“She keeps working to make connections, but the pile of near misses is starting to overwhelm her. What Mirabelle needs is some omniscient voice to illuminate and spotlight her, and to inform everyone that this one has value, this one over here, the one sitting in the bar by herself, and then to find her counterpart and bring him to her. But that night, the voice does not come, and she quietly folds herself up and leaves the bar.”
—from Shopgirl, by Steve Martin, 2001
I read this book in early 2003, and never felt more connected to a fictional character in literature. This passage spoke right to me. I haven’t read the book in over 15 years, and I only saw the movie once (it was good, but…drumroll please…the book was better). I’ve read at least 300 books since then, not counting the books I’ve read with my son over the last 10ish years (that would make it more like 500). But this section of the book was so powerful for me, I can recall it verbatim without looking it up. (I *did* look it up to make sure I got it right. I’m like that.)
When I read this book I felt like I *was* Mirabelle. Not to be a spoiler (Go read it! It’s short!), but she gets an eventual happy ending, which I love. I’m an unrepentant hopeless romantic. And at the time, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I hope someday *I* get a happy ending…I hope some omniscient voice illuminates and spotlights me to bring my counterpart to me…’
I hoped for it, but I never dreamed it would actually HAPPEN. The voice came for me on December 4, 2003.
J, I know I get sappier every year, but I just can’t help myself. Fifteen years ago, Match Dot Com brought my counterpart to me. And now I write about love every day.