ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS HARM
by Harmony Boyer
Things I like, love, and always want some more of:
South facing rooms.
Clean fresh (white) sheets
The smell of the beach.
Champagne for breakfast.
Breakfast for dinner.
Cafes that have all-day breakfast.
New movies, new books, new friends.
Old movies, old books, old friends.
Nice smelling candles.
Rihanna on a jet ski.
That red and white string that they tie around pastry boxes.
That thing when you're with someone and you love them and they know it and they love you and you know it.
Dating in the age of dating apps is a special kind of crazy.
First dates always seem to feel like interviews - you're trying to figure out if you like this person and you may be judging their drink order while also trying to charm them into knowing the person that you are. Meanwhile you may be thinking, “Do I want to open up to him, or do I just need a nap?” AND to add more pressure, even if you both do like each other, there’s actually no guarantee you’re actually compatible.
At the end of the day, the planet is burning and our civil rights are being threatened, so excuse me for not having the abundance of patience for this “Circle-jerk du Soleil”.
Recently so many of my friends have entered or exited relationships (what happened to “Cuffing Season”?). Apps like Hinge, Bumble, Tinder and Raya aim to make it easy by offering up never ending choices that can be described a few ways: convenient, overwhelming, frustrating, flakey and every once in a while, an enigmatic trainwreck of perfection.
One case-in-point: I once went on a date with a guy who looked just like Nicholas Cage, circa the movie Con Air. I will be happy to elaborate on the specifics of our 45-minute interaction (which included 3 separate occasions where he tried to force a first kiss on) at some other time and probably over 1…or 2 dry martinis.
Dating and love are the reason that tv shows like The Bachelor and Love Island UK (my current favorite!) have such a captive audience. Everyyyyyone can relate at some point and (deep down) everyone is rooting for someone to just get it right (maybe with a few tears, along the way). Instagram and Twitter are littered with thousands of quips and comments on dating and romance attached to #couplegoals, only to remove the post after the relationship expires.
My experience has always been that love is a funny, funny thing. Whether aesthetic, platonic, romantic or just a healthy love for everything carb related, L-O-V-E makes you do/think/put up with things you normally wouldn’t, one of which, for me, is staying out past my bedtime.
It’s true - anyone who knows me knows I rarely stay out past 10pm on “school nights,” but here I was, walking into my house at 12:14am on a Thursday after yet another first date. But, this one was oddly different. It almost felt like we had known each other in some other life and were picking up where we had left off. It was so refreshing - I had never had that feeling with someone I had only just met. In the era of dating apps and trivial flaky dating prospects, the night had felt so different. I couldn’t stop smiling.
As I belatedly crawled into bed, my phone lit up. Nervously I looked over to see the text:
Now, I don’t really believe in soulmates, that’s not what I’m saying. I don’t think that someone is truly your other half - that’s just nonsense. I’m a whole person already, not half a person. But maybe, just maybe, a soulmate is simply the other sock in a matched set. You’re still a whole, completed sock on your own, you’re perfectly functional paired with any other sock, it’s just even better when you match. When you mesh together. When you’re a team.
A soulmate is literally just the person who makes your soul go, “Omg same!!” and wave excitedly.
What does falling in love feel like to you?
Anxious anticipation and obsession?
For me, falling in love has always come in small and large ways. I’ve always been romantically independent.
What does that look like to others? Like I’m the chillest person in the room, who just loves to have a good time. What is that in reality? I’m the most sensitive romantic you’ll ever meet.
From seemingly small actions: like someone turning back around to smile and wave goodbye as I head to my train, handwritten notes detailing how to eat the courses of a meal they’ve made, to bigger moments: nude sunbathing, probably too much eye contact, surrounded by sunshine and too many bugs. I fall fast, hard, soft and slow.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming. A bad analogy would be like when you are fresh out of a pool, dripping with cold water, covered in goosebumps and you step into a sauna. It feels like heaven, until you start to get slightly too warm, and then soon it can feel oppressively hot and the air itself suffocates your every pore until you can’t breathe, and your only options are to escape or lay there and slowly lose consciousness. When you finally escape the sauna, you’re cold again and miss the warmth.
In the depth of this February winter, I’m left missing the warmth of the summer.
But seasons come and go, and the truth is, it doesn’t matter how tightly you hold on to certain people because at the end of the day,
I truly believe that what is meant for you will always be yours. I am a true believer that the right people will choose you just as deeply as you choose them.
One day, you will be someone’s favorite thing, and you will not be confused.
So even though, at moments, you may want to try to re-enact Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind…as much as I love that movie, I don’t think you do.
If you are trying pull a Jim Carrey and forget someone who was once this amazing part of your life — I don’t think that you ever truly can. Some things end in the early stages of dating, some things seemingly end prematurely and some end after long-invested relationships and memories. Sometimes it’s timing, compatibility or sometimes circumstance gets in the way. Maybe, no matter how much love is there, it might work better the next time around.
But if you managed to find someone who cared for you, who truly saw you, who heard all of your amazing and (for me) horrible jokes and still loved you harder, still saw your soul and thought you were the matching sock to their pair — that is special. You shouldn’t forget that.
Be grateful for all of the mornings, and all of the nights, you got to wrap your limbs within theirs (yes, even if they snored like a freight train). Be grateful for the way they challenged you, and calmed you, and made you believe in the person you were becoming. Be grateful for the fact that you opened yourself up in a world that sometimes favors “playing it cool” over leaping towards connection.
And in the end if it’s best, walk away with grace. Walk away with gratitude. Even if, at times, you feel like you have to put your heart on a shelf and promise to come back for it when it’s taking up a little less space. Walk away knowing you felt something, you experienced something - something a lot of people haven’t - and in that way — you were changed. They were changed. You will feel it again.
For me, looking back on the adventures and feelings that snowballed into the best summer of my little life, I can’t help but feel grateful and take a deep sigh. Sometimes things end before you're ready and sometimes things don’t always come back the way you send it. Sometimes love is a bit more brick and a little less boomerang. And that’s okay. To quote A-Ha:
HARMONY IS A LONG-TIME LOVER OF ALL THINGS BEAUTY, MUSIC AND COCKTAILS. NOW THAT DRY JANUARY IS OVER, YOU CAN FIND HER ENJOYING A CHEEKY DRINK OR A GOOD LAUGH WITH SOME FRIENDS. SHE IS ALSO A CONTENT-CREATOR & BEAUTY INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE. FOLLOW HER JOURNEY @SOMEFAMOUSCHICK