The L Word(s)

Riding in the car on Tuesday, I got ready to say my goodbyes. I had received the phone call at 12:30am telling me that my cat Samantha – the darling, sweet kitten with the biggest heart – probably wouldn’t make it through the evening as she was experiencing full kidney failure. Somehow, she did, yet I was told the prognosis was very grave, and I should be prepared for her to ‘go’ at any time. I was driving her from the overnight Emergency vet to the normal vet and as she laid there, somewhat glassy-eyed and clearly in a stupor, I told her I loved her, that she had always been a good cat and that if she needed to ‘go’, she could.  I almost crashed into three cars since I couldn’t see from all the tears.

Thankfully, two days later, Samantha is doing better (thanks, everyone, for your thoughts & prayers & flowers!) and while she’s nowhere near fully recovered (nor ever will be) she ate her first unassisted meal last evening and her kidney values are improving. HURRAH!

During this entire ordeal, I’ve been fixated on the concept of love. While I know that we will all eventually lose people and animals that we love, the thought and excruciating pain of that almost makes me want to wall myself off from loving anyone or anything. Extreme, I know, but I’m not yet trained in the art of loss. You see, us Sabalas (nee, Czabalas) and Kings have the gift of longevity – we’re a hearty stock.

In fact, nobody in my (somewhat) extended family died until I was in college. My great grandparents lived to be over 100, and I jokingly say that if you marry a Sabala (at least this one), you’ve got one for life.  As such, I’m a death neophyte, and the mere suggestion of anything but complete immortality renders me a sobbing mess. God help us all when I have children.

So, it should be somewhat unsurprising that I’ve never told anyone I loved them. (I’ll give you a minute to process that.)

[minute passed]

Yes, that’s right. In all 29 years of my life, save for family and friends, I have never told a boyfriend that I loved him.  The crazy thing? Nobody has ever told me either. The reason being that I’ve never been in love.

Sure, similar to Daisy’s binders, I would write "I heart Brandon" on my brown-paper-bag-covered books since in sixth grade if you DIDN’T love Brandon, you were blind. (Brandon was – and is – hot.)  I had a "I heart Peter" keychain (at least my Mom reminded me that I did as she’s including in her care package to me containing all of my middle school notes. That should be good.) I equated "obsessed with a pre-pubescent skateboard riding boy with awesome hair" to love and, well, didn’t we all? As years passed, however, I realized that was a different "L" word, that was "Like" and should NOT be confused with Love. Or Lust, for that matter.

Liking is easy.
Lusting is fun.
Loving is hard.

I don’t know what this says about me, whether it says I’m guarded, complacent in my shell of protection, avoiding getting hurt. I’ve had my heart broken one too many times by someone who I was in one of those OTHER "L" words with to know that I don’t think I can bear it if I actually LOVED them. Maybe it tells of my predilection for unsuitable guys, who knows. What I *DO* know is that I’ve never had to have that horrible "I’m not saying it first" conundrum because I’ve never BEEN in love.

Like? I can do like. I *OWN* like and, you know what? I like so much I probably like YOU.
Lust? Oh baby. Lust is my middle name. (Or would be if "O’Neil" wasn’t it already.) I lust with gusto.
Love? Not for me. At least not now.

Maybe it’s fear of dilution. After all, I agree that it’s better to never have said it as opposed to saying it a ton without meaning. Similar to why I waited until I was 22 to lose my virginity (shock and awe, I know!) I think I place so much meaning in those three words that I won’t say them until I’m sure. And thus far, I’m only sure of one thing: that I’m NOT in love.

"Those three words are said too much, they’re not enough."
– Chasing Cars, Snow Patrol

Like Daisy said, I’m not Carrie Bradshaw (despite popular opinion) and while relationship ruminations are often the topic at hand, I don’t have an answer for this one, nor a hypothesis. I realize it DOES say something about me and my nature, just am not sure what.

I wonder if lovelessness is a disease. And if it is, where I can find the cure. Because I really, really would like to make use of that "I heart Peter" keychain one of these days…80’s garb is soooo retro-hip.

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