Monday, May 4, 2009

"Love" or "In Love"?

What's with that distinction?? God knows i've used it myself over the years, usually to ward off unwanted advances from "friends". Apart from that, i've used the "we're friends!' clause too. But really, what's the deal??

I spent last weekend with three of my closest friends, one of whom is Megan. Megan completed her chemotherapy cycle a few weeks ago and is now working on building her strength and resilience to handle an 18 hour flight back to LA. We decided to pay her a last visit before she left... and even though i was a heartbeat away from canceling the whole thing, i'm so very glad i didn't. Because it has got me here, feeling happier than i've been in a long time.

The thing is, over the last few posts, i have been maudlin and angry and self-pitying. But three days with two guys, a girl and a household of parents, I see what a waste of time that has been. I have always prided myself on being "sorted" whatever that word may mean at different times of the day. I have been proud of my boundaries when it comes to friends, and been very self-critical about the kind of leeway i allow them when it comes to walking all over me.

But this weekend, i realised that that leeway is really what it's all about. We played "wake him up, he's trying to sleep" followed quickly by human trampoline and "what's there to eat even though we just ate" and "Who's the elbow rest" etc etc. Taboo was played with the usual fights and sulks and "you're cheating" accusations (all true). Outrageous requests were made every mealtime, and met without a raised eyebrow from anyone; we fought and made up and showered love on each other every minute of the three days.

And now i know what it is i really was talking about. I miss being held - not with lust but with affection. I miss being touched playfully, instead of with 'intention'. And i get really mad when my so-called friends don't telepathically understand that about me. The thing is - friends (that inner circle that really gets you) do instinctively understand what it is you need. The others - acquaintances - don't. And yet, we use the word "friend" so loosely that sooner or later, you just kind of ascribe those qualities to everyone and then get disappointed when they don't match up. or atleast i do. Or did (hopefully).

Yes, i know it's basic kindergarten kind of knowledge. But this weekend i realised that with friends, there is really no distinction when it comes to love. I love them... and am also a little bit in love with them. I don't know if that makes it simpler to forgive myself when i curse myself out for caring too much...

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