Ambivalence

One of my pet peeves is the misuse of words, and probably the word I hear misused the most, at least in my life and circle of associates, is ‘ambivalence’.  People use it when what they really mean is ‘apathy’.   ‘Apathy’ means you can’t be arsed, or you give no fucks at all.   People often talk about being ambivalent about things they don’t care about.  That’s not what that word means.

‘Ambivalence’ is when you’re of two minds or have mixed feelings about a thing.

For example, I am ambivalent about intimacy.   That’s right, I have two minds about human touch and emotional closeness.

Almost every night, as I climb into bed, I long for someone to hold onto, but as I stretch out like a starfish, face down with four limbs splayed out in each direction, I appreciate the luxuriousness of a queen-sized bed for me and me alone.  I imagine how nice it would be if there was someone to say goodnight to, but I’m glad it’s quiet and cool, and I don’t have to lie awkwardly still, while someone drops off to sleep, always first, beside me.  I sit here, day after day, so glad to live alone, with time and space to study, read, film videos, and write, all the while feeling that I wish there was someone to sit next to me and read over my shoulder or tell me about their day.  But then, if they could only stay for a short time, and go away again, that’d be good.   I love to sit with my friends and talk for hours about how I just need to have more time peace and quiet.   I love looking straight and deep into my friends eyes when they’re telling me a story, but I wish everyone would stop looking at me.

I crave it, and I don’t.    I avoid it, and miss it.  I wish I had it, and I run away from it when I see it coming.   That is ambivalence.

So, if you really don’t give a rat’s ass about Fantasy Football, you’re not ambivalent about it.  You’re apathetic.

Just sayin’.

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