I have always been a good listener. Perhaps it is because of the fact that I never used to speak up for anything or speak out against anything. I still remember when one of my friends casually ‘informed’ me that her boy-friend, who was my batch-mate, wrote me off as a specimen. In spite of the feelings of hurt (inflicted by this 'friend') and rejection, I pondered long and hard about the authenticity of the statement – did spending most of my time in the library, instead of hanging out with ‘friends’ and spending money, make me a specimen? Hmmm......perhaps :) !!
Fast forward to the present, thanks to this ability of mine, I am the agony-aunt to most of my friends, especially guys. For good, bad or worse, I am told all about their family issues, love-affair-gone wrong, broken friendships, office-politics and so on. Perhaps they do like an untrained ear – given only to listening, not much interruption.... and definitely not judgemental.
It’s for this precise reason that one of my friends called me up yesterday – one of our mutual friends was getting married and unfortunately, our Casanova was in love with that dame. With occasional ‘Hmmm’s I heard his ranting over the phone. He could be speaking right next to me – such was the intensity conveyed. But this time, against my mind prompting me, I was not silent.
Me: Does she know this?
X: Actually, I have never told her this. It would be like committing myself to a relationship, you know.
Me: No, I do not know. You like her. You want to marry her. So what’s the problem?
X: True true…. But I do not want to marry right now. It’s too much of a responsibility. I have some ambitions, some goals. I cannot expect her to share those, right? But I cannot expect her to wait either.
Me: Sheesh !
X: Let me explain. It’s like I have to choose between my goals and her. And it will be a very difficult choice for me. Either way, I lose! But in the long term, I think I can cope up with her loss.
Me: (knowing where the conversation was heading) If she were really important, you would not have given up on her, however great the odds. And by saying all this, you are reducing her to some sort of an object.
X was really taken aback. “Hey… I did not expect this from you. Whose side are you on? Mine or hers? And I thought that you were my close friend,” was his plaintive cry.
“Ya…. That’s why I am trying to drive home some much needed sense of direction. You can do whatever you want – it’s your decision, your choice. However do not expect me to nod my head in agreement to everything you say. It reminds me of a senile goat,” was my quip.
My joke, though ill-timed, did break up the tension, and soon, the conversation drifted to other channels.
I could not help wondering as to why he would rather give up the only person he ever loved (if that was love), than letting her know his feelings. Is it because men are insecure in choosing their life-partner? But so are women and in fact, more so. Is it because of the emotional risks involved? Perhaps! But which aspect of life does not involve risks :)? Hmm… or is it because they feel that their independence is curtailed? Well… it works both ways.
But then I felt that I was blaming that guy without any rhyme or reason. Why, even women can prioritize their careers ahead of any commitments?
It's all a matter of choices - given, granted or seized.