The Origin Of Love

WARNING: Possible navel lint ahead.

It’s amazing how a spot of illness can bring out the snivelly, self pitying, weakling in me. That’s when I think to myself, screw this self sufficient, independent woman crap, I just want someone to look after me. I want someone to tuck me under the covers, stay up and check in on me occasionally, rub Vicks on my congested chest, make me a hot drink. I want hot toddy, sympathy and a warm hug on the ready, despite the streaming snot, clammy sweat and woozy protestations of “I’m better now” while stoked up on antihistamines.

Times like these, I ask myself, what was so wrong with me that I can’t find and be with someone who doesn’t just bring out the best in me but who also wouldn’t run away screaming the other way at seeing the worst of me – and I don’t just mean while I’m ill either.

Once in a while, I hit a pothole of realisation – if I want someone to do that for me, I’ve got to be willing to go that distance for that other person too. And worse, I’ve got to be able to go that distance for the other person without expectation that that same person was willing to do that for me. Because that’s the meaning of love, isn’t it? To be able to give of oneself fully without expectation, and if you get something back, well, that’s a bonus.

It makes me wonder though, how many partnerships or marriages are truly like that? In a world where there’s never something for nothing, do we always venture into relationships expecting something? And is that why we’re constantly disappointed?

I know someone whose partner is currently battling for his life and I look at how my friend has stuck steadfastly by his side, staying up and nursing his partner through the night not because he is obligated but because he wants to continue to be with this person and I suffer not a little twinge of envy. To have found someone who’s been in your life for almost 20 years, and to want to continue to fight for more time to be with that person, that must be something.

By the very same token, I look at another friend who has been married for almost 20 years; he’s never strayed, ever, but on the odd cold dark night of the soul, with one too many vodkas in him, he admits quietly that he loves her but she’s never been and never will be his soulmate and that if they had been older when they met, they might not have married.

I would love to have the former, but would I settle for the latter, like so many others? Is it worth it? As I get better, my answer becomes firmer. No. There are some things in this world we shouldn’t settle for. And if I can’t give as good as I get, then it’s also not fair to the other party. And that’s not the one for me. And so I continue to make my own hot toddy and nurse my own cough and cold.

The ingredients for a hot toddy: 

  • Half a cup of water
  • A shot of whisky
  • A tablespoon of wild honey
  • A lemon quarter & a slice of lemon

Heat up the cup of water, add the whisky and honey. Squeeze the lemon quarter, pop in the slice of lemon. Stir. Sip slowly.

Sometimes, though, I don’t want that lingering warmth. So I turn to an alternative. I settle for hot ginger and Coke. And I hope that this will be the only time I settle for something less. Almost as effective in warming up a congested chest but, still, less.

The ingredients for hot ginger & Coke:

  • A cup of Coca Cola
  • Three to four slices of ginger

Bring the Coke to a boil, toss in the ginger, boil for a minute or so. Decant, sip.

Then I sit and ponder the night away on the phrase “It’s not you, it’s me”.


Note: No pictures this time around; I wouldn’t recommend trying to take pictures while woozy. 



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