Dear Emma (Watson),
Love is a fickle thing, isn’t it?
Two weeks ago, I waited for you at the Washington Monument on Valentine’s Day for nearly 10 hours. You didn’t show up. I listened to a Spotify playlist I made for us on repeat. No, Adele’s “One And Only” never grows stale in case you were wondering.
Why wouldn’t I have left after an hour, you ask? I’m a hopeful person. At my core, I’m an incurable optimist. Or at least I used to be. Before I started writing letters to you.
Your silence on the matter is turning me into cynical, cold, regretful skeptic. I’m becoming one of those “Screw half-full, this glass doesn’t even have water in it,” kind of people. I’ll be that huge asshole who makes negative YouTube comments and hides behind his screen if I continue down this dark path.
What happened? My courtship of you started out as a fun, promising endeavor. Remember the first letter I wrote? These days, the underdog like me has a shot at actually reaching a star like you because of the advent of social media, a dynamic news cycle that needs stupid stories, and Internet trolling. But my quest to get one measly date has come up short, dry, and as empty as my Rav4’s gas tank at the end of workweek.
Tommy called me prudent and loyal once. That seems like decades ago. What do I have to show for my devotion, though? A broken heart, shattered dreams, and a new distrust of the universe.
Love used to be the only thing I believed in. Like Jay Gatsby, I believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. Perhaps it’s fitting that I get shot in the back for hoping the same way everyone’s favorite fictional 1920s millionaire did.
In The Great Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan hopes that her daughter will be a fool when she’s born, for a fool is “the best thing a girl can be in this world.” I always thought that was a really sad line, but I’m starting to realize how nice of a thought it is. Fools are better off; whimsical, carefree people who roll with the tide never have to experience the hurt that champions of love like I do. They don’t put their hearts on the line. They don’t experience the intense disappointment.
Make no mistake: there’s nothing romantic about heartbreak. Unrequited love sucks more than the Green Bay Packers (yeah, I said it). Booze, ice scream, meaningless sex, diets, psychiatrists, and long walks on the beach can’t cure the loss someone feels when the romantic idea of he and someone else he cares for deeply is flushed down the toilet.
I think the only thing that might help ease this pain a little is singing and dancing to Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Going Down,” which chronicles the demise of a once encouraging relationship.
Perhaps in one sense, I am a fool. I’m a fool for thinking a new, awesome platform like The Millennial Man would aid me in my pursuit of winning your love – or at least getting your attention. Emma, I’m the fool for thinking that a princess like you and an outlaw smuggler with the heart of gold (Han Solo reference) like me ever had a shot. I just thought you were different than other celebrities who floated meaninglessly from one “relationship” with one fellow A-Lister to the next. I pegged you for a true love kind of girl.
Alas, maybe that was my biggest mistake: I projected my thoughts, wishes, and desires onto you. That’s not fair. You are who you are. And unfortunately, I won’t ever really get to know who that is. Instead, I must move on and do things like sign up for OkCupid and that Tinder thing everyone’s talking about. I can’t write online letters to you my whole life. What you and I had is over. The sad reality is that it never started.
I’ll stop sending you letters, Emma. You weren’t reading anyway. Have fun with fellow movie stars, famous politicians, unbelievably attractive athletes, astronauts, and whomever else you decide to date. I’ll plunge back into cold, heartless reality.
However, it’s hard for me to extinguish that flicker of hope that always burns inside me. Part of me will never accept that I don’t have a shot. What’s that thing Nick Caraway said at the end of Gatsby… “It eluded us then, but that’s no natter – to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning –”
Until that fine morning, Emma. Adieu.