There's a couplet in JoJo's "Let Her Go Into the Darkness" in his condemnation of the lousy boyfriend:
He don't challenge her;
he don't contend with her.
---I like the underlying notion there. I like the idea that being contended with is to be desired, and is even, actually, essential for something. For something special. Only a few people can ---or (more to the point) would even want to--- really contend with you, you know? Maybe that's not true for you, whichever of you is reading right now. Maybe it's not even true of me, fully. And limited contention surely does have to do, somewhat, with how much one advertises an interest in contention.
Or with how picky one is about with whom one desires, herself, to contend. And by whom to be contended with.
I suppose I oughta go look up the word, thinking about it so much. ...
Okay, the straight definition doesn't capture the spirit I'm thinking of, but the etymology does. The word's from the Latin contendere, which is made up of com- (the joining word, the together word) + tendere, which means to stretch.
It's not always & only self-effacement to want to stretch for another, and not always & only disgustingly needy and boundaryless to desire and enjoy somebody else doing that for you. Love-phobes'll suggest it is, or fret along those lines, but they're fulla shit. In my estimation, that is. At the current level, anyway, of its courage---which [courage] means, as I've talked about before: heart.
Back to the cleaner-but-not-done kitchen now. Rustle up some breakfast & get on about the day. Good weekends unto all ya'll.