I had a man recently allude-- not so directly, but in a way clearly understood – that I’m afraid. And the assertion ended there. I didn’t ask more because I didn’t want to hear more.
Of love? Or of falling in love?
Well…I am. Of all the above. No kidding, Sherlock.
Regardless of how accurate the statement is, it felt less like an observation and more like a blaming. A branding, even. Branding me as “one of those girls” -- too scared to make commitments, or too frivolous to be loyal. Foolish and thoughtless in the game of hearts.
I resent that.
My least favorite passive-aggressive compliment is, You really know how to play the game, don’t you. That doesn’t fly with me. It works me up into quite the tizzy, actually.
For clarification, I suppose there are two genres of game-playing. There’s the knowing when to call, being just busy enough, well-placed tight jeans kind of game. It’s lighthearted and fun. No expectations have been set. This is the game of breezy flattery and ego-boosts and once-a-week lunch dates. This is the game in which I’m alright with considering myself….well, we’ll say “versed.”
Then there’s the heavy game, dealing with deep-rooted affections. Approaching that with a sense of flippancy is wrong. Playing this game for self-serving reasons or the sake of competition is wrong.
Accusing me of playing the latter game irresponsibly is, frankly, insulting. It’s insulting not because I’m unwilling to own up to how I am, but because it belittles everything most important to me. Because anybody who knows me half-well will tell you the number one focus in my life is building relationships.
And I’m just trying to unearth this life of mine the best I know how.
Isn’t everybody afraid, at their core? If they aren’t, maybe they should be. It's terrifying to think of soul-rocking, life-changing, honey-we’re-out-of-milk-I’ll-go-to-the-store forever kind of love. It should be terrifying because it pushes the limits of our natural man, forcing us to expand past our own selfish humanity.
And yes, some of us have more walls than others. Some of us are lonely and some of us are jaded and some of us are insecure. Usually we’re a little of all of it. But regardless of how we “play the game,” so to speak – everybody is a little. bit. scared.
I have so much love to give. It’s my finest and worst attribute, really. It gets me into trouble too often. But when the right time and the right man line up, it’s going to serve me well.
I’m going to love wholly and unreservedly.
It’ll be easy. So easy. I’ll settle into the curves of our life and exhale, exclaiming, all those years! all those years and I didn’t know how to breathe.
One day, there will be a man who will turn me into an unabridged woman.
And I’ll run to him.