How I Almost Destroyed Love

Upon boarding my flight back to LA yesterday, I contently plopped down in my window seat, stuck my earbuds in and prepared for a lovely return home. To my dismay, a lady and a dude approached me from the aisle. The woman nervously asked, “excuse me, I’m so sorry to ask this, but do you mind switching seats with my fiancé so we can sit together? He’s 2 rows up in an aisle seat.”

Come ON. Not only do I hate the aisle, I also hate spontaneity. I’m a creature of habit, and I need plenty of mental prep before my plans are altered. I can’t help but laugh when people tell me to “go with the flow.” I’ll go with the flow once I have the exact location of the flow, the time at which I’ll be going to and returning from the flow, and the names of each and every other person who will also be attending the flow.

But anyways, this plane had two seats per side rather than three, so my switching with her fiancé was the only way they would be able to sit together. Cool.

Before answering, I instantly crafted two scenarios in my mind. You may find them below:

 

If I say no:

I potentially destroy a relationship. I mean who knows? This could have been a last-attempt 1-on-1 romantic excursion meant to save the relationship, but they ignored that elephant in the room for the whole trip and this flight home is their final opportunity to dive into the issues. Do I want to be responsible for breaking off this engagement? Do I want both of these heart breaks on my conscience forever?

And when they inevitably tell this story in the future to their friends and family, will they dismiss all other factors leading up to the end and instead lay the heap of blame on me, the heartless bitch who wouldn’t trade seats?

Or, perhaps, this story will be told to their respective lasting partners and my role will be symbolic of fate: solidifying the fact that they should not be together. I single-handedly (a.k.a. indirectly and solely due to many, many external forces) led each of them to the true loves of their lives.

But, for the purpose of drama (the only purpose that matters), let’s assume my saying no ultimately leads to their downfall as a couple. Aside from future implications of my decision to not switch seats, the immediate result is much worse. Because, awkward. Just, how incredibly awkward.

I would be sitting, in silence, next to a woman who is not only upset about the state of her relationship, but is now also annoyed and offended that she can’t even talk to him about it. And I’m the reason. Because I booked my flight first. Has “finders keepers” lost all significance in the world of transportation? I wanted a window seat. I got myself a window seat. That’s how you get shit done in this world.

If Hollywood has taught me anything, it’s that you have to wholeheartedly, boundlessly go for what you want. Now, I haven’t yet accomplished that in Hollywood, but I sure as hell did that when booking this flight. I knew what I wanted and I wholeheartedly, boundlessly clicked “window seat.” And I probably did it before these dysfunctional lovers even turned on their computer.

And now I’m being punished with hushed anger and cold, pointed judgment from all the other passengers who were watching the situation unfold.

Well, fine. FINE. Go ahead and hate me. Hate me for proceeding with my business as I planned. See if I care. You can be angry all you want, but that won’t stop me from getting up and crawling over you to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes. Even if I don’t have to go. Especially if I don’t have to go. You want to pick a battle? You’ve got yourself a war, lady.

 

 

If I say yes:

I would kindly agree to let him sit in my window seat. I gather my things, smiling all the while, and relocate to his aisle seat. I sit down, turn to my left, and lock eyes with the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. We instantly begin chatting, connecting on every level. By the end of the flight, there’s no doubt in our minds that we were destined to be seatmates on this flight. As soon as we land, Harry (the man is Prince Harry if that hadn’t been clear before) drops to his knees and proposes. I shout “YES” over and over as the passengers and crew applaud, overwhelmed with emotion. We become best friends with the couple whose relationship I just saved (they name their first child after me), and the four of us live happily ever after in Harry’s beachside palace.

 

What really happened:

I said yes because it was a little awkward and I’m a relatively nice person, moved over to his aisle seat and promptly fell asleep until we landed. Least eventful flight I’ve ever had.

Lots of Love Lost

The world is kind of terrible right now. This is far from a political blog post, however. I haven’t written a blog in quite a while (which for many of you is hard enough to deal with without the added culture of modern America) and I feel called to discuss something that happened today. Something that saddens me to my very core.

Today, Tinder failed us.

Now, I’m not a huge proponent of this particular online dating app. Don’t get me wrong, I – like every person alive – have downloaded this app out of boredom, and then deleted it out of self-disgust, and then re-downloaded it for girls night entertainment, and then re-deleted it out of self-disgust. But I’m fully aware that it’s creepy and not as good as Bumble.

However, several people near and dear to my heart have actually filtered through the creeps and discovered some actual prospects (as far as they know. It’s still the Internet after all).

But today, Tinder crashed. It was down for a while and then came back. But, to my friends’ dismay, it erased every. single. pre-existing. match.

All those prospects, all those potential soulmates, all those clever dudes who threw out totally appropriate and flattering pickup lines (nah I’m kidding). Gone forever.

One of my friends lost out on an Australian gentleman who promised to teach her how to surf one day.

Another of my pals missed out on a Cher impersonator who speaks 4 languages and proposed a skydiving date.

I, myself, lost my opportunity to get drinks with a “Hollywood actor” (listed as occupation) who is “very wealthy” (told me that himself) and “not a fake account” (I just assumed this). Soulmate material. Erased forever.

I know what you’re thinking (mom), but meeting someone in real life is not a realistic thing that might happen. The bottom line is this: we had all found our husbands. And now the dream of happiness and a lifetime of love has been squashed. And there is nothing we can do about it.

Thanks a lot, Tinder. Thanks for ruining our lives.

*editor’s note: as soon as I posted this, all the lost matches were brought back. False alarm.

Fear

Fear is a funny thing. It can also be a deadly thing. The hatred being displayed all over the country right now stems from fear. Fear of disrupting the norm, of people who are different. At the same time, the unwillingness to be who you really are also stems from fear. Fear of being different. Fear of judgment and negative reactions. The latter fear is in hopes of preventing the former fear from igniting into hatred.

But this terribly dysfunctional system requires balance. People who are different must be in constant fear so that those opposed to their differences won’t be in fear. In the same way, people can only be who they are if that fear of intolerance doesn’t exist. One group has to compromise. The problem is: the opposers are never going to compromise. Even if their fear doesn’t manifest as violence, they’ll still have to live in constant fear. And that’s no fun for anyone.

And “just get over it” isn’t going to work for someone in whom fear is that deeply engrained.

So what’s the solution? Simply put, love.

And I’m not suggesting this solution to the opposers. It’s hard to imagine that people with that much/that category of fear have any room left in their hearts for anything else. It would be incredible if they could be led to love, but that’s grasping at straws. The only thing we can do is show them true love by example.

Obviously, love won’t bring recent victims back or put an immediate end to intolerance and hatred. It’s absolutely a risky choice. Letting your guard down leaves you feeling defenseless. But, what love will do is put the fear of people who are terrified to be themselves to rest. Replace your fear with love for the opposers and, at the least, you can approach this issue with a mind at ease. Instead of being fearful, question why those in fear are the way they are; what’s the root of it? This seems oversimplified, I know. And I have not directly experienced the pain or torment brought about by being gay or a race other than white by those in fear. But I know and love people who have, and it’s the only route I’ve tried that at least brings me a little comfort, a little hope and a lot of empathy.

This isn’t a short-term solution. Love has to be the overwhelming reaction from those who suffer from the results of intolerance for a long time until it makes a difference. And it won’t change or prevent more violence from occurring. Love can’t treat the symptoms of hate in this world, but it can become a lifelong healing process to discover and solve the root issue. Fear is inevitable, no matter what you believe. But it can and must be overcome. Dare to be yourself and then dare to love others.