Hunting, Fishing and Other Grounds for Divorce, by Jacki Michels
Shakespeare is noted for his, “How do I love thee, let me count the ways — I love you to the depth and breadth … ” blah, blah, blah.
After a quarter of a century of being a couple, my sweetheart and I have, I think, come close to wearing out our I love yous. “Love you,” has become an all-around form of grammar, morphing as the need arises. It is an exclamation, a comma, a conjunction, a salutation and a departure.
My close friends will testify to many awkward moments when I habitually babble “Love you” at the end of a chat.
With the holiday love fest, a.k.a. Valentine’s Day, firmly behind us for another year, and thoughts of springtime love off in the distant future, I think I can safely trample the sacred ground of romantic hogwash for a moment.
Let’s face it, love as a theory is nice and all, but love works best as an action. That’s right — love is a verb, and I do love verbs. Thing about verbs, there are so many colorful variations of them. Why not spiff up the old tried-and-true love? Surely, there are a few fitting counterparts?
For instance, when things are, say, challenging (read: you would like to have “’til death do us part” hurry up already): “I endurith you.” Might be a verbal contender to expressing one’s undying perserverence … er … I mean, devotion. However, phrasing this emotion to seem like mere tolerance (also a verb) fails to have that special ring to it.
For the moments when your partner says something incredibly insensitive or is otherwise a turd, “I ignore you” is no prizewinner.
When feeling supportive, think before you get too creative, as “I girdle you” is a definite no-no on many levels.
For the lover who, despite once being a carnivore, decided to brave a meatless menu, “I tofu you” is another frightful fail in the love language department.
The same holds true for when you are feeling sweet and mushy and bubbly and you want to gush, “I worship you.” Hold that thought — this one might actually have merit.
A little healthy worship aside, and after much consideration, I agree with the old poet, that there are a lot of ways to count the ways we love. But in the end, there is only one way to truly say what we mean.
So, to my dear sweetheart, I love you, baby.
What else can I say?
Grounds for staying married: Giving that tofu-inspired stir-fry a chance.
Jacki Michels is a freelance writer who lives (and loves) in Soldotna.