One of my favorite activities at our perennial family get togethers is to do a puzzle. Over the years we’ve done a lot of different puzzles in different styles. We’ve done oddly shaped puzzles, we’ve done massive puzzles, and we’ve done intricate puzzles.
The truth is, though, I am really bad at puzzles. I usually will sit down for 5-10 minutes, try to put in a few pieces, then get bored or frustrated and move on to another activity. If you want to know who the true puzzle queen is in our family, it’s my mom. (Tio and Aunt Sherrie do a good job too, but Mom is the ultimate puzzle focuser.)
I’ve found the trick to participating in the puzzle, though. I join early and strategically claim the part of the puzzle with the most detail, which will be easiest to put toegether. Things like rooflines, people, even lattice work or anything geometrical will do. What you don’t want to do is come to the puzzle late when there is only one or two things left… the sky or the water.
The sky and the water is a death wish. It’s all texture, and there’s little you can do to make it any easier.
If I get stuck with the sky or the water, there is really only one thing I can do: sit there and shove pieces together until they fit. Sometimes, though some pieces look like they fit together, and you only find out late into the puzzle that you have got a piece wrong. Still, other times, you are just positive that two pieces should go together… and you sit there and twist them and turn them all different ways to see how you can get them to fit. Sometimes, in a fit of rage, I will even force the two pieces together and bang them down onto the table with my fist proclaiming, “GO TOGETHER!!!”
You’re probably wondering to yourself, what does this have to do with celebrating your singleness, WhiteEyebrows? Well, a few days ago I was talking to a friend about relationships – single’s relationships – and this concept of puzzle pieces came up. So go with me as I draw out this metaphor…
You know, sometimes we want two pieces to fit together so badly. They look just right for each other. It works out perfectly on paper. They have mutual interests, family friendships, similar personalities… whatever the case may be. So you twist and turn the piece every which way, trying to find the way they fit. This usually ends in grand frustration when you exclaim, “GO TOGETHER!”, or when you finally you throw the pieces back into the mix and give up…
Sometimes two pieces that don’t really go together look like they fit perfectly together. They are put together and then left for a long, long time, until near the end of the puzzle when they don’t realize they never belonged together in the first place. It’s a sad relationship and realization, but it happens.
Still others fit naturally and perfectly. Some pieces find their match early on in the puzzle, and stick with it throughout the puzzle. Others are the really difficult pieces whose matches kind of blend in with all the other puzzle pieces.
Some pieces go together completely by accident and chance. Sometimes you pick up a piece and just put it down right on its match without even thinking about it. This is always cause for a celebratory dance.
Sometimes the elimination of some puzzle pieces make it more apparent which pieces might go together. Sometimes changing the puzzle to another room, turning on a lamp, or sitting on another side of the table from the puzzle changes your perspective and you see matches you never saw before.
The good news, though? Every piece in the puzzle fits in somewhere. That’s the way the puzzle maker made it! So whatever your puzzle piece scenario, don’t worry, you will find your matching piece soon. I don’t know how or when it will happen, but it is bound to happen. The puzzler is up there working his magic, and it will all work out in the end.
‘Cause as I always say: Everything works out in the end. So if it hasn’t worked out yet, it’s just not the end yet.