Did everybody’s mum say this to them at some point during their teenage years? Mine didn’t, but only because she was fatally incapable of engaging with relationships on any level (but that’s enough about meee, lets talk about yoooooo!). It is, though, the sort of thing normal mums say when their hormonally rampant teenagers are crying melodramatically about something some other hormonally rampant teenager has done, or not done, to hurt their stupidly delicate (given how hormonally rampant they all are!) feelings.
What prompted this sudden interest in the problems of two-part kitchen equipment was a bit of an annoying search through my plastic tub organisation system. It’s tubs in one basket, lids in another ; strict separation to ensure they don’t start reproducing! See! I have a strategy! This, you would think, would increase the likelihood of my being able to find matching tubs and lids : because, as the saying goes etc. (and surely the rule goes for tubs as well as pots). Plenty of tubs, and a plethora of lids. A few of them matching, I’ll grant you, but by far the majority are tub singletons, and lonely heart lids.
You see what I did there? In case you thought I was going to continue for my 800-word blog average entirely on the subject of saucepans, we return to the actual meaning of the saying : which is that there is a suitable partner for every one of us. Which is something, I am afraid, I actually can’t believe, and (just to show you it’s not that life has embittered and entwistened me) first started not believing when I was about 9.
To illustrate my point, let’s break down the the path to a successful relationship into its component stages :
Meet someone (not as easy as you’d think if you are, ahem, forty, and on your own with a young child)
Meet someone you fancy (although I am personally quite keen on those built like brick privies, I have come to realise that, being petite, I look stupid with them : it’s an important consideration : you don’t want to look like a giant going out with a dwarf, do you?)
Meet someone you fancy that also fancies you (I will refrain from commenting here : lets just say that given the choice between ‘intelligent, funny and attractive’ and ‘sexy but ultimately boring’ most men will fail to make the right choice.
Meet someone you fancy that also fancies you At the Same Time. God! The years I spent with my ex-friend Patrick swapping, with extreme precision, which one of us fancied the other. A terribly painful way to spend your twenties. And part of your thirties.
Don’t just leap into bed with them. If you do, you will fall in love, yes, but not with them, with the marvellous sex you will be having at every available opportunity. Then maybe soon, maybe in a year or two, your soul will tell your lower portions to shut up, and you will realise your life together is a husk.
Meet someone you fancy and who fancies you, but forget this, while you spend time getting to know them. I am, deep down, an optimist, but this one, you have to go right back to the beginning Every Time it turns out they have still got their eye out for something better, or you can’t go on pretending you think they are intelligent or interesting. And you don’t even get to have sex with them.
Meet someone who shares your values, sense of humour, some of your interests, appreciates you for who you are, is emotionally available, roughly at the same life stage, able to care for you and receive care from you, someone you admire and who admires you, AND who fancies you at the same time as you fancy them. I could analyse the unlikeliness of each one of these in detail, but I’m already getting bored. (maybe that’s part of the problem!) Capitalism maybe has the answer here : e-harmony, matchaffinity, the one with the annoying singing people in the shop, mysinglefriend.com, Guardian soulmates… The only industry bigger than the soulmate industry is the plastic surgery industry (having made this up, I am afraid I have no statistics). It’s an impossible task : the odds against any one pot finding a lid (or even someone they could bear to live and reproduce with) are surely infinitessimal : there you go, Universe, I know you like a challenge.