LOVE IS MEANINGLESS
Would you compare your grandmother to a bookcase? I heard a woman say she saw a bookcase and fell in love with it. A short time earlier she had firmly declared that she loved her grandmother. Every day, over and over, I hear people announcing that they love an unlimited variety of things. They love the beach, they love drag racing, they love blue jeans and they love potato chips. If, during a telephone conversation, someone tells me that she loves poetry, cinnamon toast, flea markets and root beer but then ends the conversation with, “love ya”, I am left wondering which one of those things she thinks I am similar to. Too much cinnamon toast or too much root beer could make her sick. Is that what she is thinking about me? She probably goes to flea markets looking for bargains so does she consider me a bargain? Or maybe she detects a certain meter in me. I don’t think I’m going to ask.
The use of the word, love, has become so loose and so random that it has been stripped of its meaning. There was a time when it was a powerful word that spoke of passion and intense emotion. There was a time, and not really so very long ago, when it was used sparingly and cautiously because its meaning was so intense that using it in a casual manner was considered brazen and suggestive. Wrapped in a protective shroud, it was reserved for expressing the most private feelings of intimacy. Today, the shroud has been peeled away and the word has been diluted so that we no longer have a word to adequately express life’s most precious emotion.
My hope is that we can go back and restore the true meaning of the word, love. Can’t we stop exaggerating our feelings and go back to using the words that were given to us for expressing our common, everyday feelings. What is wrong with the words, like and admire? How about relish or savor or the old standby, enjoy? For those who still want to exaggerate, the dictionary contains a full array of adverbs and modifying words that can be used to embellish any of the words just mentioned and I would be just exquisitely pleased to have people start using them and let the word love go back to expressing nothing other than that one most powerful emotion.
by Jim Fuller
author of Marty’s Mom