I often talk about love and respect as if the two are mutually inclusive, not realizing that on occasion they can be separated. Where there is a thin line between peace and war, love and hate, respect ties heavily into a person's nourishment or a person's detriment; respect is the thing that tilts the scale and maybe that's why it's always an egg timer in the back of my mind. I'd prefer that love and respect weren't so easily separated for some people, because if respect is as easy to come by as it is for me, then love wouldn't be such a weighty, emotional topic.
More often than not, I'm not the "pretty" girl. I'm the intelligent one. The quiet one. The sweet one. The respectable one. That last one though, is a bitter-sweet tonic to drink. I can often be heard saying "Yes, you respect me, but would you date me?" or, "That's exactly what every little girl dreams of at night; growing up to be respected." It's like that phrase your mother or grandmother uses; "He's such a nice young man! Such a respectable boy!" Makes you cringe a little inside just reading it, doesn't it?
Respect has recently become a sour word on my tongue. After years and years of being upheld to this standard of respect that not a lot of other girls reach, I'm noticing it's a lonely pedestal to be on. On the one hand, so many people admire that girl for what she does (or does not) say or do; they admire the strength with which she holds her convictions and morals in this Sodom and Gomorrah world we live in where everything you think of yourself can be turned to a pillar of salt with a glance. Then on the other...nobody's dating this girl. Nobody's really close friends with this girl. Nobody knows this girl. But they respect the sh*t out of her though.
I would guess I'm feeling bitter; a long line of potential suitors have thrown the word "respect" around as an adjective to their rejection of me. Female friends have left me by the wayside when they find I don't do this or that to fit in with what they or their suitors want me to do. Respect, to me, has become a dirty word, a word used before the sting of either rejection, taunting, or some other hurt that leaves me wondering if it's worth it at all.
I'm reminded of a quote I heard while watching The Tudors awhile ago (If you haven't watched it, you should. It turns history into something sexy and interesting, albeit, not actually factual) where King Henry said it was better for him, in his position to be feared and not loved, as fear served his purpose more. I wonder if it's better to be respected and not loved, or visa versa. Can respect turn into love? Logically speaking, can a man love you, but not respect you?