(cue Night Ranger song here)
It's been an ... interesting ... month. It's probably unwise to put the majority of the details out here, but here's the part that's bothering me.
I got back this morning from driving a friend to the airport (90 minutes each way, with my usual detour for getting lost on the way back). Picked him up at 7:30, got home about 11:30. One of the other residents -- who's been here about a month, maybe a bit less -- was taking her laundry down the stair as I was coming up. She said, with what seemed to be to be sincerity, "Oh, I'm so glad you're back!"
Taken aback a bit, I tried to keep it light and said "oh! Well, it's nice to be missed."
Whereupon she replied, "Well, of course! You're important to me."
And all I could think was, 1) You barely know me, 2) You know me in only a VERY specific context, 3) Pleeeeease don't pull out that particular gun on me. It makes me nervous.
Kurt Vonnegut (peace be upon him) said once that he never included anything even remotely resembling a love story in his books because once you do that, it's all over. The sky could be black with flying saucers and World War III could be imminent, as far as your plotline goes, and nobody would give a shit -- they'd just want to know about the love story. And once somebody says "I love you," what can you do, really, but say "I love you too"? He felt it was like holding the other person hostage.
There are a number of people I feel deep affection, and even love, for -- but it is often hard for me to say so aloud, perhaps because it makes me so nervous having someone say it to me. It makes me *especially* panicky when it's said to me from someone who uses it casually. To me, it's not a casual word, and definitely not a casual emotion, and while I'm grateful to have people who care about me, nothing in my life to date has proved to me that anything like love at first sight exists. (Affection at first sight can happen now and then -- not all that often, but it's lovely when it does.)99.9% of the time, though, love is not something that can be honestly proclaimed when you've barely met someone. It takes time to build a relationship to the point where you can use the word genuinely. Please don't make me all anxious by throwing it around lightly. I get anxious easily enough as it is. :-)