John Andrist: Tell Me You Love Me
When you really like someone but don’t want to tell them you love them, what word do you choose?
Chances are the word that comes to mind is love. That really works for me, and I suspect most older people.
But younger folks hesitate to use love as a verb, because it has so many connotations that it can easily be misconstrued.
We can love certain clothes and some foods, and we’re okay with loving music, or dancing or golfing, or knitting. But in human activity we are hesitant to express love for another, especially when we aren’t feeling amorous.
We need a new word, I thought, so I googled for synonyms. On first glance I found 47 suggestions, but none sounded just right.
Adore and treasure probably come closest. Revere isn’t too bad. Idolize and esteem could be used, but they sound kind of effete.
Most of us think of ardor when they hear “I love you,” and yet nothing is quite as simple and direct and meaningful.
Help me invent a better word.
My mom faithfully kept a diary for nearly 50 years. She left our world with perhaps 50 or more little notebooks, most of which were black, hard-covered so they could easily be stored.
And truthfully, they were pretty mundane, because most of our days are mundane.
Most of the entries, I believe, had something about foods, gardening and such other activities.
Later in life she recorded a lot of BMs. Why not? When you are old that is an important part of your day.
I wished more of mom’s notes expressed feelings, as well as events. I paged through some of them a few times, but not for lengthy periods, because they were pretty boring.
Yet they were replete with some great nuggets that defined her. Now that I have a little greater gift of time I wish I had them to search for more of those pieces of her life.
And to be sure, there are many unwritten nuggets in the lives of all of us.
What year was it when you had that surgery? Or what were you feeling the day you lost your temper? Or how did I really feel about the day Charlie was born? What was on your mind the day dad died?
The only time I kept a diary was during my wife’s 55-month journey with cancer. I rarely read it, but I’m glad I have it. I think of it as a part of me and who I am, as much as who she was.
Diaries are a pretty rare thing these days. We feel we are just too busy . . . or nothing happened all week.
But it could work so easily in this age of computers. Just open the file, each day, add a few pieces of your mind while dealing with a terrible headache or other daily drudgery.
Consider using thoughts as well as activities. You are, after all, a very special person whether you know it or not. And even mundane days are being numbered somewhere.
The media went ballistic last week when a young man mowed down about 40 people, killing one of them, at a white supremacist protest gathering in North Carolina.
Rightly so, but I was puzzled why every time I changed a TV channel for a week, they seemed to be obsessed with the story.
First it was the incident, then it was the president and what he said or didn’t say. They probably would still be talking about it if terrorist attacks in Spain hadn’t trumped the discussion.
Protest and terrorism seem to be where it is at in our world today. Yet I couldn’t help thinking that in all the repetitive news a few hundred of us were quietly murdered, and perhaps more than a thousand died in car crashes and other accidents in the country, mostly unannounced in media outlets.
They need to change news leads at least as often as they change underwear.