The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal - Sir Mix-A-Lot Syndrome
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Sir Mix-A-Lot Syndrome|
Canaries fall dead when this phrase is spoken. Rabbits drop to the ground, estrogen-laden urine drying on their lips. The geiger counter of crumbling relationships goes crazy every time someone says this phrase, because it is the one guaranteeed signal that this person is no longer in love.
The phrase is very simple: "I love her, but…."
There are many variations. "I love him when we're not fighting." "When things are great, they're wonderful!" "If she just didn't do X, then everything would be fine." But in all cases, it means that this person is now well on their way out of love, and rapidly approaching exhaustion.
And you need love. Love is like WD-40; without the lubrication of genuine affection, even the nicest person eventually becomes a cheese grater dragged over your genitalia. People are annoying, and they have bad habits, and you need love to just laugh and get past it to say, "That's okay."
When you love her, but… Well, you don't love her.
Now let's clarify: It's perfectly okay to speak this phrase when you're fighting. It's even okay to say it with a smile on your lips, shaking your head rulefully: "I love her, but I'm going to kill her if she blocks the driveway again."
But if you cannot ever think of your partner without adding a conditional modifier, you're gone, baby.
True love means that you accept someone for their faults and don't resent 'em. I'm a bundle of nerves and irritation - but my wife, God bless 'er, always sees the good parts first. Yeah, there are things she'd change, but when I come to mind she doesn't think, "A crabby bastard who's nice sometimes," but rather "A loving husband who's sometimes crabby."
There's a huge difference between the two.
Love involves knowing what someone is, understanding that they're flawed, and truly accepting that the PITA parts are just as much a part of them as the good ones. If you need to remove an obstacle in order to love someone, you don't love them; you love the idea of them. You love something that doesn't exist.
And that's why I say the Democrats don't love. That's why I despair at the partners out there who wait for their lovers to get better. That's why I'm sad I wasted seven years with a woman who I would have loved if she'd just been more responsible, and never realized that that woman was never going to materialize.
I didn't know what love was.
Current Mood: loved
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 06:08 am (UTC)|| |
... that's weird.
The only time I use that particular phrase is in jest. (as in "I love him, but -man-, he's got the directional sense of a stunned snail.") - doesn't change the love, just ...
I dunno, its probably more accesible as a phrase to say it the other way around "He's got the directional sense of a stunned snail, but I love him anyway." (which is how its meant.)
I've always taken it as "I love this person, I am aware of their flaws, and I love them enough to make a little bit of fun of them over it without feeling insecure."
But then, my boyfriend (I HATE that term. Gah. Makes me sound sixteen instead of twenty-six. That's a side rant though... ) and I have turned "Dorkfish" and "Doofus" into pet names, so we're -weird-.
That being said, I'm a registered Democrat. I love my boyfriend, and his crappy directional sense. :)
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 06:15 am (UTC)|| |
Read The Text, Dear
And I quote:
It's even okay to say it with a smile on your lips, shaking your head rulefully: "I love her, but I'm going to kill her if she blocks the driveway again."
There's a big difference between your saying it in jest and the number of people who say it seriously.
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 06:17 am (UTC)|| |
Re: Read The Text, Dear
This is what I get for reading LJ at 9am with no caffiene.
Sad but true. Some people are also fickle, as well. So full of discontent they look for reasons to erode away their own happiness until, surprise! They actually succeed.
Smack these people when you see them.
"without the lubrication of genuine affection, even the nicest person eventually becomes a cheese grater dragged over your genitalia. "
Okay...I have to know, and I apologise that this is a side issue, but what is this like ? Is it something I should learn to do to males ? Do you enjoy the whole cheese-grater experience ? I would assume that you do not, but enquiring minds need to know !
No, most of us don't.
I'd ask whether women enjoy the cheese-grating experience, but given the journals of your respective paramours, I don't think I wanna know the answer. (G)
And back on topic...
I quite agree. "I love her but..." means so little. She's not going to change, and if anything, you're going to add more 'but's' as time passes.
Another cliche I loathe, but can't help saying is "I love you too." I've tried not saying it, because it's such an obvious response to 'I love you,' but then it sounds as though I don't. Have you any sage advice for this dilemma ?
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 07:36 am (UTC)|| |
Re: And back on topic...
My sage advice? Get over it. "I love you, too" is frickin' great. If it bothers you, then go on the offensive more often with the first-to-print "I love you"s!
God, I sound like Dear Abby.
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 11:24 am (UTC)|| |
Re: And back on topic...
I don't care for 'I love you too' either. Seems too much of an automated response. It's fine to hear, I suppose... but for me to say? Nope, not my style.
'And I you.' works better for me... ...and so does, 'Thank you', but that one can need some explaining the first time. (Also, if the first time it's said like that is after sex, it can go over badly. TRUST me on this!)
But then, I'm weird. I absolutely will not say 'I love you' to a male before he's said it... I view it as practically begging to be lied to. Of course they'll say, 'I love you, too' then you're left to wonder if they meant it, or if it was automatic--or worse a pressed response. Orrrr, they don't say that, and then you have a lovely awkward silence filled with and followed by heaven knows what.
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 11:56 am (UTC)|| |
Re: And back on topic...
That's pretty funny, because I won't say "I love you" to a -woman- until SHE says it.
I mean, you know, all those golddigging petty overly-made up giggling women out there. God knows, stereotyping an entire gender is -so- how I want to get laid.
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 12:56 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: And back on topic...
should never get into a relationship together...ever.
"Gosh, I'm so in love with (him/her), but I can't say it until they say it first. Why won't they say it? It seems like they feel that way about me, but they never say it!"
This is why I try to avoid making rules for myself that include the phrase "absolutely not".
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 12:58 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: And back on topic...
*laughs* It would be a neat trick -anyway-, since I'm female and nominally straightish*.
* Straightish - seriously dating a guy, can't really imagine dating a woman - but loves the porn anyway.
Good call, Kurt. I find as soon as I make up rules for myself in relationships, I break them. And why not? It's difficult (if not impossible) for two people who are involved to care about each other the exact same amount, so the one who does more should be the natural choice for saying "I love you" first. Gender should not be a factor.
|Date:||May 29th, 2003 12:56 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: And back on topic...
Oh I don't know. She can't say it to women. I can't say it to men.
Women? Women are easy.
Of course, I don't date them... so there is that. Some are just fun to play with.
In general, I don't make rules myself... however, this is a good one for me. If something will cause you to always wonder, and always question, when you already to those things to the extent that I do? You need to safegaurd against those things as stringently as possible.
It's a 'Know thyself' deal.
Re: And back on topic...
Thanks; I like the '...and I, you." I've tried 'Thankyou,' and I agree that you have to be careful with that one. One I do use if I'm feeling a little sadistic, and this is always said with a smile, is 'Good.'
~laughs and bows~
|Date:||May 29th, 2003 12:52 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: And back on topic...
Ohhh, and my favorite--for the utter horridness of a night it caused...
'That's very nice of you.'
(Which was heartfelt, because... well, dangit, it _was_ very nice of him. Didn't mean I didn't also love him.)
|Date:||October 20th, 2003 03:51 am (UTC)|| |
Re: And back on topic...
A good reply to "I love you" is to let the other party know how good that makes you feel.
I, too, have a fear of letting "I live you, too" become an automatic and meaningless reply. I get around this by letting my partner know when my love for him wells up and threatens to overflow my brain, and not worrying about parity with his declarations.
I also use "I like you", "I like your <character attribute>", "I like your body [part]", and "I lust after you", as the feelings come up and need to be shared.
I love her but...
That is a great dress but...
My first husband started that with me a long time before I knew what was going on.. that was a great dinner.. but... it would have been better if (blah blah blah) Emotional blackmail..
It works in all arenas.. including politics.. I like the fact that you make me think. Thanks
That is so very very true man...very eloquent.
Your pal down South,
Nate the Great
then there's me. i get the old "you're so cute when you're cranky/angry/crabby/grouchy" which makes me even crankier, and therefore (apparently) more loveable. grrrrr. so i can't even enjoy the satisfaction of being cranky or crabby toward him because he loves it TOO.
(i guess i am really not complaining am i? *g*)
basically, to me, love is when you love them EVEN THOUGH or maybe secretly BECAUSE they do whatever it is that annoys the heck out of you. (see icon!)
my favorite was the ever so classic "I love you, but I just can't be with you right now"
The "I love you, but" has to be one of my biggest pet peeves and I'm glad I'm not alone on this one!
Having been someone who has admittedly done the, "I love you, but.." scenario, all I can say is that I think it's more habit than an intentional thing. I don't think that it's a conditional modifier in my case.
I love Erik...BUT, his bad habits are still irritating and driving a wedge between us, regardless. I'll still fight for the relationship and vent my frustrations in written word.
I love my children, BUT they drive me nuts sometimes. I love chili, BUT it gives me a bellyache...etc. etc.
It's just words but as we all know, words can be abused.
If you don't think it, then fine. But there are a lot of people out there who say, "Well, I love them but," which really means "I'd love them IF."
If Erik's really causing problems like that and they are driving a wedge, you have two choices: Accept that's the way he is and love him despite it, or leave. This is not to say you shouldn't struggle for change, but if your entire relationship hinges on him fixing that one bad habit, well...
I hate to say it, but it ain't gonna work. Keep in mind that I don't even KNOW Erik.
hmmm... I dunno if I follow.
In the past, I've fallen for the wrong women. I was blissfully ignorant of all the things that drove me bat-shit until things got too "heavy", for want of a better word.
I've attempted to remedy this by forcing myself to view my current relationship's faults, and making damn-sure I'm always aware of them - no surprises later, no "tunnel vision".
The problem with this is I love my girlfriend. Like, a lot. BUT, I also realizes she's got some issues to her that drive me bat-shit.
So as I'm trying to articulate my point, I think I've come to a conclusion. I don't "love her, but", I "love her." - and start the next sentence with the bat-shit part.
So yes, it's semantics, but I think it works.
It does. As long as you're not semantically fooling yourself with a period, it works.
Try "I love her, and..." That's usually more powerful.
Besides, weren't you the one with the wheelbarrow penis? Surely you can just knock the bad habits out of her.
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 11:41 am (UTC)|| |
Nothing against quadrapalegics, it's a hyperbole.
I think that depends on if you're qualifying for love, or qualifying for a decision. And I guess you are qualifying for love, so this maybe moot, but eh...
'I love him, but I wish _he_ were different'... I don't see that the same as 'I love him, but I wish circumstances were different.'
I love him, but he makes me unhappy.==very not good
I love him, but he's a quadrapalegic with fourteen cats living with his bedridden mother, and taking full care of his alcoholic brother's seven children. ====welllll dammmn, there's some pause there.
I just don't see love as being that unconditional, or maybe not that conditional. I do think you can love someone but recognize overwhelming obstacles. I don't think you have to accept all parts of a person in order to love truly love them.
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 01:27 pm (UTC)|| |
I think you do have to accept every part of a person before you can truly love them, with the real deal.
Not accept as in "Well, you're really a mysognist asshole who beats his mother, but that's okay because i luuuuurrrrve you!" everything is hunky-dory love makes everything okay.
Accept as in "I recognize that you are a person with flaws, that you do things that annoy me, and that you are not some idealized vision out of my subconscious." Where you see the other persons fault, and say "I love you anyway." knowing FULL WELL that those things probably aren't going to go away, and being prepared to deal with that.
Being accepting of your partners flaws doesn't mean you have to think they're not a problem, it just means you're aware of them.
In this instance.
*mutter* stupid words...
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 01:41 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Nothing against quadrapalegics, it's a hyperbole.
I don't think you have to accept all parts of a person in order to love truly love them.
Far as I'm concerned, you do. You don't have to like them, but you do have to accept them and be okay with the fact that annoying thing X is part of the package.
Because as I said, if you could love someone except for X, then you don't love 'em. You love a mirage.
|Date:||May 29th, 2003 01:19 pm (UTC)|| |
I'm just not that unconditional...
I totally disagree.
I love my cousin, but I don't accept her drinking. I won't be around it, I won't be party to it, I won't enable. Period.
Do I love her? Hell yes, I'd help her move _and_ hide the body, no problem. And I'm not a person that can say she loves many others--it's not in my makeup.
I don't think I love a mirage, I know how screwed up she is (and I know how that fits into my own screwyness). You could say I accept she may not change, that I do.
When it comes to life partners, it's a bit different... however I do think you can love someone 'but'.
I loved them but circumstances didn't allow things to work. --I love my ex-wife, but we shattered under the preassure of losing our children and lines were crossed that could not be undone. --I love my ex-husband but we were 21, penniless, clueless and the realities of life alone together were too much at the time.
These things happen in life. Pieces shatter. Sometimes they cannot be put together again. The love doesn't have to end for the relationship to, or for it to not work, or for things to go horridly wrong.
There are times, sometimes, when a person can say... I love them, but I.can.not,I.will.not. live life like this.
I may love the quadrapalegic... but that life would not work for me. I'd end up hating it, then his family, then me, then him. (or maybe him then me, but whatever.) It wouldn't work.
Having said all that... I'll bow to your point. If there is always an except for now, if you always have to recall back to 'good times'... If you love someone yet constantly and continually modify it--that is the end of a true relationship.
I just don't think I believe the end of a relationship is _neccessarily_ the end of a love.
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 12:17 pm (UTC)|| |
a pause for thought
I don't know. In some ways i truly agree, in others i don't. I think there's a bottom line somewhere, a point where the compromising stopps, and it's often hard to tell where it is. Do you change yourself for your partner? Or do you expect him/her to change for you? A touchy subject. I've personally been burned enough [as i'm sure quite a few of you have as well] to make me wary of any compromise. Still, it's not rational to come to the table expecting the other person to be perfect, everything that you want. I'd say that there's a bullshit buffer - once exceeded, never to be crossed again. But like i said before, it's hard to say where it is for each person, or even where it should be.
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 01:38 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: a pause for thought
I'm not claiming to draw the line for the bullshit buffer. I'm claiming that when you start love-butting, that bullshit buffer has already been passed - that's the sign.
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 11:45 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: a pause for thought
Maybe. [refer back to the first sentence i wrote ^^] I think that the 'but' often falls into the bullshit buffer. Many times a person knows better, they have to. But love itself [or the idea of being in love] is oftentimes very hard to let go of. Again: who should bend for the other? So much grey area.
I do, however, think that your modifier ["But if you cannot ever think of your partner without adding a conditional modifier, you're gone, baby."] is the bottom line. [hell, i'm not always so good with articulating/stating my mind, so yell at me if i'm repeating myself or not being clear]
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 01:49 pm (UTC)|| |
Just a thought
The Ferrett loves the democrats, but (insert Livejournal pieces on the democrats)
I'm going to have to disagree. People are so quick to decide that they aren't in love anymore. But relationships go through lots of phases... they're living things, always changing.
Perhaps the rigors of living with two small children have made me more utilitarian about my relationship, but we've weathered more than one "I love him/her, but..." eras. Sometimes the person you're with is everything you dreamed, sometimes they're as emotionally exciting as a reliable household appliance. Sometimes their smallest faults fill you with fury.
I just can't consider "I love you, but.." to be the death knell of any relationship.
A more important barometer, for me, is your mutual goals. Do you have any? Are you generally headed in the same direction? If so, hold onto what you've got, because it's easier and more fun if someone else is along for the ride.
|Date:||May 28th, 2003 05:58 pm (UTC)|| |
i probably should spend less time on internet message boards and stuff like livejournal considering how compelled i feel to reply to posts like this - posts i feel are, to spare words, simply wrong.
language is a remarkable thing, and problems of language are some of my favorite in philosophy. wittgenstein says it best, i think, when he says that all we can do is play language games. we don't have direct access to any sort of "objective" experience we can verify as correlating with our own, nor any strict definitions we can hold our own ideas up against - except, of course, those that are comprised furthermore of words, so any attempt at definition becomes either necessarily subjective or circular. language does not exist in itself - it exists ONLY interpersonally, in that space between minds - not truly in one and not truly in the other, but in the meeting of the two, and that meeting cannot produce any sort of correspondence truth, but merely metaphor. language is the house of being, heidigger says, and he's right in a very important way.
i can say "i love her, but..." because i don't have to compare my statement of 'love' to any sort of objective truth and verify that it corresponds. the same goes for any emotion, really - all we have is a our best guess as to what that will mean to other people - metaphor and uncovering, not correspondence, is truth in the world of being.
so yeah. that's my rant. oh, and i'll leave with this...
"no one would fall in love if he hadn't read about it first" - la rouchfocault
What's wrong with being a metaphor? What's wrong with being wrong? Newtonian physics is wrong, but you can still build skyscrapers with it. Can't we similarly convey useful information with a subjective definition of love, though it not be "truth"?
Even by only "playing games" with language, we can alter people's thoughts and hence behaviors in ways they would consider beneficial (or detrimental). That's all this thread is about, really. I don't see what you're getting at by declaring the statement "wrong" other than making a philosophical point about language that could equally be made about pretty much any post.
language is a remarkable thing, and problems of language are some of my favorite in philosophy. wittgenstein says it best, i think, when he says
that all we can do is play language games. we don't have direct access to any sort of "objective" experience we can verify as correlating with our
own, nor any strict definitions we can hold our own ideas up against
To describe language as an fumbling concept that can never convey any precise meaning is exactly what every writer struggles against. There is inaccuracy in language - and yet language was built up into the elaborate construct that it is BECAUSE we have common emotions to share. It may not be eminently provable via philosophy, but if the function of language did not serve to bring people together - as you yourself state in the quote - then why would anyone bother?
Any good writer compares their own language to their audiences' daily (or however often they write). That feedback loop causes a level of accuracy that counts for something, that creates a level of understanding of humanity. The good writers get the fundamentals of human experience, and write about them in such a way that they resonate like a plucked chord across a vast array and variety of human hearts.
Was Shakespeare inaccurate? Perhaps. Did he know a lot about humanity and could render some pretty fine guesses? Yep.
To deny that by handwaving "there is no truth and we can never know another" is to willfully ignore why some writers have stood the test of ages and why some have not. We can never know one another exactly, but we can get a pretty damn good guess of what drives the emotions of many people - and to deny the truths inherent in any communication because they're not exact is a philosopher's game.
Wittgenstein may believe language to be an inaccurate tool, but it does not mean that language - or, to a lesser extent, meaning itself - is not useful.
Furthermore, to reduce my argument to something as simplistic as "when someone says the four words 'I love her but' in that order means X" when I clearly stated a variety of ways that one could express the same sentiment is, again, a philosopher's game - and not someone who seeks to understand humanity, but rather someone who seeks to understand THINKING. The two are not the same.
My argument rests not in those four words themselves, but in the way the person uses those words to truly reveal what they think about their lover... And what that usually means in the end. And in that sense, I'll stand by it for almost anyone.
There are truths, even if there is no one fundamental truth. Many of those truths are accurate for a majority of people. The truth is simply a way of gaining a goal that you want to achieve, or an honesty about why you're not achieving it.
Well said. The power of language is that those who master it have a better grasp of their surroundings, and find it easier to develop and articulate their ideas. Its limitations keep people from coming to any definitive conclusions, because what may be in the writer's mind is a challenge to convey to others.
That's why it's so difficult to come up with definitions for even the most simple words, a little silly to argue about how they are used.