Today morning, I got up sick and grumpy. I was running fever, and the thought of running errands like getting a copy of key made, shooting out emails, going to work made me want to call in sick. But I dragged myself out of the bed. I thought that the sick feeling in my throat would go away if I hydrated myself, and ate something throughout the day. I opened the fridge expecting last night’s leftovers, to pack some and take to office. It was not there; my house mates had either eaten it, or packed it for lunch. An array of thoughts and fury flew through my head. Before I could lose it, I searched some more, and found that they had left something for me too. I felt better, not just because there was food, but because they had started learning to be considerate. And then all my journey, from there till office, was just good. It still is.
My housemates and I share the groceries. Long ago, I had suggested that we keep it separate. Reason being, tiny things like being obligated to cook, cook in a certain way, eat more or less than someone, open a fridge expecting food that you cooked to be there, but staring at an empty one – it all leads to quarrels, bitterness, misunderstandings. It’s food, and an averagely understanding person would not like to pick fights over food – everyone is hungry in the morning, and at the end of the day. But she was reluctant to keep the groceries separate. I am glad that she was reluctant. I was willing to try, given that she had listened me out, my reasoning for keeping it separate. She was wise. I am not sure how much thought she put into it, but I guess she knew that the benefits outweigh the cons. Yes, there are many benefits to sharing groceries. You probably end up spending more, on stuff that you don’t like, miss out on accountability, cook when it’s someone else’s turn, find out food that you cooked missing, clean up after someone else, find a messed up kitchen when it’s your turn to cook and wonder what catastrophe hit it, and so on. Still, the benefits outweigh the cons.
A complete segue from here on – I think most relationships go bitter because people take others for granted. People take others for granted at various levels, for various things. It could be something seemingly silly, yet very important. This is not the end. People take others for granted, and expect others to not take them for granted. Well, one does not want that responsibility, but wants to wield the right. The right to expect. People think that it’s their fundamental right to expect something of a person. I am not talking about expectations of a teacher, a government, a leader. I am talking here, about expectation of a person, with whom you share some kind of relationship. Adam can expect a myriad things of Eve, a million different things, that Eve in oblivious of, aware of. And Eve can do the same. But who decides what these things are? They could be some things that are set on moral stones, by man, like loyalty, a proposal, emotional support, etc. They could be some other things, that come from within the individual. Who decides these things? Of course, the person who expects. A million things can be expected by Adam, and he may even possibly justify his expectations.
Expectations stem from the fact that every human is selfish. They forget that others can expect too, if they themselves can. Expectations are thus based on one’s convenience. Adam fails to understand that Eve’s expectations of him need not be in-line with his expectations of her. She can expect anything she wants. Most of the times, one’s independence is mistaken for selfishness. If Adam does what he wants in life, he is considered selfish. If Eve forgoes a relationship because she loves to wear dresses that her boyfriend does not like, she is selfish. If Adam travels to chase his dreams he is selfish because he has left behind his old parents. Well, to me, Eve’s boyfriend is selfish who has unrealistic and stupid expectations. To me Adam is selfish only if his parents need him and he still leaves them to chase his dreams. To me.
If Tom and Jerry are friends, and some calamity befalls Jerry for which Tom was unknowingly responsible, it eats up Tom. Tom gets consumed by the thought of the reason, and not by what happened to Jerry. This is again because everyone thinks about themselves. Tom’s pain of being the reason becomes larger to him, than the calamity that has befallen Jerry. The same is true about death. When someone dies, we cry, more for the reason that we cannot be with them anymore, and create memories with them, than for the reason that that someone has stopped existing, and cannot do things in life, fulfill wishes that they left behind. I always wished that I died before my loved ones. But I realized that I was being selfish there myself, by not wanting to go through the pain. By wanting to transfer that pain to my loved ones, and letting them deal with it.
In all this crap, people forget to remember this simple and beautiful thing called love. Love is strange. It is a right that works the other way round. I do not have the right to expect to be loved. But I have to right to love. It is a right, that I can wield on myself. Yes. I can love anyone I want 🙂 Nothing is really complicated. It can all be very simple.
PS: I am human. I have my selfish needs. I have my expectations. And this is how I choose to justify them