What Love Means to Me

A photo of one of Southwest's terminals at AUS.

My version of love is a lot different than most people’s, I think.

Mostly it’s because I’m asexual. This means that I completely lack a sex drive of any sort. I’m not sexually attracted to men or women in the slightest. I like looking at men, and will watch a movie just because the lead is a nice looking guy, but that doesn’t mean I wanna do bedroom things with him.

I think the part of my brain that’s suppose to think that bedroom things are a lot of fun just plain doesn’t work. None of that appeals to me, and I never think about it. It’d be weird to me to think about that stuff, and I often wonder how the world looks to other people.

My ignorance of sexual things is often frustrating. Just this morning I said something in the chat at work that made everyone else giggle and stare at me, and I hadn’t a clue what I said. I eventually had to use Urban Dictionary to figure it out. I’m hoping my naivety comes across as quaint, but I really don’t know. I definitely am not doing it on purpose… it’s just that that stuff doesn’t register in my head like it does for everyone else.

It makes me feel really alone at times. I often really do feel like a kid in a grownup’s world.

That said, I am certainly into romance, however, and that’s where the rest of this post is coming from.

 

There’s a story I like to tell that I call my “plane story” about how I define love. Here it is. ūüôā

I fly a lot, both with work and just for fun. So far in 2016 alone I’ve been to Texas, Seattle, and Atlanta, and I still have at least two more coast-to-coast trips on the calendar for this year. I know planes and airports well. I think I can repeat the little thingy they tell you about how to put on a seatbelt before each flight by heart without even trying.

While I’m no stranger to airplane rides, I don’t handle turbulence well. When the plane starts shaking, I get totally scared. Last year while coming home from Boston (I had a direct flight from Boston to Oakland), it was bumpy almost the whole way. I arrived in Oakland so tense and shaken up that I was actually sore for several days. It was awful. ūüė¶

Because of this, when I fly, I almost always¬†take a stuffed animal friend with me. Usually Miss Bunny, if I can transport her in a way that I know will be safe. Otherwise I’ll take Snowy. Between the two of them I’m covered. When the plane gets bumpy I’ll quickly invite one of them to get in my lap with me, and we’ll snuggle as long as I need it to a pocket of clean air. Luckily they don’t seem to mind and are happy to sit there with me.

Here’s the thing. I’m an engineer.

I know the plane is safe. I know I’m not in any danger. I know the planes are built to withstand that. I know you never, ever hear stories of airplanes crashing and people dying¬†because of turbulence, simply because it never happens. I get all of that. Completely. The engineer part of my brain groks all of this in every way. ¬†I know my fear of turbulence is completely irrational. But… I still get scared.

So what’s love to me? Someone that’s willing to sit next to me on a plane when it gets bumpy and hold my paw¬†and tell me everything’s gonna be alright. Someone that understands that Miss Bunny is the most important thing in the world to me right then, and doesn’t make fun of me. Someone that understands that, yeah, I’m an engineer,¬†and lecturing me on how I’m being irrational doesn’t help.

Someone who sticks with me and comforts me, even when I’m running on instinct and scared out of my mind for no reason at all… and¬†understands that deep down inside I’m just a little kid that’s super scared and trying to survive in a grownup’s world… that’s love to me. ‚̧