Soul mate du jour

Well, Aaron the Bachelor has made his choice, fingering beaming Helene as his future bride. I was just relieved to see nobody got killed on that show. I mean, come on, you take 25 hot-blooded young women, prowling for their MRS degrees, add one hot young hunk, put ’em all together for an all-is-fair marriage derby featuring unlimited hot-tubbing, and then stick the whole steamy brew under the leering eyeball of national television, you gotta figure you’re gonna get at least a couple of toe tags out of that mix.

Of course, proposal notwithstanding, there’s no guarantee that an actual wedding will take place. Digest this quote from Helene, who was recently asked if she was really in love with Aaron. “After watching the show? I think my feelings are the same. Yeah, I can say I’m still in love. Yes.” These are the enchanting statements that make an altar-bound man think along the lines of an absolutely bulletproof pre-nup.

“The Bachelor” may have done some good for us as a culture. No, really. The show may have rocked, at least a little bit, the flimsy yet alarmingly popular concept of the “soul mate.” After all, we just saw an entity as crass and calculating as a television network successfully organize and orchestrate the romantic alchemy of two strangers, who after a few months now say they are ready to give it a go as a wedded couple.

I realize the A-man and Helene haven’t publicly pronounced themselves as soul mates per se, or maybe I’m just reading the wrong tabloids. But that doesn’t matter. The whole premise of “The Bachelor” makes clear that you can take just about any Tom, Dick or Harry who isn’t an utter fooncake, put him in a room with 25 good-looking gals, give him the key to the wine cellar and a hot tub, and chances are he’s going to hunker down and find himself a keeper, a woman who will emerge as at least a quasi-soul mate, with a decent possibility of achieving total soul.

What I’m getting at is a very important romantic tidbit, straight from the male hard drive itself, a tidbit that we usually keep wrapped very tight. First, we do indeed believe in soul mates. We really do. It’s just that, well, we beg to differ on the number of soul mates out there in the universe. Women seem to think that there’s one, and only one, soul mate per person. Men seem to find that outlook a tad limited. Look, we know that’s cheating on the whole soul mate concept, but we just can’t help it.

And the truth is, we men are inclined to put the number of soul mates out there at, oh—I don’t know—how does 375,000 sound?

The next time you fly over Los Angeles or Phoenix, no matter what your gender, see if you can’t easily imagine 30 or 40 soul mates crawling around down there.