I am worthy.
I’ve dated my fair share of the unworthy. I call them unworthy because I know now that they were never worthy of me, not because I am superior but simply because I deserved at least the same amount of respect, love and time as I put in.
I recognize the cheaters, the liars and the fools; looking back I figure I was more in love with the idea of being in love than the person I thought I loved.
The drama that came with the unworthy became my own shadow and had the venomous ability to appear even when the sun was out. I guess I subconsciously trained myself to believe that what I saw in front of me was a reflection of what I conjured up in my head. The alluring problem with imagination is that you can imagine absolutely anything and if you imagine hard enough, you can convince yourself that it is real. But, imagining can get exhausting. Until science finds a way to 3D print my imagination, I needed to open my eyes and actually see what was in front of me.
Pain came and pain went.
I allowed myself to date again after I saw some cheesy rom-com where the girl said something along the lines of, the more number of frogs you kiss the sooner you can kiss your prince. I figured that I had kissed enough frogs by then, so my prince charming couldn’t be too many kisses away.
I went to a café to meet a certain someone—it was one of the strangest dates I had ever been on. My first thought was to leave, but then I remembered that my apartment’s Wi-Fi was down so I had might as well stay for some wine.
He ordered a bottle of red wine, my favorite kind, and asked me if I knew who Mr. Berry was. I began calculating how many glasses of wine I would need to consume before answering his question. I reminded myself that the more number of frogs I went through, the sooner my prince would arrive. He went on to stories about Blueberries and Grapes and after a glass and half of wine I had been introduced to Mr. Berry and all his cousins. After two glasses of wine, I was laughing, really hard. It was as if all at once the toxic anger, the remains of sadness and the stabbing betrayal, was being purged out of my system simply by laughing. The kind of laughter that Cosmopolitan doesn’t advice letting out on first dates, the kind of laughter that snorting sneaks its way into, the kind of laughter that is saved for after you are done putting your prettiest-pedicured-foot forward atleast twenty-five times.
His winning monologues:
“So there’s this guy right… I’ve never met him, but there’s this guy…. Who is this guy, I don’t know, but he’s there…. His name’s Mr. Berry…. Mr. Berry decides to swim in an outdoor pool in the middle of winter. When he comes out his friend asks him, “Why do you look so Blue Berry?””
“So there’s this guy right…I’ve never met him, but there’s this guy…. Who is this guy, I don’t know, but he’s there…. So, he’s in Africa with his friends on a safari… Suddenly a friend spots a Chimpanzee and the guy is like “Really? A Chimpanzee…Let me see.” So he looks through his binoculars and declares, “It’s just a Grey Ape.””
Wouldn’t you laugh? I was imagining Grey Apes being squashed, fermented, bottled and served as wine. I left smiling, long after the bottle had been drank.
On our second date we went bowling and I lost, all three games. It was easy. I didn’t have to work extra-hard at throwing a heavy ball in a straight line. I knew I was worthy, and he knew it too. I caught him staring at me a few times, and he looked at me as if he was the luckiest guy in the world.
I was smiling, even on the inside.
He didn’t woo me with fancy dinners, expensive gifts or lies; he wooed me with a picnic, honesty, respect and a lot of laughter—qualities that I realize are far more valuable and rare. I began to look lovingly into eyes that looked lovingly back into mine.
Note: I think that the person I ended up wanting to be with took me completely by surprise. I wrote this article last year and as it stands—it’s been a while with the certain someone, and the real deal has been so much better than my imagination.
-Photograph by Tarun Chawla