The Good, The Bad, and The Soul Mate

Humans are a social species. We need to interact with one another in order to find someone to whom we feel superior. I don’t know if we’re inherently monogamous, but at some point, someone decided that we should be, so here we are, either married or searching for that one person with whom we can live out our remaining days enjoying what’s come to be known as ‘being happy’.

At some point, probably in the sixties, some ugly person who refused to give up hope coined the term ‘soul mate’. This person probably refused to drop acid, too, which may have been the solution to their dilemma all along. Other effective treatments for the affliction of being ghastly include alcohol, mushrooms, and masks. But I digress. The theory of soul mates states that there is someone out there who was created to perfectly compliment you, and finding this person means finding happiness.

Soul Mate apologists believe that spiritual stasis between two people can be attained and maintained if the attributes each one brings to the relationship are concisely complimentary to one another. They assume that the balance struck between two such people will make those people invariably happy.

Nay, friends. Nay.

I’ve been with my beautiful wife eight years; that’s over a fourth of my life. In that time we’ve talked about everything. We’ve covered the spectrum ranging from the mundane details of the day, to really important things like why a person can’t just decide not to make gravy at the last minute just because it happens to make that person nauseous, especially when that person promised to prepare a good old clog-your-arteries feast for me as a reward for cleaning out the garage.

The conversation between two people bound by the vows of marriage tends to get creative, because lets face it, after a few years, you run out of things to talk about. Instead of concocting fallacious stories about which to comment, though, some people decide to have children. Not because of the joys of being a parent; joys that include never sleeping, having oatmeal thrown at your face, smelling like vomit at job interviews, and dealing with diapers that double your child’s weight when filled. Kids aren’t even made because conceiving them is fun. Kids are made because this person, whom you desperately love, has run out of material, and so have you. Kids are made because you know that fresh topics for conversations will spring up. Conversations such as spaghetti sauce smeared on the brand new plasma TV screen, or your child falling into Long Island Sound, are easily worth the $100,000.00 dollars it costs to raise a child.

That’s not to say we don’t still have grown up discussions after we get our baby to sleep. We lay in bed and talk, reminding the other how much we love them by saying sweet nothings in hushed whispers such as “Would you SHUT UP, you’re going to wake up the baby.” And “Did you leave the downstairs a mess again?”

Sometimes the silence is preferable.

Occasionally (about three times a week) I wish I had this specific superpower.

“Trevor,” you ask, “Be it the power to fly?”

Not even close, says I!

“Trevor,” you ask, “Be it the power to run at great speeds?”

Wrong again!

“Trevor,” you ask (You persistent pest) “Be it the power to balance your checkbook?”

Ha! Never!

I want the power, to inflict upon myself at will, short term amnesia.

I wish to have this power because my wife, in her sweet melodious voice, often utters the following phrase in perfect pentameter as we lay face to face with our heads sinking into our pillows, and sleep looming in our imminent future:

“Let me tell you this crazy dream I had!”

She says this expecting my ears to perk up like those of German Shepard as if, A. her dreams are about winning the lottery, and B. they routinely come true.

I lay in bed trying to access that switch all men have that turns off their spouse’s voice when there’s a sporting event on TV. However, without a sportscaster to guide my heart, the switch might as well not exist. I settle in for the long haul and listen to her recount her journey through the quagmire of her subconscious, as I silently think, with a warm feeling one can only compare to being covered in Golden Retriever puppies, about a burning piece of space junk plummeting to earth and crashing into our bedroom.

“So it was me, my mom, my sister and her husband, and you and my dad and my brother, right? We were all down in Florida, but you wouldn’t get come with us on the boat because you wanted to play golf, and I was punching you in the face, and then a plane crashed into the beach! Joaquin Phoenix and John Maher got out and started flirting with my sister. All this time I was trying to keep our cat from running into the flames, but John Maher kept telling me to let it go. Then three ferrets ran towards the fire, and I screamed at you to grab them, but you were drinking beer with my dad, and were ignoring me and I was like “TREVOR! TREVOR! YOU ASSHOLE!” so I came over and made you hold the cat, and my mother was yelling at me the whole time about my hair.”

This is an abridged version. While you or I could spit this out in a minute or so, pausing for effect during all the suspenseful parts, and then turn over and go to sleep, while the recipient of this tale sits awake wondering if it’s safe to sleep in the same county as you, my wife spends tireless minutes describing what everyone was wearing, how she thought they looked, who she actually told to go change, and what they reappeared wearing.

“Where was our son, during all of this?” I ask her before I realized what I was doing.

“Oh no! I don’t know!” she says genuinely panicked “I’m a horrible mother!”

She cries, the baby wakes, up, and before I know it I’m down stairs making a bottle for him, and trying to find candy with which to make her feel better.

Based on the theory of soul-mates, I’m the sanest person in the world. I think I just fell in love with a loony-bird, who in turn, fell in love with John Maher, but doesn’t want to close the door on any possibilities when it comes to Joaquin Phoenix – but keeps me around because she likes the way I call her my baby.

The Good, The Bad, and The Soul Mate

Trevor Penick

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

Trevor’s take on the theory of soulmates: he pokes fun at the whimsical nature of the idea, as well as endearingly supporting the hope of believers. He helps us understand that relationships are work, but worth it. With examples to which everyone can relate, Trevor basically speaks for all men when he says that “…women are crazy and we love you for it.”

Artwork Comments

  • crzadkiewicz
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