I Love You, But . . .
Here’s a phrase I abhor.
What in the world would someone be thinking? Can this phrase actually “soften” the blow of what comes next? I don’t think so.
Love has lost its power in today’s culture. Between “loving” certain foods and loving a piece of clothing or loving a movie, the use of the expression of loving a person has become quite lame. The last thing we need is to chip away at the full meaning of love in a relationship. Life together is already difficult.
Love should not have qualifiers. The whole point of love is the way it encompasses non-judgmentalism, acceptance, endurance, forgiveness, and patience.
I actually had someone say, “I love you, but I don’t like that outfit on you.” I would assume the person wouldn’t like my outfit whether they loved me or not.
Oh I suppose the phrase could be used in combination with another feeling. For instance, “I love you, but you make me angry.” Does adding “I love you” make it less searing
to be angry? Does the person on the receiving end of your anger need to hear the proviso? Besides, the only person who “makes” you angry is you. Anger is a response. Love is an active verb.
Instead, because I love you, I can tell you the truth.
My two point five grandson lives with me; that means my adult daughter also lives with me (a typical millennial situation: limited funds etc.). I am retired. Almost every morning and evening, Leo and I have the routine of walking the dog, a 10-year old, one-eyed Boston Terrier who acts like the energizer bunny. Last night, the walk was heavily interrupted with stops and I was eaten alive by mosquitoes. I complained to my daughter about the slow going. She said I was exaggerating.
This morning, I counted the stops. That’s right, 36 stops to get around a block and a half, whether it was for Rocky or Leo, it was a trial in patience and discovery.
Why do we stop? Naturally, for Rocky, it’s marking the way, sniffing the previous four-legged travelers, and ultimately finding the perfect spot to dump. Unfortunately, he seems to have a bad stomach today and there were stops to chew on grass as well.
Leo, on the other hand, had a much broader variety of reasons to halt progress: pick up sticks; find large rocks and try to lift them; find small rocks and toss them; find extra long grass and yank it; visit neighbor’s urban chickens (meet human owners who reveal the chicken names: Batman, Chickie, and PacMan; jump over one-inch breaks in sidewalk, wait at street and/or alley crosswalks; walk six times back and forth on yellow street barrier leftover from the 4th of July parade (hello, public works?); watch a squirrel climb a tree; examine black rubber thingy on the sidewalk; watch a cat that watches us; venture up other people’s sidewalks; review letters on a political yard sign; sit in the dew-laden grass just because he can; stand under a crape myrtle waiting for “Bibi” to shake the flowers and water droplets onto his head; look for the dog Skipper who lives in the little white house (not available apparently today); stand and then jump off a water/sewer contraption in someone’s yard (daily); walk the bottom step of a duplex and consider making a big jump (not yet); climb over wooden beams that line a driveway; watch Rocky poop; visit second yard that has 4 chickens; throw magnolia tree leaves into a puddle; and watch the garbage guys pick up our trash.
I wouldn’t miss it for the world. What will tomorrow bring?