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Ask The Vatican Assassin (Going For The One)

Got a problem? Well, your worries are over: We here at Shaking Through World Headquarters have an expert in the field of "problem-solving." When he’s not busy carrying on the noble tradition of the Knights Templar (“God’s Green Berets”) -- snuffing out world leaders, dispatching demons and generally saving the world like a long-haired, street-smart James Bond -- Vatican Assassin spends his free time indulging his every hedonistic whim, which gets him into lots of trouble. Who better to dole out helpful advice to the lovelorn, conflicted and confused?

Editor's Note: I've said it before, and I'll say it one last time. If you want to see your letter in print, with Vatican Assassin's advice, for the love of all that's holy, use that spell-check function on your computer. Letters with misspelled words, with lower-case I's for the pronoun "I," will not be answered or printed. PERIOD.

Posted: November 7, 2003

Dear Vatican Assassin,

I heard about you from a friend and I need to ask you a favor. I'm a junior in high school and I have fallen in love with a girl that I've known for a year and a half now. This girl is everything I look for in a girl; she's smart, beautiful, and everything I want in her personality. We've gone out before. Twice to be exact. The first time it was for a week and we agreed that it was too quick and we should wait. The second time we went out was for a month and a half and we broke up because we got into a fight about one of her ex-boyfriends. It's been almost a year since we last dated but we have remained the best of friends. I love her in two different ways. In one way it's the love of friendship and I feel like that can't be broken because it's already been tested and hasn't failed. And the other way is that I truly believe that she is the one. Everyday I see her and fall more and more in love with her.

I've noticed lately that there's more flirting than usual. She's acting different. She's acting like she did right before we went out last time. My friends think I'm retarded because I keep falling for the wrong girl. They don't' know that this one girl means everything to me. They say she might break my heart again but I'm willing to take that chance. I dunno if the way she's acting is because she wants to try it again or what, but I'm so confused.

When we broke up the second time she went back to her ex-boyfriend (the one we fought over) but that didn't last too long because they got into a fight about some nonsense and he started a new relationship with some other girl.

I just want to know what I should do. I mean I love this girl to death but should I go after her one more time?

Jeez. How in Hell did I become the advice columnist for hormonally stricken teens?? Don't your parents have Internet filters for this kind of thing? Shouldn't you be doing your homework instead of writing me about how you can take your true love to your prom? Shouldn't you be asking your parents for this kind of advice? Shouldn't your parents be taking more of an interest, instead of letting some guy on the Internet, twice their child's age, do the Father Knows Best routine? Mutter mutter grumble grumble...

Ok, here's the real deal. The best part about this is, you're going to hate every word of it, and when you get older, the constant will still be the same: I'll be right. I'm right now, and I'll still be right years from now when you've forgotten this one's name and are writing to me about the new one in college. (I'm betting now that the future letter will be about "The One" as well.)

The Real Deal: She's not "The One". The Real Deal: "The One" doesn't exist. Ever. Disney LIED.

Why are humans so obsessed with this "One" concept? Most animals that are said to 'mate for life' actually take several mates over their life span to keep the breed moving forward. What's more, they aren't mating for life out of love: They're doing it out of instinct. Furthermore, when you break it down, in today's disposable society, all marriages have a 50% chance of survival or failure. Either it's going to work because both people are trying their hardest to work it out, or it's going to fail because one of the people gave up. All this blah blah blah when people tell me that they've found "The One" -- this time, for sure -- makes me want to choke them.

So let me break it down further for you: There is a "One," all right. It's YOU. Not someone else. In our endless quest to shirk responsibility for our own actions, we search for someone else to complete our own lives. Why? Because it's easier to assign a blame or fault to someone other than yourself -- especially when you're really at fault. We always say: "They dumped me." Or, "They left me." But if you look at it closely and honestly, you'll probably see that you're just as much at fault for not being able to keep them as they are for giving up. There's an old saying, and as I get older I find myself enjoying using these phrases more, even though it makes me feel like an old man: You can't take care of someone else until you can take care of yourself. Period. You have to find your own center before you can share anything with anyone else to any degree of lasting success. Most people, when they tell you about their "one," are telling you in hindsight: they didn't know until afterwards. That's the only true way to know. Me, I'm hoping that when I'm in my 80's, if I'm still waking up to the same woman, with the same smile on my face, that'll be a good clue that I've been spending my time with the right one. (And really, does anyone want the responsibility, the pressure, of that kind of title?)

That was the true answer to the question at hand, whether you think so or not. However, I'm pretty sure you won't take it, because it wasn't the answer you wanted to hear. So here's that answer: Go for it again. If she breaks your heart again, well, you'll tape it up and play through the pain. If she doesn't break your heart again, then the risk was worth the reward. Either way, it's best to take the shot, because if you don't you'll always wonder "What if?" Taking a gamble is a 50% chance of success. Not taking it is 100% chance of failure, because you never even tried. It's better to have lived and regret something you've done than to have lived and regret something you haven't done.

I'd tell you to grow up, but that's a given. For the love of God, you're a junior in High School. You're, what, 16 or so, tops? What are you doing worrying about who you're going to spend the rest of your life with this early in the game? You should be enjoying the fact you can still wake up at noon on Saturdays before the words "I have to go to work" become a mantra. Before you realize maybe you really should've given some serious thought to what you wanted to be when you grow up. My last piece of advice: Get a job, then a girl. Trust me, you're not going to be able to keep a girl, "The One" or any other one, for very long if you can't take her to a restaurant that doesn't offer super-sizing. Fortunately, Burger King makes frequent stops at your local job fair.

They call me Dr. Love; I've got the cure you're thinking of...

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