A short essay entitled “On Affection|Love”

It was, I’m fairly sure, only a couple of days ago that I suddenly understood what’s been hovering over me for longer than I can point to; a kind of mysterious miasma of .. something.

Out of nowhere it came to me that I’m absolutely starved of affection, let alone love.

I’m not a person others can easily feel affection for, I think; they like me, and they can even be happy to see, hear or read me. But I do tend to alarm people – in a friendly kind of way – and while I may amuse them, they’re probably somewhat relieved when I leave (or finish).

It’s a grim situation for an ancient, especially for one who is entirely alone – and MOST especially for one who was loved absolutely and unquestioningly for 31 years by the husband she considered as others might god.

Why did I never realize this frightful lack before now ?!

I do have an answer for that question: it’s because I recently came across a person whose brain is admirable, whose ethics ditto, who’s responsible and even occasionally reliable, and who tells me “don’t overestimate my intellect lest I fall short of your expectations”. This combination writes an irresistible siren song for me so that I have, being me, immediately handed over my wrinkled old heart in hope of not having it returned in disgust: it is a young person, after all .. and how much more alarming must I be to one such ?!

There are three women in my life who I can call dear friends; but the one from longest ago is in Sydney, one (the next longest) in Brisbane and the most recent in Geelong. I have a dear male friend, also living in Geelong, from years and years back, and another man who was once my boss in Melbourne but who now lives in Perth. All have full lives, unlike me. All are people I would be deeply unhappy not to have as friends, even at those distances. I love them greatly. Who knows ? – maybe they love me. But I can’t hug them and give them loud kisses on their dear faces and clutch their hands.

Was I ever this demonstrative when I spent time in their company ?

Probably not.

Would I be so were they to haul up over the horizon tomorrow ? – definitely !   :)

I also have three family members left: an older sister who was living in Paris but is now disruptively back in Oz, a younger sister who lives in Tasmania and a nephew who lives in Perth (my home town). With the eldest I never developed a meaningful relationship; I and my younger sister were once very alike in temperament but she is ageing gracefully; I love my nephew very much, but I never see him.

So you see my problem with regard to this so much younger person: there’s possibly nothing more I would like to do than demonstrate my regard in the timeless manner I described above. It wouldn’t be anything more than me saying “I think you’re ACE !” in the same way as I would my extant dear friends; but it would bring on a panic attack.    :(

And were I not so badly in need of some utterly harmless demonstration of affection returned, it might never have occurred to me to even think how delightful my display would be — to me ..

Sighh .. What a silly old fart I am.

24 thoughts on “A short essay entitled “On Affection|Love”

  1. I’m not sure how to respond to this. I certainly can’t ‘Like’ it. I’m so sorry you feel so. You are most certainly loved even if, in these unprecedented times, others have become immersed in their own lives and less attentive. But knowing it and experiencing it are two different things so I understand your heartache. I also think when times are harder, it’s easier just to shut out anything but the most immediate issue and to turn inwards on oneself. Energies are depleted and resources scarce. It’s hard on a person on their own who doesn’t have immediate access to love and affection.
    I will try harder not to be so absent. Love and hugs and kisses to you. xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not so much a discontented whinge as a statement of how life is. But your words certainly gladden the wrinkled old heart, and that’s the truth. Also, you remind me of what only I could forget – the enforced absences of these unprecedented times – what a wonderful description !!
      Big fat squashy hugs – 26kg less ones – and some loud smackeroonies on your ever-youthful visage.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I get that but it still makes me sad that it is the case. I don’t mean to make the pandemic an excuse but I do think, even when retrictions had lifted, people had become so used to a different way of being that going back to old ways has been a struggle.

        Liked by 1 person

        • And I entirely agree. Added to which has been Mario’s quintuple bypass and subsequent insertion of a pacemaker .. although I do think that’s fairly weak as an excuse. ;)

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, M-R come here and let me give you a hug! I’m lucky because I have the OH to keep me company, but I don’t have friends in the real world and family are strewn about somewhat so we don’t see each other as often as I’d like. I was never one of those girls / women with a cluster of friends and I am not a joiner or a very demonstrative person either, so I can quite understand how you feel. I know when the OH used to go away for work and I hadn’t spoken to anyone in days I used to quite enjoy chatting to the cashier in the supermarket! Easy for me to say, but just enjoy the company of this new friend, and if the time comes and it feels right to give her a hug, then do so xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would be extra nice, Jude, if only. :D And I agree about the people in shops: here in my little shopping centre it is the chemist and the post office, the supermarket and the vegie lunch shop where my ‘friends’ are to be found. I’ll miss them all as of tomorrow, when my longed-for vacating of this hovel happens. Time to set up a new lot then.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good luck with the move and the new adventure. I really hope it all works out for you this time, moving is not only tiresome and stressful, but also expensive! And here’s to meeting new friends xx

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s very much appreciated, Jude ! :D
          This will be something different and that’s a fact.
          I heartily echo your sentiment re new friends: I need some about me.


  3. Friends are such a force of good in one’s life. Essential companionship and sounding boards! I have more now than I had ever before, but I am conscious that like my Grandmother, they will disappear one by one. So cultivating a friendship with younger people is definitely a good thing, and it sounds like it is genuine! Connecting on an intellectual level is what sustains relationships!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So, I clicked the like button, but this is not a “like” post, huh. I have been a little sad lately as I have become more isolated because of my chronic illness, the pandemic, friends moving away, and all the other little things that make us become more isolated. Part of this is just life, but it is still a shame. Hugs to you, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you probably mirror the feelings of a lot of people, dear M-R. It’s really difficult for people without friends or family living closely to feel connected, intimate and loved. There needs to be a closeness in relationships for that emotion to translate. And I think after a couple of years of being told not to even get close or to touch others, not even a handshake, there is a general and profound loss. I do wonder if there won’t be a way, now that you recognize the sense of deprivation, to find a common interest group to join, or at least give a try! Even a book club or ??? I have no idea what would be available to you, but I feel a sense of loss for you in thinking of you in isolation. Acquaintances can become friends over time, and I think you just might have to risk being a little uncomfortable at first to gain some benefit. And from me to you, HUGS!!! Big ones!!


    • Using my phone, Deb – hence inability to Like (very much) your comment. Will come back to it when I get reconnected to the world: different kind of connection here .. XxX


  6. That’s 100 per cent spot on, Sue. Dunno why I didn’t realise; and very glad to have an explanation like this – makes such good sense. Now totally distracted by my move, which is A Good Thing ! Thanks love !!


  7. Just found I had this open to reply to on my iPad M-R, back when I was in Melbourne, but got distracted. I know why. Because I felt sad and didn’t quite know what to say except I am known as a hugger – my son has warned new girlfriends of it! So I would give you many hugs if I could. Please accept virtual versions. Maybe things have progressed with your friend and hugs have come?


    • Dear Sue, I’m still waiting on a laptop and doing my very poor best with my phone in the meantime. It takes forever .. Bear with me and I shall return EVENTUALLY, without a filthy cold and with renewed drive. XX


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