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.