a one-month span is more than a bit curious.
The first one in this string was The Traffic Engineer, who e-mailed me again recently, for purportedly no other reason than to tell me they'd modified some signal timing on my commute and I should let him know if I notice any problems going forward. I haven't actually replied to that message, though I feel a little guilty for not doing so, particularly every Monday through Friday as I stop for the lights at Century and Lake Elmo Avenues, which have not changed in any way due to this new signal timing, as far as I can tell. They still somehow magically know exactly when I'm coming and turn red just as I approach, as if to say, "Woah, Stefanie. Hold up. Don't you want to stop and say hello to me today?"
In addition to The Traffic Engineer, I also ran into a past meMarmony match at a party recently, which is not such a big surprise, given that we knew, when the all powerful Dr. Warren matched us, that we had a friend in common. And then, at a film festival screening, I spotted the guy I've taken to calling Waldo, because he is EVERYWHERE I GO; I just need to look for him. When I emailed him on Catch dot Mom last fall, pointing out (in a hopefully not at all creepy way) that we seem to be in the same place at the same time more often than seems usual, he replied that "the city is like a bicycle wheel, and most people live life in only one or two spokes." Shockingly, I resisted the urge to walk up to him and his female companion at the film screening and say, "Get outta my spokes, dude!"
Then last week, at a concert, I ran into a guy I had two dates with last year... an inordinately nice gentleman who was ridiculously good to me and made me laugh and was more than financially sound to boot and yet who, frankly, I could not imagine ever getting naked with (sorry; should have warned you, perhaps, that I was going to edge into blunt and R-rated territory there). I really do wish I was attracted to that one, because I can only assume he's thinking he's still attracted to me; a mix CD from him arrived in my mailbox about four days after that unexpected run-in at First Avenue, and I'm trying not to read into the fact that three of the songs he chose to include have the word "love" in the title.
And finally, a few days ago, I ran into another random and unnotable meMarmony match at an MPR forum event. He spotted me first and came over to say hello. When he left, I turned to Carrie and Angela and explained, "We went on three dates last year." And Carrie said, "Three? Really?" to which I replied, "Yeah, I know. It was probably two more than I needed to go on."
When The Traffic Engineer contacted me yet again, I thought about what that might mean in the movie version of my life, and I wondered if perhaps he was the guy I'd overlooked and nearly let get away. If this were a movie, would his persistence finally pay off? Would he be the guy who finally wears me down and forces me to give him a second (no, third) chance, at which point I would suddenly recognize all his charms and finally realize he is perfect for me? I really (really, REALLY) don't think The Traffic Engineer is the one for me, so it's almost a relief that I had those four additional run-ins to diminish the significance in some way. Suddenly, these events aren't random coincidences; they are part of a montage! And in the movie version of my life, doesn't it stand to reason that there'd be a montage such as this right before I meet the one I'm supposed to be with, the one I've been waiting for all this time?
That's what I would I like to believe all this unexpected boomeranging nonsense might mean. In the movie version of my life, I would be sitting at that proverbial rock bottom place, drowning my frustrations in a dirty martini while I sit at home alone in my yoga pants on a Friday night, when suddenly, when I least expect it, Mr. Perfect-for-Me appears.
Mr. Perfect-for-Me is still playing hard-to-get, so perhaps I should just settle in and wait for the rest of the montage to scroll on by. It might help if I had the proper soundtrack, though. After all, movie montages always involve a song, do they not? I think that attempting to live in the movie version of my life means embracing the movie-ness of it all and envisioning it to the furthest extent possible. So I need a theme song. Or rather, a Mr. Not-Right-for-Me montage song. Suggestions, anyone?