Dear BlogDH Reader,
I’m not the biggest fan of February. It’s the short, weird month. It’s also the month that produces those annoying eight-year-olds who adamantly claim they’re only two years old. (Honestly, what the hell is February 29th?) The only thing I enjoy about February is that it’s the month of love. Although Valentine’s Day was two weeks ago, let us use the final day of the month celebrate love one last time. Instead of talking about romantic, filial, or family love, I want to honor the other types of “love”…after the jump.
When you’re four years old and learning about love, you test the waters a bit so that a conversation with your mother ultimately goes something like this: You ask her, “Can I have a cookie? I love you.” She replies, “Are you saying you love me just to get a cookie?” Isn’t that the point? In a way, our utility of the L-word resembles that of a toddler, who uses it in an obviously conditional manner.
There are people who say, “I love you,” and follow up with, “You are _____.” (a) amazing, b) awesome, c) the best.) The majority of these culprits are girls who might be on speed, dishing out superlatives like it’s their job. If a mild acquaintance who offers to photocopy his notes is “I love you” worthy, I fear when she meets an actual romantic partner, the back of her head will explode. She might get into Woody Allen territory in which they make up words. “I lurve you. I luff you.”
I think these “I love you”s render some emptiness, especially if it’s followed by a superlative. The intended compliment seems to be more a performance by the giver rather than genuine feelings of gratitude towards the receiver. When I worry about our words potentially losing meaning, it’s because of people who feel love for me after borrowing my pen.
This is much different from phone sex. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Most functional families will say “I love you” to end a conversation with a family member. In this case, “I love you” is a sniper tactic to kill off Grandma’s story time. It follows the awkward hesitation the phrase “alright” brings about when one begins the process of hanging up. Here, we have a situation where “I love you” becomes synonymous with “STOP TALKING TO ME!”
Hang-up attempt #1: No that’s a great story about Theo’s bridge game. Anyway, I gotta run. But I love you. I’ll talk to you soon.
Hang-up attempt #2: I love you. Tell me about Merle’s new rash later.
Hang-up attempt #3: Okay I love you. No, I’ll talk to her tomorrow.
Hang-up attempt #4: I love you.
Hang-up #5: Arright, I love you.
Hang-up #6: Yep- love you-love you, love, love you.
You give more love to your relatives during a lethal phone call than you do all year combined. A phone conversation with your grandmother is like the Bible: bizarre, endless stories about people I’m not interested in. And as God-fearing people believe, love your family like you love God (something along those lines).
Jerry Seinfeld once pointed out that the objective of clothes is to get us a compliment. He’s right. When was the last time someone told you out of the blue, “I love you?” Now, when was the last time someone said, “I love your shirt/pants/socks/shoes/necklace/bracelet.” It’s easier getting a compliment about your clothes than it is about any personality traits. You’re better off being a dick in an Armani suit than a nice guy who color clashes.
Lately, this has been happening to me about my beard. A few people have said they love my beard. These are the same people that love haircuts. How can you love more hair and at the same time love less hair? Our society emphasizes attire and appearance as a means from receiving audible “love” from your friends.