I am not Dr. Seuss

C is for "Connect"

in The Alphabet of Bad Ideas

You look across the room and see her, and immediately recognize that you're facing a crossroads moment. If you walk over to her and start a conversation, your life will be changed forever. The entire party seems tinged by a sort of prescience, a feeling of fates aligning. Or, perhaps, the alcohol slowly poisoning your central nervous system is making you delusional.

In either case, you're struck with the surety of the notion that this woman is The One. You start across the room, trying to calm your fluttering heartbeat and put on your best mask of nonchalance.


It will be a matter of six years, three children, and an enormous mortgage before you actually allow yourself to question the relationship. You'll wake up early one morning and find yourself utterly unattracted to the person lying in bed next to you.

You'll consider all the things you gave up along the way. The business you never invested in, because she was deeply opposed to the financial risk. The promotion you passed on, because your first (unplanned) baby was on the way and you couldn't justify working longer hours. The nest egg that you ended up sinking into this house. This house, with horrible crayon drawings all over the walls: the artistry of the little creatures roaming the hallways of your unrealized potential.

You'll hate yourself for giving up on your dreams six years ago, and this self-loathing will carry over to the rest of your relationships. You'll resent your wife, the person you blame for disrupting all of your life's plans. You'll resent your children, the products of your loveless marriage, symbols of the sacrifices you made.

You'll think back to that party, the place that you decided loneliness was a fate worse than meaninglessness. You will be full of regret.


It will be a matter of six years, three children, and an enormous mortgage before you discover that she has been cheating on you since roughly a week after that party. You'll come home early one evening and find your wife in your bed with another man.

You'll consider all the times she came home late from work. The expensive jewelry she could never have afforded on her own salary. The yoga lessons and therapeutic massages that seemed to occupy all of her time, but seemed to do nothing about the stress, aches, and pains she complained about constantly. You'll curse yourself for being so trusting, so oblivious.

The man in your bed will of course be your college roommate, the very host of the party at which you met your unfaithful spouse. The godfather of your children will have been cuckolding you for six years.

You'll think back to that party, the place that you decided there was such a thing as love at first sight. You will be full of regret.


She's definitely The One, you reassure yourself as you walk over to meet her.