Fate, destiny, providence – call it what you may, the theory holds that a predetermined course of events are bound to take place in a person's life, no matter how much he/she tries to fight it. Do I believe in this? Not completely, although a little fate does seem to come into play when looking back on certain happenings in my life.
My daughter got me thinking about this recently when she sheepishly asked if I had ever thought about the guy I would end up with when I was, say, a teenager. She wondered if I had a picture of this guy – his looks, personality, line of work – in mind way back then.
Did I? DID I? What self-respecting innocent young girl of the late 1970s wouldn't have her future love life all mapped out, albeit in a fantasy style? Not only did I meticulously plan my wedding out according to bridal magazines, but a portrait of the groom emerged as well. He would be tall, dark and handsome, of course: thick, slightly wavy hair, layered and just past the shoulders (the locks got shorter as I grew older); deep blue dreamy eyes; at least six feet high, preferably taller; a nice muscular build, but not so much that he could enter the Mr. Universe contest; and a moderately hairy chest. He could sport a mustache, but no beard.
As far as the other stuff goes, I didn't really have a line of work in mind for my future betrothed, although I just assumed he'd be filthy rich so he could buy the woman he absolutely adored anything her heart desired. Of course, his personality would be positively gleaming, along with his smile. He'd have a heart of gold, willing to give anyone in need the shirt off his back, yet maintain a rugged, slightly gruff side to him that women tend to find really sexy. And he could make the whole room laugh with his off-the-cuff jokes and mesmerize people with his scintillating conversation. The guy would also be about eight years my senior.
Delving further into our relationship, it would not come without conflict and misunderstandings before ending on a happy note…
OK, maybe I read just a few too many Harlequin romance novels. Reality set in as I grew into adulthood and actually met a few guys who closely resembled the physical depiction of Mr. Wonderful. They all turned out to be Mr. Overly Conceited, Mr. Treats Women with Disrespect, Mr. Married but Looking for Some Action, Mr. Drunk and Obnoxious, Mr. Immature or Mr. Great Guy but not Interested in Women. There also might have been a few who could have fit the bill if only they weren't already taken, which immediately killed my interest in them.  
This is where destiny comes in. Exactly two months shy of my 28th birthday and at a point in my life where I had chosen not to look for romance but instead concentrate on my schooling, there HE was, at a friend's party with an acquaintance of mine who happened to be his best friend since grade school. Even though he was pretty much the polar opposite of my contrived Mr. Wonderful – blond hair, not super tall, smaller build (although he did have blue eyes), two years younger than me – I thought he was the most gorgeous guy I'd seen in a long time. After the acquaintance introduced us, we spent the rest of the night talking and really hit it off. Although we didn't set a date up, I felt confident he would call.
He knew I was set to work the next evening, but I got off early and met some people at a wedding dance, which turned out to be his cousin's, something I had no clue as to. We sat back to back for some time before he turned around and noticed it was me. The rest, as they say, is history. We've been together 22 years now.
So was it fate that brought us together? Perhaps our initial meeting was, but we made the relationship take off after that. The ironic part is the connection our lives had prior to us meeting for what we assumed was the first time: Our fathers grew up three miles from each other in the same rural area by Eldred and knew each other well, and my uncle and his father farmed together for a time. We could feasibly have crossed paths when we were younger and not realized it. Our relatives also happen to be buried next to each other. It does seem that we were meant to be together, yet we controlled our destiny to that end.
My daughter admitted that she, too, has a picture of her life's mate in mind. True to her character, she has a much more detailed description of her Mr. Wonderful than I ever did. After rambling off all his potential traits, she declared, "He's like a male version of me, only taller."
Sigh, and so it goes…She's like a female version of her father.