Today I was walking to my car, pep in my step and work on my mind. As I walked with vigor I hear a voice say, “I love you”. Now, I was walking alone and my outfit was not so fabulous that a random man is going to cat call to me. As a television performer I know when I am having a fashionable day or an average day. Today was def. average… maybe a little boring. But, I had to see who could say the three words that I hesitate to share with people I do love.
As I turned over my left should to look back at the stranger and thank him I smiled. I saw a homeless man sitting at the bus stop. I see this man a couple of days a week. I have never uttered more than a simple “Good morning” to him and continued walking. I turned, smiled, and said, “Thank you,” then continued my journey.
Hearing him say, “I love you” warmed my heart. I began to think about how often I say those words and how often I want to say the phrase but don’t. I rarely say it (close to never), but always want to hear it. What is the etiquette to saying I LOVE YOU? Is their etiquette to verbally sharing your love? Well, I had to look into to it.
Love is an Old English word that was in use before 12th Century. Today love said so often it has many meanings. Love can mean you desire a person, enjoyed a meal, or simply have a personal connection to an object or a place. I read The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman to understand love and my connection to love even more. What I realized is love is normally a very selfish word. Love is often about making our personal ego feel good and sometimes benefiting another person.
In May of 2000, millions of computers were attacked by a worm called “ILOVEYOU” and the attachment “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.txt.” Like too many “I love you’s” told to us we jumped at the chance to believe the email. Like the attachment we often open up, then end up with dashed hopes and destroyed files.
Today hearing “I love you” felt real and not agenda driven. America had a bombing at the Boston Marathon, and hundreds of people ran toward the blast to save lives. Gun violence and gun control is being fought in the senate and on the T-shirt of Jamie Foxx at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards. Magic Johnson recorded a personal video in support of his gay son, E.J Johnson, when so many public figures are still denouncing homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
Love is in the air and it feel good. True love requires no etiquette, just honesty.