If we define a cliche as somethings that been done so many times that it's past familiar, then isn't giving Christmas gifts and birthday gifts a cliche? Okay, I doubt that's going to get me off the hook for going Christmas shopping this year.
On a side note, last year Planned Parenthood of Indiana offered Free Abortion Certificates as the newest thing in gift-giving. According to Ms. magazine, an official of the Hoosier Planned Parenthood group explained: "People are making really tough decisions about putting gas in their car and food on their table, so we know that many women especially put healthcare at their bottom of their list to do."
Talk about a gift that keeps on giving. Where's that sarcasm font when I need it?
Back to topic....
I like cliches as long as they fit and have a twist to them. Just between the two of us, I have this secret idea to write a character who only speaks in cliches. Remember that Star Trek Next Generations episode when Captain Picard met that alien who only spoke in metaphors and allegories? Loved it! Loved Picard! Classic episode.
I am a trekkie at heart.
Anyhoo, one of my all time despised cliches is the concept of soul mates. Let me say that again and with emphasis.
One of my all time despised cliches is the concept of soul mates.
Ladies, what if your soul mate died in a car crash when he was 16? Does that doom you to a life all alone...or with some guy who won't be anything more to you than a second-string quarterback?
What if your soul mate was stupid and married the town's #1 exotic dancer before he met you? Does his poor choice doom you to a life alone...or with some guy who won't be anything more to you than a second-string quarterback?
Out of ten randomly chosen romance novels (sub-genre doesn't matter, although in paranormals the odds skyrocket), at least three will mentions the leads being "soul mates." How convenient for the pair that they're both attractive 'cause if not....well, imagine Roseanne Barr telling Brad Pitt, "Hey, dump Angie, I'm your soul mate!"
At some point, ladies, if you advocate the reality of soul mates and you still aren't married, you might want to stop assuming your guy is gonna be one one of those hunky hearthrobs with Bill Gates-like brains and fortune. Duh.
Realistically we all can't have great soul mates because look at how many hunky hearthrob Bill Gates-smart guys are out there. The gene pool isn't that fertile. Oh my satellites, I had a thought. What happens if you marry the guy who you were 100% certain was your soul mate but then learned he had an affinity for leaving the toothpaste cap off so you KNOW your true soul mate wouldn't be so stupid? Do you divorce the guy and go looking for your true soul mate? Not only that, but since feelings change as quick as Madonna reinvents herself, how can you really be sure your soul mate is your true soul mate? And what if you thought husband #1 was your soul mate, only to learn he wasn't, so you divorce and marry husband #2, and you guessed it, after a few years you learned he wasn't either, so you divorce and marry husband #3, and...well, do you see the picture?
My brain is stressing.
How can you guarantee the person you've fallen in love with is your soul mate? I know. Sex.
See, in the average romance novel, or sex-focused tv show, that the characters don't realize they're soul mates until they've had hot wild never-like-it-before sex. What if your soul mate just didn't have "game"? Time to start watching The Bachelorette.
I am full of "what if" questions today.
What if your soul mate dies, leaving you a widow? You're kinda obligated to tell the next guy who proposes, "Sure, I'll marry you, but just know that you only have a percentage of my heart and not a bit of my soul because it is forever linked with my dead husband." He deserves to know that you're a Corpse Soul Bride. It's the most loving thing you can tell him. After all, now he can know that he might want to keep looking because he obviously hasn't found his soul mate in you.
See, this is why I think the concept of soul mates is so totally stupid and cliched and takes away personal choice.
Is there only one "right" person for us? If you believe that, then I can't see how you (or your characters, if you're a writer) don't struggle with second-guessing your (their) decision to be with the person you're (they're) with. What if he's not "the one"? What if so-and-so was but he had bad breath so you refused to go out with him again?
What if your soul mate was a total jerk? Clearly the world has it's share of jerks, and I can't imagine each one of them is slotted to be a eunach. Some will marry. Some will marry for love...and yet will still be jerks.
Good thing love is a choice.