Kat was doing one of her ruminations about Daniel on Friday, which prompted Paul to ask her why she loved him so much. She replied that she didn’t love him, that it was inappropriate to refer to it as love when she couldn’t even talk to him. Even when unrequited, she felt that any kind of love required a connection between the people involved. In an effort to change the subject, Paul asked Mark and me about our “love lives.” Mark had a girlfriend freshman year, but they broke it off because it was too hard to get to each other after school due to the transportation involved. We have a solid public transportation system, but it’s rather expensive for a teenager without a job to use constantly. And having your parents drive you around for romantic encounters is weird. It’s a large part of the reason why Mark wants to get a job this year, either to pay for public transportation or a used car that can offer near complete freedom when he’s 17. I also said that I was waiting for better transportation options, but that would probably change if anyone I was attracted to felt the same way. A couple girls have said they liked me, I have told several girls I liked them, but no cases were mutual. If that situation changed, then I would probably be more willing to try and deal with any transportation issues that would come up. But for now, it gives me more time to focus on my school work.
But I felt bothered by Paul’s overuse of the word love. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, his old neighborhood apparently even still considered Valentine’s Day a major event. There are many different kinds of love, but they should be the most powerful feeling of their type. I’m not saying you can’t say you love pasta and salad, but you must really, really, really enjoy both of them more than any other type of food. Constantly using the word, no matter what kind of love it is, devalues the concept. If you sign every card with Love, then you’re saying you care as much about your significant other or parent as anyone else you’ve ever given a letter to. And even if you do truly love someone, saying it all the time makes it seem routine and a reflex instead of a genuine expression of emotion. However, it is used so many of ways that cheapen the word. I mean, love life can refer to anything from a guy who does exclusively one night stands, where it’s a euphemism for sex life, to a deeply conservative Christian couple, who may or may not be in love but are together to satisfy their demands of their families. One some websites the only way to show approval for something is to click a button that says “love”. The word has been used in titles of books, movies, and of course about a million or two songs. It’s everywhere, and I think that it cheapens what should be the highest level of praise that we can give.