All of us are looking for love, our soulmate, or our other half. Sometimes we get lucky and we find them when we are young because they live next door or go to our high school. Sometimes we find them a little later in life, either at college or work. Some of us get really lucky and find them more than once…tee-hee. Some of us, however, have to traverse oceans or change countries to find our soulmates.
My parents did not find each other until they both emigrated to Chicago. They had both left their homeland and found love in a new country. One of my former classmates married a girl from Costa Rica. While, one of my British friends is married to a lovely Mexican woman and they live in the United States. When I lived in Playa del Carmen, there were many individuals I came across who had found and married their soulmate in another country. Germans, Dutch, Mexicans, Cubans, Argentinians, and the Irish had all made bold leaps across water, geography, and time to be with their other half.
In Mexico, lovers refer to their other half as their media naranja. Media naranja literally translates to half of an orange. I remember the first time I heard this expression, I laughed. I exclaimed, “Why an orange?” Most of the answers I received varied from the literal translation of half an orange to your better half, your other half, or your perfect complimentary match. Therefore, I came to understand the half part of the saying that being with this person makes you complete. Yet, I still did not understand why an orange?
Eventually, my best friend C. explained it to me. An orange is sweet and you want a love that is sweet and soft and beautiful and fragrant. You do no want a lemon because while it is soft and fragrant, it is tart. The tartness will make you bitter. Limes are also tart and sour; therefore, you do not want a lime. Also, you do not want to choose an onion. Even though an onion is fragrant, it is hard and it can make you cry. Apples too do not work because they are hard and crunchy. Now, it all made sense to me. An orange as your other half is a perfect metaphor for love.
Media naranja actually reminds me of the story in Greek mythology where Zeus split the humans in two as punishment. The halved humans were doomed to walk the earth miserable until they found their soulmate or their other half. Then they would know pure joy and union. I have to admit this sounds lovely and intriguing all at the same time. Unfortunately, while I have known love, I am still looking for my other half. Many times, I believed I had found my soulmate. However, they usually ended up being just an apple.! jajaja… Wishing all my readers joy and luck in finding their media naranja..!!