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The Words "I Love You"

Yesterday, in the store, one of our department managers gave me a big hug and said "I love you!" It was random, for no real reason. We were just having a great time.

She immediately blushed and apologized. She stammered, "Oh, my God, I don't mean in that way! I just mean I'm happy to have you back from vacation. We all missed you."

This led us all into a discussion about the words, "I love you" and what has happened to their use.

When did it become politically incorrect to tell someone with whom you are not romantically involved, or who is not a relative, that you love them?

When did we decide that the feelings of great affection we have for special people in our lives can not appropriately be called "love"?

I think this is a generational thing. Somewhere along the line, my generation (baby boomers) stopped using the words. Or at least we started being very stingy with them. This is very curious, don't you think? After all, we were the hippy free-love generation. What happened to us?

The younger, college aged, booksellers in our store commented that they tell their friends they love them all the time. I'm glad. I hope the continue the practice into middle-age.

Comments (4)

Anne:

Great entry! How wonderful that your department manager was so open with her feelings. Love is such a powerful and healing force. I agree with you that we should express it more often, and not just in the narrow romantic sense of the word.

I probably would find it strange for a stranger to say this but I hear it often said between friends young and old. Interesting topic. PS...don't forget to send me your email address. You can email me at mine or send me a PM.
Deborah responds: And if the words were coming from a stranger or a casual acquaintance it would be strange, and superficial of course. PM is on its way.

Eden:

Great blog entry, Deborah!

A few, yes just a few (LOL) of my friends and I always end our visits with "I love you"s and that just seem so sincere and normal. I hope your colleague does not feel akward (sp?) about it now and after she said it to you.

I think if we really think about it there are a few people friends that we really love and should not be hesitant about telling them so... How will they know if we do not tell them how much they mean to us?

Brad'll Do It:

One of the hardest/easiest things I've done is tell my best male friend "I love you." If it hadn't been for the Budweiser ads a while back with the "I love you man" tag line, I don't know that it would've ever happened. We now say it at the end of most of our phone conversations. Oh, and Deborah, I love you, too!

Deborah responds: Thanks for that comment Brad. It tickles me to think of all the guys who might have gained courage from a Bud ad.

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