I once knew a boy, whose father was degenerate and whose mother was homeless. When his mother gave birth to him, she christened him Ily, as an acrostic tribute to I Love You, because the only thing she could give him was her love (and, I guess, a name to remind him that she loved him). This is a sweet story, and serves two purposes: firstly, as a (somewhat clunky) introduction to the I-love-you discussion, and secondly, as an introduction to a shorthand for I love you (ily).
I absolutely agree with Ibis’s ‘I love you like I love banana bread’ sentiment. In the heat of the moment, after a romantic dinner of great conversation and flattering candlelight, or during a lazy Sunday in bed with cute pillow talk and soft sex, I have a feeling of overwhelming happiness and closeness that I want to call love. But this is I love you like I love banana bread. This is I love this moment with you. I love the evening we’ve just had. I love lazing in bed on Sundays with you. I love YOU is different. I loved TONIGHT means I had a good time, but who knows about tomorrow night. I love YOU is a commitment. It’s achieving the $32,000 threshold in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. You can’t un-win the $32,000. (Which is where this metaphor breaks down, because who wouldn’t want an irrevocable $32,000.)
Once you say ily, it’s assumed that your sentiment is enduring. After you say ily once, you say it again, and more often; you hang up the phone with an ily, and say goodnight with ily.
Saying ily is a trust handshake. It says that you are safe with me. It says that underlying any superficial ups, downs, and arounds, I feel a constant devotion to you.
It’s not a guarantee of a relationship. I can un-date you, un-friend you (from facebook), and un-love you. But within the context of a functional relationship, ily is a promise and a frame of mind.
Now, I’ve given this some thought because we chatted about it, and Ibis wrote about it, but I have another, more pressing reason why I’m thinking about ily.
I may have to say it soon.
Radical, I know. Especially given the massive time gap since the last time I posted. If you recall, my last post was about my masochistic crush on Caleb. Since then, a series of events has transpired. Well, one main event really, where Caleb hiked me up to the top of a cliff overlooking the sea, produced a bottle of wine, confessed his feelings for me, and asked me to date him. Naturally, I said I’d take the weekend to think about it. I obviously agreed. So, now we have been happily dating for a few weeks. Six weeks. When I write it out like that, I realize that I do not have to say it soon. It’s too soon.
I am inordinately happy though. I know this because I skip through all the songs on my ipod, trying to find something that suits my mood. Dark xx, depressing National, mellow Bon Iver, aggressive Eminem, folksy Wake Owl, dubsteppy Nero… nothing is what I want to hear. I need some jubilation!
Anyways. More on this happy relationship to come, I hope. My total elation and sexual satisfaction is giving me serious writer’s block. This is a temporary issue, right? I’m temporarily out of order. And by out of order, I mean completely disordered in my heart and my head.