The Difference Between Wanting, Needing And Loving… Apple Pie.
It’s a cold Friday night and you’re sitting in front of your laptop screen, browsing through the latest movie trailers whilst TLC plays on your flat-screen TV as your preferred ambient cacophony — mirroring your intense boredom with the tattered state of affairs (current and personal — I mean, have you looked at the European borders recently?) like the Murakami book in your bag that soaked for two days in a pool of leaked Pepsi and Old Monk mix — because one never knows when an occasion demands booze but one always knows that most often than not, one cannot afford it.
Suddenly, Nigella Lawson provocatively leans over a boulder of deep mahogany-flecked baked goodness and slices into the pie with a knife as sharp as the sarcasm you greeted your friends with this morning, and slides out a steaming oozy-woozy-boozy goodness of cinnamon-apple pie, and you feel like all these years of celibacy was just robbed of you through a forced penetration of mental pleasure that we call foodgasm.
You stand up, uncertain, giddy. You observe the pie. You close the YouTube tab, open out nigella.com, and flick through the pictures of the pie, the videos featuring the pie, the people eating the pie, and slowly, the pie is all that you can think of. You want that pie. You want Nigella Lawson to make you that pie.
You want her to lick her lips as she seductively slobbers over her words whilst sliding that big huge slice of warmth and goodness onto your plate.
For the next hour, you move from a situation wherein you start a bakery and attain world-renowned status so great that Nigella Lawson decides it’s an honor to cook for you, to stalking her through the streets of London and arriving at her doorstep with her son at knifepoint and demanding that she bake it for you… resulting in the most duh-worthy moment of the Stockholm syndrome, in which case she asks you to live with her and thus be fed everyday.
Once you’re done recovering from the fumes of spontaneous combustion that your brain just underwent, you look at the situation more practically. You pick up the phone and decide to call that aunt of yours who has been asking you to come over for dinner ever since you moved to this part of town four years ago.
Oh yes. She made some brilliant apple pie, you recount.
But then you’d remember that she has two 12-year-old twins, a six-month-old baby, and a sick mother-in-law, and the thought of having to deal with pimple-hormone overdosed pre-teens and two individuals not in control of their bowel movements was enough to deter you from that action.
Then you look around and remember… you have the ingredients listed out there on that recipe. It’s 2 in the morning, and all this obsessing over the pie made you forget about dinner altogether. You need some food-loving.
So you decide to get your baking brain on — no, not that kind of baking, you high-flying rascal — and get to work. Two and a half hours later, you’re sitting in your balcony with your favorite show on, while munching happily on your soggy but beautiful pastry in cinnamon syrup.
And yes, your kitchen might be a mess, and the pie didn’t look as appetizing as what Nigella made, but it’s what you needed. You needed an Apple Pie, you made your apple pie, you took selfies with your apple pie, you’ve instagrammed it, and people want a slice of your apple pie.
They want to embrace the free love your apple pie makes them feel, and one day, you’ll perfect this apple pie, your kids will pass down this version of your apple pie, and generations later, your apple pie will be the one people lust after.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, sometimes there are things that you think you want, that look pretty and jazzy and delicious and orgasm-inducing, but they’re never really practically possible. That’s probably why you want them so much, because of the element of illusion. That’s always been human nature.
Yet who knows how good that thing might be when it actually comes down to experiencing it, and whether it would deliver to the high expectations your imagination serves it? The same can be applicable to wanting somebody.
When you think you need somebody, you seem to get what you need — all the love, the sex, the night-outs, the companionship — but when the shit hits the roof, that’s when you turn around and declare that this was not what I’d signed up for; I needed love but now I need space, so here, take your toothbrush and I’ll see you at the Christmas party 10 months from now.
Well, that’s the basest instinct of selfishness that pervades our lives, to the extent that it builds resentment in not just you, but everyone around you as well.
Yet when you realize that all this wanting and never attaining, this needing and never giving, all the disappointment has finally tired you out and you feel like you have nothing tangible to produce for all this emotional turmoil you went through, you finally decide to take on that selfless task of loving somebody.
Loving someone means committing to each other that no matter what, you’re willing to make something work. That it may not turn out as pretty as you hoped, or that expectations might not be met, but that doesn’t matter because what’s important is that you both are there, right now, for each other, to bask in the sunny warm happiness of your imperfect cinnamon-apple pie.
You learn to love the soggy pastry because it melts quicker (I mean the job is half done now, isn’t it?) and the shape doesn’t matter because the apple is still fresh inside. You made the apple pie, and now you eat it. You give and you take.
And at the end of the day, there are no resentments because you have a happy tummy and a house that smells of baking that lures all your neighbors to your doorbell. So at the end of the day, you have your just desserts. That’s what loving someone entails. So go on and enjoy that pie, my fellow love-traverser.
Bask in the warm gooeyness of your hard labor.
Arathy Kushalappa is a 21-year-old Law student trying to find her niche in a world that offers too much. She spends her days sleeping, and her nights subjecting herself to too many hours of contemplation, (over)thinking, and imaginary epic fantasy battles involving mythical creatures.