There are so many “fish out of water” stories around, but one of my favorites is the film City Slickers (1991). Billy Crystal plays Mitch Robbins who, along with his life long buddies Phil (Daniel Stern) and Ed (Bruno Kirby), take a vacation from their city lives to deal with their midlife crises. They vacation at a working ranch, moving a herd of cattle from New Mexico to Colorado. The urbanites are led by Curly, a crusty, weathered cowboy. Along with a great cast of supporting characters, the trio eventually find their way and figure out who they are.
In the middle of the movie, there’s a great exchange between Curly and Mitch. Mitch asks Curly if he’s ever been in love. “Once,” Curly replies and he proceeds to explain that years ago on a cattle drive he rode by a beautiful woman working in a field. She stood up to stretch her back and the setting sun silhouetted her figure. Mitch asks Curly what he did and the crusty old cowboy says he simple rode away.
Mitch can’t believe it. “She could have been the love of your life,” he challenges.
Curly responded simply, “She is.”
I love that. From Curly’s perspective, it would never get better than that one moment. He preferred to cherish that memory and hold the woman he never met in his heart as the love of his life.
I have someone in mind who I’m in love with. She’s creative, verbally intimate, passionate about life, tolerant, funny — the only thing is I’m not sure who she is. I don’t know if I’ve met her yet or not. But, she is the love of my life.
My friend Melanie often reminds me that I’ll meet the woman of my dreams one day, probably when I least expect it. She tells me I just need to relax and be patient. It’s not easy, but I’m working on that.
I have a clear picture in my mind of who I’m looking for and I’m not going to give up my search. I’m not going to compromise. I’d rather live the remainder of my days in love with the person in my mind than settle for second best and live with regret.
My one true love is out there. Maybe I already know her, maybe I don’t.
But I’m keeping my eyes open.