The List

The latest Oprah has an article by widowed freelance writer who found her current husband and soul mate by making a list of 100 characteristics that she wanted in a mate. Okay, that’s a bit too succinct. She visited a psychic some time after her second husband died because she’s had no luck dating and wanted to know if she was meant to spend the remainder of her life alone or not. The psychic instructed her to make a details list – “down to his socks” – of what she was looking for in a soul mate. The woman went home and did just that – right down to the “gray socks”. I don’t think the psychic meant the sock color thing literally. She just wanted this woman to really put careful thought into her list of preferred attributes in a potential husband. It was her theory that the universe will give us what we want if it knows what that is. And I guess there is something to that. Many of us really don’t know what we want. We only seem to know what we don’t want and that is usually after we have something or someone who turns out to be wrong for us.

I know many people who subscribe to the “list” approach to dating and mating. I remember that Rob was all set to write up a list of his own and told me about it during one of our early IM chats. I think he got the idea from another widow he’d met via a melanoma group on the Internet which is where he learned about the YWBB and came to meet me. If I am remembering correctly I teased him a bit about making a list but pointed out in all seriousness that lists are good only as guides and that a person shouldn’t be so set on a specific criteria that they let a perfectly wonderful person get away from them. Rob never did get around to writing a list as it turned out. But I actually had a list. Well, not a written down list but just things I had thought about myself and where I was and who I had become.

I am not sure that the universe divines our thoughts as much as it is driven by plans that we all had a hand in drafting in the long, long ago. Perhaps what list making really does is help us remember what it is we’d decided and agreed to do and helps us get positioned properly.

There are those who don’t believe the universe cares one way or another about what we want or don’t want. I don’t believe in the theory of random chaos. There are no accidents. Willful missteps – okay. But I don’t believe that any of us can avoid our “destinies” for very long because we authored them.

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