When I was 13, I had my palm read. “You will have many boyfriends,” the psychic told me, “but there will always be one great love, one soulmate for you.” That started the wheels turning. By the time I got home, I had my life-plan all mapped out. I was going to be married at 25 to that soulmate — ideally, someone I had met at college, hopefully an ivy league college — and towing behind me as I walked down the aisle would be a slew of broken-hearted former lovers.
I hit the 24-mile mark about a month ago and while I was blowing out candles, someone I knew in high school announced her engagement to a guy she met in college. So what about me? What about my schedule… was I engaged at 24, as my life-plan implied? Was there a trail of broken hearts behind me?
Yea…no. Life-plan major Fail.
Why is it that psychics are always so vague? “Boyfriend” and “boy friend” are homonyms with very different meanings. “Boyfriend” is a term that implies dates, physical and emotional intimacy, lingerie, red roses and the glint of diamonds. “Boy friend” connotes sports bars, sports bras, ball busting, ballgames and platonic nights out. If she had been clearer with her meaning, I would have been better equipped to deal with the next ten years…
I went through college with a 3:1 ratio of male friends to female friends. I spent more time at neighborhood sports bars than I did at Manhattan’s trendy night clubs. By my senior year, Friday night outings and foggy Sunday brunches were passed with a group of about 5-7 guys. Girls’ Night Out didn’t exist on my social calendar. The reasons for this were manifold — most of my female friends had boyfriends and were too busy being girlfriends to be friends; it was more fun hanging out with guys because my guy friends and I talked about everything and anything except “boys.” We’d talk about relationships, if there were ones to talk about, but never was there the ridiculous sharing and analysis of the minute details of a brief conversation with a crush. Guy friends felt safe — they weren’t going to steal my boyfriend.
Yet, while I had a slew of men around me, I managed to make my way through college and most of grad school never having a serious boyfriend. No broken-hearted exes to carry on the train of a white gown. And so, I had to shelf the plan an over-ambitious 13 year old me conjured. The psychic may have been onto something, but I sure would have appreciated it if she had given me a better idea of when this soulmate fella was going to show up.