A few days ago, I came to the realization that I have been neglecting myself in the daily drudgery of loving everyone else in my life. I was turning into all my own aunts — those Punjabi matrons with bad backs, big bums and wobbly knees, who ended up in the hospital every now and then in a subconscious cry of attention-seeking. I don’t want to end up like them, I told a friend. My previous blog post helped me put my thoughts down in words, and from then on, I began to work on identifying and vocalizing my needs.
A few mornings ago, as he and I read the papers together, I leaned on his shoulder and said, “How come we only talk about you? Please ask me how my back is feeling today.” He tenderly obliged, and despite knowing it was an asked-for concern, my back miraculously felt much better.
Asking for attention wasn’t a bad thing at all, as it turned out. It made him notice me, after a long while, as a woman and not just as a domestic partner. He asked me out on a lunch date the same afternoon. So unusual was the idea (we haven’t gone out for lunch alone ever since he moved next door five months ago) that I was as excited as a teenager on a first date. It’s very different going out as a couple versus going out as a family. We had salad and dessert over eye contact that made us blush — that’s how long it’s been.
At the end, we both acknowledged the success of the little outing and resolved to do it every month. “We need to stir things up every now and then,” I said, “to keep the magic going.”
“And to re-sweeten the drink with the sugar settled at the bottom of the glass,” he replied, kissing the back of my hand.
Ask and ye shall receive, said the Great One. Taking your share of love is just as delicious as giving, I say. Yum.