The downside to that is, I don’t really pay attention to how much love I get. It’s not that I’m not loved, or that it doesn’t matter to me. Indeed, every person I’ve been with at different stages of my emotional maturity has loved me – and in some part of their hearts – continue to do so. And vice-versa. But in every case, the relationship has ended when I’ve woken up to the fact that I’m not loved as much as I felt I deserved to be.
You know that saying – “Give someone enough rope, and sooner or later they’ll hang themselves”? I’ve been in the maybe not-so-unique position of being the rope holder as well as the person hung at the end of it all. You see, I have a threshold of giving and expecting nothing in return. I use it as my barometer. At what point will he understand how awesome I am and suddenly start giving me my due? And ofcourse, if he telepathically can understand that – then I’ll be his slave for life. But by the time that happens , if at all, I’ve already spent all my rope and died in the relationship.
The fact however is – much as I bemoan the ridiculous presence of games in relationships – this has been the single most consistent game I have played with myself for all these years. My lovers, at some subliminal strata, have been experiments – and levels I’ve crossed – while I’ve honed lying to myself into an art form.
Until one day, an unplanned-for furball comes into my life. One look into her doe-eyed expression and I’m a goner. Like I’ll-kidnap-her-and-run-away-together-to-the-Andaman’s-and-nobody-will-find-us-forever kind of goner. I made no bones about saying so clearly to her then-owners. There must be some truth to the concept of the Universe giving you everything you want because within a few weeks, she was in my arms, in my house, hiding under my couch as she became used to her new home and owner.
And, suddenly, without any expectations, I had someone to love. There was no game playing. I loved her, she tolerated me, and soon we adopted each other as ours. And as we sit together and watch TV shows late into the night (well, mostly she sleeps on my belly as I watch) or I write while she chases her shadow across the room, a startling thought comes into my head - I haven’t made a single booty call in months!
Now that can either mean I’ve gotten over men entirely, or maybe I’ve just gotten over regularly dropping my standards in exchange for a warm body. Either way, it’s a brave new world.