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Just a Hunch: 'Sleepless' Night Could Be Date With Destiny

July 11, 1993|DIANNE KLEIN

Along with thousands (millions?) of our fellow Americans, my husband and I took in "Sleepless in Seattle" the other day. This way we knocked almost $4 off each of our tickets, as opposed to waiting until dark.

My husband had suggested maybe we should go with Tom Cruise at "The Firm," but I like Meg Ryan, especially that smile of hers that shows a lot of gum. It's like, she's not even embarrassed by it. Which is great.

Plus, she's supposed to be a reporter, and neither my husband nor I are attorneys. So it was destiny, our seeing "Seattle."

Anyway, if you're following my logic, I figure you're definitely in touch with your inner female. Which, of course, is why I loved "Sleepless" or "Seattle" or whatever you want to call it. It was about how things are.

Naturally, it was total hokum, simplistic and completely unrealistic. (For starters, no newspaper editor would sanction a reporter flying across country on company time to check out a guy. Believe me, it's been tried.)

But the destiny thing: It's real.

I know some people don't believe in it, like my colleague Dana Parsons, who trashed the idea in his column last Sunday. He also suggested that it's a totally unfeminist concept, like something out of "Cinderella" or "The Little Mermaid" or whatever, and hypocritical, and what about poor Walter, the mensch who got dumped?

(As for Walter: He'll get over it. Maybe a male bonding experience in a sweat lodge would help. At any rate, it might be good for his allergies.)

As for destiny, call it what you want, but thank goodness, many a Modern Woman is still sufficiently in touch with her Inner Self to recognize it every once in a while.

There's a reason they still call it women's intuition. It's in our genes.

I remember the first time I publicly acted on my own prescient thoughts. I was a sophomore in high school on a YMCA trip to Vancouver. We'd arrived on one of the San Juan Islands and were supposed to spend the night in sleeping bags on a dock next to our boat.

But no! I'd had a dream about this very place, even though I'd never seen it before. In the dream, we all burned up. So I told the counselor, and word got around. I and those who believed in my powers instead spent the night on the porch of an old house.

And the dock? Well, nothing happened. Yet.

But still . . . I have faith. See, this is what you need to believe in destiny. You have to just know . You may never be vindicated, but you still just know.

I knew when I met my husband. I knew that it didn't make sense for me to fall in love with a Southerner who was wearing a Brooks Brothers khaki suit the first time I laid eyes on him and happened to be schmoozing some editor (another Southerner) whom I couldn't stand.

But what are you going to do? You gotta go with destiny. We were married six months later.

(Plus, even though the idea was totally preposterous--I mean, that I would really end up with this guy at work--Dona Mari in Mexico City predicted it by looking at my palm and telling me about this tall, fair-skinned man whose name began with an R. After eliminating Robert Redford, I figured she had to be talking about the guy at work.)

And that's just one example. I have many more. Like the time I went out for coffee with my editor and ended up quitting my job on the spot because it suddenly felt just and right. I walked out right there without even returning to the office. (I had my purse with me.)

Fortunately, another, better job came my way 10 days later, which was fortunate, because I am not good at being unemployed.

Anyway, what I'm saying here is that sometimes you just have to jump off a cliff. You have to fly to Seattle and lie to nice, decent, boring Walter about some story you're working on when all you really intend to do is see if this "Sleepless" guy makes your heart thu-thump in a highly irregular manner.

I understand this. Most women I know understand this. This has nothing to do with cheapening the goals of the women's movement, which is about dignity and equality and options and freedom. This is about love, which is about all that too.

Fortunately, my husband understands this. Which is why he loved "Seattle" too, even though I think he still wants to see "The Firm" and in spite of the fact that he snuck out and saw "Jurassic Park" alone, even though he knew I wanted to see that too.

But you know how that goes. Every once in a while, you've got to cut men some slack. They don't have The Power, you know.

Dianne Klein's column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Readers may reach Klein by writing to her at The Times Orange County Edition, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, Calif. 92626, or calling (714) 966-7406.

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