Dear Imaginary Future Soulmate-Woman,

You're starting to really piss me off.

I mean, here I am being perfectly fabulous and available, and you keep not coming to my house with a steaming hot apple pie and a liter of vanilla ice cream to announce your existence. Not cool.

What's more; every time I think I've met you, you go off and reveal some new thing about myself to me - something annoying that makes it obvious that I am the world's most emotionally stilted human being, incapable of ever engaging a woman in anything even close to a healthy relationship.

So let's make a deal:

I promise to build you a delicious cake every month for the rest of your life. I'll play my ukulele for you every night, gently singing you to sleep; and when that gets old I'll read  you books in my most sonorous, paternal voice.

I promise to notice. What, you ask? Well... everything.

I'll lay on a blanket on the lawn with you twice a week and feed you peeled grapes, followed by a delicious, half-hour back massage, followed by a foot massage. If you want Italian marble in the kitchen, I'll travel to Italy with my skil-saw and hack up a Michelangelo - just so you'll know you have the best.

I'll be endlessly witty and funny, so that you will wonder how you ever survived without so much laughter in your life. When your friends are around, I'll say over-the-top romantic things so you can groan and say, "oh, stop," and they can all be jealous.

Then, when the time is right and the appropriate promises have been made, I'll be the most selfless, perfect, creative, life-long lover ever. You'll be completely fulfilled, and completely secure in the fact that I will never break any of those promises, ever. You'll die old and glowing and happy, surrounded by beautiful, outrageously-gifted and loving children and grandchildren.

But you're just going to have to do a few teeny-tiny things for me, in return:

First, you'll have to be blind. Because even though I photograph well from about three-and-a-half angles, that leaves a whole lot of angles at which my head is too big, my neck too skinny, my adam's-apple too protrusive, my arms to gangly, my shoulders too narrow, my butt too non-existent, and my legs absolutely far too long and knock-kneed.

Second, you'll have to be deaf. I say a lot of stupid things. Sometimes it's because I'm feeling anxious and insecure - subconsciously trying to test and see if you'll still love me if I blabber inanities; but sometimes it's just because I have no clue - none at all - about what is cool, intelligent, timely, or in keeping with the zeitgeist. In short, I'm a weirdo.

Third, you'll have to be olfactarily challenged... which is to say, afflicted with anosmia. Because I don't always smell that great. In fact, I often smell positively human. This is partly because I am human, and partly because I have a particular aversion to coating my armpits with the aluminum sulfate of which most antiperspirants are made; as well as a stubborn dislike for the nasal-cavity-coating chemicals that comprise most cologne.

Finally, you'll probably have to be significantly mentally handicapped. I can't see how else you're going to avoid noticing that when I really, really like you, I will become a gibbering loon, incapable of restraining myself from showering you with gifts, letters, and phone calls - all peppered with my peculiar brand of charm and creative artistry.

I know you say that's what you want from a guy, but I've yet to meet a woman who doesn't actually prefer, in some ways, to be ignored. I just can't seem to manage casual indifference (and I do tend, I must admit, to go a little overboard sometimes), so... handicapped it is.

Thanks for your patience in waiting whilst your seeing eye monkey transcribes this into a braille, limited-vocabulary version. I'm assuming an apple pie takes about an hour and a half to make, so I won't expect you until then.

Your Soulmate,

Josh Barkey


  1. Yes, but will you catch her a delicious bass?

  2. Gah! I knew I was missing something!

  3. as someone who is pissed off with their imaginary future soulmate man, thanks for writing this. c.s lewis once wrote "we read to know we are no alone", i think sometimes that's why we write too. someone would be lucky to have you...

  4. I'd argue that someone would be lucky to have YOU, anonymous. And anyone, really... it's such a great, ridiculous thing to be given the gift of another person's self. Hooray, for that! (mutters bitterly under breath)


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