Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Twits Of Fate

I imagine most of you have heard about the couple who discovered right before their wedding that they happened to be at Disney World on the same day as young children and that he was caught in the background of a picture of her with a Disney character. It was covered by several media outlets on TV, in print and online. They met for real fifteen years later and then discovered the old picture. They then knew it was fate that they ended up together.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Damn people can be so retarded. I am, despite what some people think about me, one of the most hopeless romantics in the world. I still get all weepy and get goosebumps from watching the Before Sunrise/Sunset movies, I blubber when Anne and Gilbert end up together (finally) in Anne of Green Gables, I get a lump in my throat at the end of Noah Baumbach's Kicking and Screaming when Grover has that great line about wishing he and Jane we're already that old couple. Hell, the reason I loved john Hughes' Some Kind of Wonderful so much more than Pretty in Pink is because the guy ends up with the cool drummer girl at the end - the one he's supposed to end up with. I love this stuff in my movies and books. I'm a big old softy, romantic dork. But I also know it is fiction.

There is no such thing as "fate," nothing "happens for a reason," things do not happen because of "destiny" and nothing is "meant to be." Life is a series of random events and people that come in and out of your life by complete happenstance.

I so often hear people say they don't believe in coincidences. What the hell? So you don't believe in coincidences, a more likely explanation for most situations, but you believe that it has something to do with the stars aligning or the universe is conspiring to influence the tiniest of events in your life? Seriously?

Coincidences happen. Sometimes they are bad, sometimes they are good (also known as happy coincidences). But fate? Not very bloody likely. Haven't these people ever heard of Occam's razor?

You know, my wife and I dated the first time when we were 17 and 18, respectively. I happened to have extra tickets for an REM show, she happened to find out through someone else and buy one from me, her friend Jessica happened to call me too late to get one for herself, I happened to offer her a ride to the show since she was going solo. Had her friend gotten a hold of me earlier I may have never been smitten with the cute girl with the wet hair who answered her door and may have never talked to her the whole night and then asked her out later.

Does that mean we were meant to be together? No. It means that a girl I found very attractive was in the same place at the same time as me and she liked me too. It also means nothing that we were teenage sweethearts who ended up together again. It just worked out that way.

I just don't buy in to the idea that she's "The One" for me. Had we not ended up together I may or may not have ended up married/together with someone else. Who knows? I have a hard time imagining that I could have ended up with someone else, but that doesn't mean my wife is the only person it could have possible happened with. Lots of people are now divorced from their "One." Hopefully we'll celebrate our 50th anniversary together some day and we'll chalk it up to love and respect, not some magical joojoo that brought us together.

I don't begrudge this couple their fun story. It is an interesting coincidence, one that probably made great fodder for the best man at the wedding to make an inappropriate joke about during the toast (I would have gone with something about their first three-way involving Smee).

But did it need to be a news story? That's the problem with the media and why people continue to buy in to stupid shit like this. An air-headed bimbo Jenny McCarthy is given free reign to promote her insane anti-scientific vaccine agenda, con men psychics are treated with legitimacy (or have their own shows like John Edwards) and schizophrenics the faithful who see Jesus in a block of Swiss cheese are taken seriously.

No wonder people will believe this stupid shit.

(And for those of you wondering, yes, I did do this whole post just because I wanted to use the title I made up when I first saw this story. It made me snicker.)