Reader submission from Artfully Yours!
So this should go under “Videos,” but I couldn’t find a link specific to the part I wanted to share. If you’re interested in seeing this in real time, check out “How I Met Your Mother” season 1, episode 7 titled “Matchmaker.” There’s a great scene where Ted is convinced to go to a matchmaking service and just when he’s about to leave, Ellen, the matchmaker convinces him to stay. Ultimately depressing, yet an incredibly funny response to “There are plenty of fish in the sea.” Transcribed below:
Ellen: You give me three days and I will find the woman you will marry.
Ted: (nervous laugh) Uh, no thanks. I don’t need an algorithm to meet women. It… it’s New York City. You know, plenty of fish in the sea.
Ellen: Pleennnty of fish in the sea. Yes. There’s about 9 million people in New York; 4.5 million women. Of course, you want to meet somebody roughly your own age, let’s say plus/minus 5 years, so if we take into account the most recent census data, that leaves us with 482,000! But, ah! Wait! 48% of those are already in relationships. And then you have to eliminate half for intelligence, sense of humor, and compatibility. And then you have to take out the ex-girlfriends and the relatives, and, oh, we can’t forget those lesbians. And that leaves us with… 8 women.
Ted: That can’t be right. Eight?! Really… eight?
Ellen: There are eight fish in that big blue ocean, Ted. And if you feel confident that you could reel one in to your boat without me, there’s the door.
Ted: …do you take credit cards?
In response to her exclamation of “I’ve never met anyone like you before…” Captain Creme’s boyfriend of two years replies, “There are a million girls out there just like you.”
Captain Creme and her boyfriend of six months were sitting in the car; he’s smoking a cigarette and they’re discussing how he should quit. As though it were romantic, he says, “If I quit smoking, will you marry me?”
Rebound of Captain Creme’s began profusely apologizing for talking about himself nonstop one evening. He begins by saying, “I talk a lot, don’t I?… I don’t talk as much when I’m by myself.”
No white knight, then, this Archibald Jones. No aims, no hopes, no ambitions. A man whose greatest pleasures were English breakfasts and DIY. A dull man. An old man. And yet… good. He was a good man. And good might not amount to much, good might not light up a life, but it is something. She spotted it in him that first time on the stairs, simply, directly, the same way she could point out a good mango on a Brixton stall without so much as touching the skin.
These were the thoughts Clara clung to as she leaned on her garden gate, three months after her wedding, silently watching the way her husband’s brow furrowed and shortened like an accordion, the way his stomach hung pregnant over his belt, the whiteness of his skin, the blueness of his veins, the way his “elevens” were up—those two ropes of flesh that appear on a mans gullet (so they said in Jamaica) when his time is drawing to a close.
Clara frowned. She hadn’t noticed these afflictions at the wedding. Why not? He had been smiling and he wore a white turtleneck, but no, that wasn’t it—she hadn’t been looking for them then, that was it.
Smith, Zadie. White Teeth. New York: Random House, 2000: 41.