I’m not an emotional person. My ooey, gooey center tends to stay buried fairly deep. Moments fraught with emotion in real life scare the hell out of me, and I tend to avoid them. Same with romance; keep it away. I mask any real emotions with cynicism and sarcasm.
If I’m going to explore deep emotion, it needs to be through an intermediary, in a movie, say, or a book. In such an instance, I’ll gladly engage fully in the feels. I love the feels, but only when it isn’t directly related to my life. When my husband and I were first dating and he saw me cry at a movie for the first time, he quipped that it was good to know I actually had feelings.
The fact that I loved my cat first clued me into the idea that I could really care for someone else. I got her years ago, and despite the fact that we’ve largely lived in a state of mutual disregard, I really do love her. I enjoy cuddling her, even though she despises it. And sometimes when I look at her, I sort of marvel at how cute she is. Seriously, she has these tiny, dainty little feet, and she sometimes stands with them positioned like she’s in a 17th century royal portrait.
Then I met my husband and experienced human connection, which, surprisingly, is slightly deeper than my connection to my cat. I love this guy. He’s pretty sexy. I want to keep him. I’d like it if he was always around so we can make fun of the pets and talk about tv shows and stuff. (I don’t do romance, this is my version of love).
When I was preparing for motherhood, I knew I’d love my kid. But I figured what I read about in books and on blogs about the heartbreakingly tender love some women feel for their “Darling Children” (puke!) was not exactly down my alley. Have you seen those mommy message boards? They read like a deranged, brain-dead Stepford wife is trying to figure out the solution to colic using a system of acronyms more complex than the Army’s. Yeah, I’d love my kid, but I was skeptical about turning into a pastel puddle of mommyhood.
As you may have guessed, I’m still me. I haven’t been magically transformed into one of the message-board moms of the internet (seriously, I can’t even believe they’re real, some dude just decided to troll the message boards, right?). But I love my kid in a way I never expected. I gaze at him. I make silly noises for him. I do just about anything to get him to smile and laugh. This is mostly because of evolution, of course. He fosters the emotional connection to ensure that I won’t leave him in the woods when he refuses to stop screaming. But seriously, there just isn’t any feeling better than when he looks at me and smiles like he’s delighted to see me. Every time, I melt a little bit.