|Posted on January 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM||comments (1)|
Let's play a game.
They come in different shapes and sizes, but that doesn't have anything to do with whether they can get the job done. If you have one, it's hard to keep your hands off of it. Failing to use it safely can really ruin someone's day. In this country, we can safely assume that at least half of the population has one.
If you guessed penises (peni?), you have a filthy, filthy mind. And you're wrong.
The correct answer is guns. Of course, we could spend all day making jokes about how guns are just extensions of everyone's favorite pokey parts, but that's too easy.
Over the last few weeks, I've heard just about every reason not to try and rein in our national love affair with hand cannons, and I gotta say, none of them are terribly compelling. I've read, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people," so many times on my Facebook feed that my default response has gone from trying to debate the issue calmly and rationally to just posting this clip in the comments section:
Nothing says you're a godless Liberal quite like an anti-gun video featuring a transvestite Englishman
Now, to be clear, I don't want an outright ban on all firearms. For example, I have no problem with hunters who own rifles and shotguns because their version of art is to paint the forest floor with Bambi's insides. Also, I fuckin' hate geese, so go ahead and blast those honking rats right the hell out of the sky, thank you very much.
What I honestly don't understand, however, is this bizarre need to own military grade weapons under the guise of self-defense. I think a person who is genuinely concerned with putting a hole through an intruder could do it just as well with their hunting shotgun as they could with an Uzi.
One of the tactics floating around out there is to create a false equivalency between guns and things like cars, hammers, knives, forks, and, I shit you not, stairs. Here's the thing though, all of these things are tools designed with a much more benign purpose than whittling down gratuitous members of our species. A car, hammer, etc., is only dangerous when misused, either accidentally or deliberately. A gun is only dangerous when used properly. Look, we humans are good at inventing things that make jobs easier. I'm sure it was exhausting hacking enemies apart with a broad sword. The gun, like all tools, makes us better at a particular thing. It's easier to travel thanks to automobiles, we don't have to try and drive nails in with our foreheads anymore thanks to hammers, and guns make the average person a very effective and efficient killer – that's what they do.
Another argument involves taking the position that guns are so ingrained in our society that it would be impossible to ever get them off the streets and out of the hands of average 'Muricans. To these people I say, we put a man on the moon. It is subversively unpatriotic to say that this country can't do something just because it's hard. It will take a long time and it won't be easy, but we can reduce the number of guns out there and make our schools and neighborhoods safe.
There seems to be two different groups of gun nuts out there that are unbalanced enough to oppose common sense changes to the gun laws already on the books. The first group believes that owning an arsenal is their birthright because of an Amendment that isn't even the first one that the founders came up with. They fail to understand that the Constitution isn't Holy writ handed down by baby Jesus to George Washington so that we could guarantee that this land would become God's favorite vacation destination. It is designed to change with the times and it is time for a change.
The second group is the tinfoil hat crowd, these moonstruck lunatics are so afraid of an invading army, or even worse, our own government, that they see being armed as the only thing protecting us from dirty politicians, Mexicans, gays, atheists, Muslims, or whatever other bogeyman Fox News has concocted. Is our government a little on the shady side? Sure, but they are more inept than corrupt. I don't think big brother is anymore untrustworthy than every other powerful, well-financed, influential body on the planet. They are every bit as bad as the Catholic Church, BP, AIG, or Monsanto, to name a few. Besides, a whole platoon of Billy Bobs in jacked up 4X4's isn't going to stop a well trained professional military, no matter what Red Dawn would have you believe.
Once again, I am not strictly anti-gun, but I do have an issue with assault weapons being in the hands of the sweaty masses. I think guns should be harder to get, not easier. I think people convicted of any crime should be unable to purchase a gun. I think gun owners should be required to carry insurance on their weapons to cover any damage, hospital expenses, or loss of life resulting from the use of their gun by themselves or anyone else. I think conceal and carry laws should be repealed.
In 36 years, I have never been in a situation where a gun was needed. I don't allow guns in my home. When a probably inbred redneck pulled his gun out in the parking lot at work and started shooting at some ducks that were flying overhead, I told the HR lady that the next time I saw a gun at work, I was going home. No discussion, no asking for permission, and I didn't care if the gun was unloaded and perfectly safe, I would leave and not come back until it was gone.
We clearly have a problem and we need to address it, but there are a few things that we need to agree on first. 1. My kids, and every other innocent person out there, are exponentially more important than your "right" to own a handheld killing machine. 2. Just owning a gun means that you are more likely to be at least abstractedly connected to the loss of an innocent life than someone like me who doesn't own one. 3. You have to stop pretending that your gun is anything other than what it is: a machine for killing. You may use it for sporting purposes, but that doesn't change what it was made for. 4. Stop acting like gun owners are the most responsible citizens out there because they aren't. They're just as flaky, emotional, quick to anger, and unpredictable as the rest of us. I know people who have conceal/carry permits and I wouldn't trust most of them to light my BBQ pit, let alone walk around with a deadly weapon hidden in their pants.
I believe that a change is coming and I don't think it will necessarily be at the hands of this, or any other, administration. The kind of change we need will happen organically as guns become more taboo. But for now, go ahead and stroke it when you're feeling down. Just remember that firing prematurely is going to make a mess bigger than what a Kleenex or dirty sock can handle.
|Posted on October 12, 2012 at 7:40 PM||comments (0)|
Can we stop pretending that the institution of marriage is some Rock of Gibralter-esque thing that has never changed since God originally invented it with his "My First Chemistry Set" 6,000 years ago (4,539,994,000 years after the Earth actually showed up)?
"Hey Jesus, I spilled a test tube. Looks like these monkeys are gonna be hairless afterall."
Same-sex unions were common throughout the Mediterranean, with ceremonies generally taking place in churches, until they were deemed "unchristian" by Emperor Andronicus II in 1306 along with sorcery (http://bit.ly/JY34U4). The idea of marrying for love is a relatively recent change that occurred in the 17th-18th centuries thanks to the Enlightenment. Up to that point, marriages were a way of uniting warring tribes and increasing property holdings.
As recently as 1948, interracial marriage was illegal in most states. The laws banning mixed marriages were not completely struck down until 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned them nationwide (http://bit.ly/foqYTS). Likewise, polygamy was not made specifically illegal in the U.S. until 1862 (http://bit.ly/7sQdNM).
In many Native American groups, homosexuals are held in high regard as having received a special blessing. They often became the shamans (healers) of the community. They are referred to as the berdache or "two-spirited" people (http://bit.ly/Q7x5Tk).
Here's a brief rundown of the Biblical definition(s) of marriage:
The idea that we are drastically redefining marriage by allowing same-sex couples to get married is laughable from a historical perspective. What marriage is today is not what it was only a few generations ago, and it most likely isn't what it's going to be a few generations from now. It changes to meet our societal demands. Sorry folks, but those are the facts.
|Posted on September 4, 2012 at 1:40 AM||comments (0)|
(Author's note: I try to keep things inappropriately snarky and acerbic on this site, but I decided to dial it back a notch for this post. This does absolutely not represent a more mature me, however.)
There's a picture that's been making the rounds on the various social sites lately. I've ignored it, but it just keeps a comin'. I know it doesn't pay to get bunched panties about every single ignorant post that people make because they eventually fade away and because I don't want to be the guy that spends the entire day debating people. This one doesn't seem to be in any hurry to piss off though.
And if your parents can afford cable television and central air, you don't need student financial aid.
This picture perfectly reinforces the "God helps those who help themselves" mindset. I don't for a second believe that every social conservative is a heartless asshole, but there's a quote by Michael Parenti that goes "Conservatives are fond of telling us what a wonderful, happy, prosperous nation this is. The only thing that matches their love of country is the remarkable indifference they show toward the people who live in it" that I think is pretty apropos here. I wonder if the people who like this picture really believe that a smoker should have their welfare benefits immediately revoked.
A pack of smokes costs about $5.50, a six pack of cheap beer isn't much more. Feeding a family of four costs about $150 to $175 a week if a person is thrifty. A person working full-time and making minimum wage earns about $290 a week before taxes. Even with two working adults in a family, that's not enough to live on once you factor in housing, travel (car, gas, insurance), utilities, childcare, etc. Is a hardcore conservative really going to tell a person that they can't splurge on a pack of Pall Malls and an Old Milwaukee if they get government assistance? Should a person on welfare not be able to spend money on a little personal luxury or vice? A minimum wage employee may not have enough money to buy groceries, but they may have enough to buy a pack of cigarettes. After all, that $5.50 pack of heaters represents a whopping 3.6% of their $150 food budget.
Yes, I know that smokers generally buy more than 1 pack a week, but my point is that not treating oneself to a bad habit isn't going to automatically put the family budget in the black. The idea that welfare recipients love being on assistance because it frees up money for lottery tickets and heroin is just stupid. Thinking "If they'd just spend their money better, they wouldn't need help" betrays an insidious kind of classism and a frightening lack of empathy. Maybe a pull on a cigarette is the one thing that a working mom has to keep her calm in between working a thankless job at a fast food restaurant and taking night classes at the local vo-tech.
And that's another thing. The whole "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" theory fails to take into account just how short those bootstraps are. Tuition at a public college is around $7,000 a year for a two-year school and $15,000 a year at a four-year school, on average. That means that earning a Bachelor's Degree costs more than a person makes before taxes at a full-time minimum wage job. In order to better themselves, a poor person has to go in debt first. That's like saying that a drowning person should swim down and put both hands on the floor of the ocean before they try coming up for air. It's easy to get judgy about those lazy food stamp moms when you don't have to wade through a sea of "Final Notice" envelopes every time you open your mailbox.
The idea of drug-testing welfare applicants is sad to me, especially if testing positive means they are on their own. Does having a parent with a drug problem mean that the kids don't get to eat? Poverty is a subtle and nuanced problem that demands something a little more grown-up than an "all or nothing" answer. Are there people who take advantage of the system? Of course there are, but there are corrupt cops and arsonist firefighters too – they are the exception that proves the rule, not the other way around. Look, the current welfare system is far from perfect, but making blanket statements about the people who rely on it does nothing to make it better.
I'm not completely OK with the idea that a person can cash advance their EBT card and I don't like seeing assistance used to buy junk food, but I have to remember that maybe a frozen pizza and a juice box is all the cooking that a working parent has time for in between jobs. How do I know that the couple buying hot dogs and potato chips isn't trying to find food that their kids can prepare themselves because Mom and Dad are at work when supper time rolls around? I doubt that they're buying stuff that's fast and easy because they just don't feel like preparing a four course meal using fresh ingredients from the Farmer's Market. Shitty food is cheaper and easier than the wholesome stuff in this country.
What really is disheartening about that picture is the number of people who claim to be good Christians that like and share it. I guess that 'feed the hungry, clothe the poor' bit doesn't apply if you think they aren't trying hard enough to be the millionaires we are all destined to be. I know I've already warned against making blanket generalizations, but it does seem that it's the conservatives who post opinions like the one above the most frequently. Since the Republican party is the one most directly ran by the Christian Right, it isn't really a stretch to call them out for falling so far short of their religious ideals.
Perhaps what bothers me most is that there is an underlying feeling in posts like these that poor people should be shamed whenever possible and reminded of the fact that they are unabashedly sucking on the teet of government instead of becoming job creators. They should never have anything close to comfort until they start being better 'Mericans. In my experience, however, I have rarely seen someone using food stamps in a flaunting way. Instead, they seem to do it as inconspicuously as possible since - this is a shocker - those lazy poor people don't actually like the fact that they have to take hand-outs in order to survive.
|Posted on July 5, 2012 at 1:20 AM||comments (0)|
OK, so I wasn't going to touch the subject of religion again because A) I just did it a few blogs ago, and B) I really am not that hostile to other people's beliefs. I do find faith to be a many-splendored thing (by "many-splendored" I mean fascinating, but ultimately pointless) and am happy to let people be people without ever expecting them to qualify their particular brand of sky-daddy to me. Unless, of course, they want to push it on the unsuspecting masses, in which case I feel I have every right to have a little fun at their expense. What I'm saying is: If you knock on doors, hand out flyers, take part in mass-mailings, or post about it on Facebook, don't be surprised if some godless asshat turns it into a punch line.
Let the asshattery begin.
A lot of my old classmates are of the good church-going type and freely admit that they let Jesus take the wheel whenever they're too tired to drive. This means that there are a lot of thank-gods and god-bless-us-everyones whenever a job is found or a baby is born or dinner is cooked just right. Everyone assumes that the term "God" is synonymous with the Judeo-Christian belief system, but, since there have been as many as 30,000 gods throughout history, I like to pretend that my Facebook friends are thanking Quetzalcoatl or Baʿal for their good fortune. That isn't possible when a certain West Texas friend posts a picture like the following birthday present, however.
Rollin', Rollin', Rollin', Keep them sins a rollin', Rawhide!
First I want to say that the craftsmanship looks to be top-rate. But, I don't remember the sermon about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a bucking bronco so that he could lasso the money-changers and hogtie them outside the temple, or whether or not he threw 302 completions for a total of 3,445 yards during his career-best season with the Cowboys in 1992. Of course, the sophomore with the giant boobs five seats over and one row up may have distracted me from those particular readings in church, but I think it's more likely that this thing is just a tad blasphemous. Not that I want to tell anyone how to make their God all smiley, but you can't get pissy about the sanctity of your religion if you're gonna decorate a tiny version of the murder weapon used against the main guy with a rodeo scene.
Then there's this gem that some random stranger handed my ex-wife one day while she was tending to the people she takes care of:
And that's the story of how God ruined brunch
The first question I had when she showed it to me was, "Did you ask the guy why he was handing out pamphlets with pictures of mirror-mounted foreskin and a cup of scabs on it to innocent passers-by?"
If you didn't take the time to read it, I'll hit the highlights for you. Apparently about 1,300 years ago there was a monk who was something of a scientific whiz kid, which meant he wasn't quite the Christ fanatic he should have been. As a thinking person, he was having some doubt about whether or not the bread and wine (Eucharist) at communion were really the flesh and blood of God. Now taking a step back from the fact that a bread and wine god would give the FSM a run for his money in terms of deliciousness, Catholics actually believe that they are eating and drinking god on Sunday.
After praying for a sign, God thought the best way to get through to this heathen was to scare the shit out of him by turning the bread into skin and the wine into blood right in front of him. In this story God has the same sense of humor as Freddy Kruger. The monk saved it because it was a miracle and because he was done eating forever since he could never trust his food to not fuck with him again. Catholics, being Catholics, did the rational thing and turned the disembodied flesh and blood into a macabre centerpiece or trophy of some sort instead of tossing it out and having the Health Inspector re-evaluate the sanitation of their buffet.
I'm not saying that this isn't evidence of a miracle (it isn't). There is a bit in there about how it was scientifically studied (I doubt it) and everything is totally legit (nope), but the real take away here is that religion is weird. So, thanks old classmate and well-intentioned stranger, but you can go ahead and keep your rodeo God and coagulated cocktail, I'm good.
|Posted on April 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
Oh religious zealots, you never cease to amaze me.
I went on a little eBay spending spree the other day - by spree I mean I spent like $20 on a router and cellphone parts. It was exhilarating. The only thing more fun than hitting the "Buy It Now" button is waiting for the Chinese treats to get delivered. What follows is me racing to the mailbox every day at precisely 11:30 to check if it's stuffed with cheap goodness. My brain tells me it's going to be two to four weeks before my "winnings" show up, but my heart says maybe, just maybe, they made the trip halfway around the world over night. They never do, stupid retarded heart.
Now, before you feel too sorry for me, you should know that the good people of Saint Matthew's Churches of Tulsa, OK did manage to sneak in a little something special just for me. The envelope looked pretty official so I didn't make the mistake of automatically round-filing it. Whew, close call, because what was inside the plain white envelope promised to change my life forever. These modern day wizards had managed to stuff an entire rug inside a standard-sized letter envelope. This wasn't the kind of rug you wipe your feet on, mostly because it was made of paper, but also because it was a magical wish granting rug with the finest artistic rendition of Jesus "I'm gonna go ahead and moonwalk across this lake" Christ on it that I have seen outside of the Raptor Jesus meme.
Cool hat Brah
How does it work, you ask? Well, they included a handy little cheat-sheet with a list of wishes to choose from including True Love, Protection From Evil, Miracle Healing, Wisdom, and probably the most dangerous of all, Return Of A Loved One (this is obviously how the zombie apocalypse starts). They also give you the option to pick a completely original wish of your very own if you absolutely must insist on ordering off the menu, but they were smart enough to limit a person to only one wish, otherwise the right combination (Strength, Miracle Healing, and Protection From Evil) would have us awash in Wolverine-like super heroes.
17 Acres of land!?! Praise the Lord, mother fucker!
After you pick your wish, you kneel on it and pray real hard until rug-Jesus opens his eyes – that's how you know you did it right. Afterwards, you put the rug and your wish card, along with an optional monetary token of appreciation, in the S.A.S.E. and mail it back. The St. Matt's folks then enter into their Audio-Telly-o-Tally-o Count (I'm assuming the last part. They don't really say how the magic happens other than some bit about how the rug has been anointed in God's Holy Blessing Power, but I bet there's a Dr. Seussian/Steampunk machine under a plexiglass dome located on a mountain somewhere between Reno and Rome).
I like my mail pre-highlighted, thank you very much
So far I have my doubts about the effectiveness of the rug, but you'll know it worked once the Kardashians and the cast of Jersey Shore are filmed playing tug-o-war over an active volcano. Full disclosure: I didn't wait for rug-Jesus to stare at me – I've been questioning my sanity enough lately as it is. I also didn't send any cashy-money because I don't think I should have to offer a down payment when making requests to a supernatural hotline.
One wish... and ixnay on wishing for more wishes! That's it! Three! Uno. No substitutions, exchanges or refunds!
|Posted on March 7, 2012 at 8:35 PM||comments (0)|
Despite being raised partially by a woman (I have a dad too, you know), growing up with a sister, having two daughters, and one ex-wife, I don't have any better understanding of the fairer sex than the next person with outie genitals. In fact, everything I know about women could be summed up by the response a (mildly insane) Vietnam Vet gave to a coworker of ours when he heard the man talking about how much he wanted to talk his wife into some threesome action: "It's almost impossible to keep one woman happy, why in the hell do you wanna piss off two of 'em?"
She seems upset, but who knows for sure - women are so hard to read
It's with frame of reference in mind that I want to talk about the dumbfuckery that has been the Republican Party of late. In what I can only assume is an effort to prove that they can win the White House without the support of half the population, they have done everything they can to try and talk the ladies of this country into a threesome. Metaphorically, of course. Their fumbling of some recent women's rights issues is so bad, it makes fish tacos at Perkins seem like a good idea. It could also be a case of Obama being the evil genius that the GOP thinks he is, but after the clown car that has been the Republican Primary, that seems unlikely.
So Rick Santorum hates birth control. OK, I get that his faith makes him believe that every time you pull out, baby Jesus cries. The problem with getting pissy about how the government shouldn't use our tax dollars to fund fetus-free sexy-time fun is that the government wasn't going to. Insurance coverage is not a gift that a company gives its employees because they are so damn big-hearted, it's part of a benefits package provided in lieu of more money. The other problem with this line of reasoning is that even when we're talking about government provided health care, it already covers boner pills. If women have to put up with four hour erections, they should at least have the option of not getting knocked up if they don't want to. Not to mention the fact that the pill has a lot more medical benefits beyond shagging than the previously mentioned bottled erector set.
We're entitled to hard-ons
After convening a sausage fest to talk about whether women were smart enough to handle their own reproductive systems, the GOP was understandably miffed when the Democrats had the nerve to ask an actual female about it. Rush Limbaugh responded by calling her a "slut" and a "prostitute" because any unmarried female who takes contraceptives is clearly unable to keep her legs together. The idea that contraceptive use could be part of responsible adult behavior is unthinkable, forget about considering the actual fiscal benefits of it. I'd like to think that I would have been upset by it no matter what, but having two daughters and being married to an especially strong-willed woman made me wonder if El-Rushbo had had his mouth surgically replaced with his anus. Even worse than the prescription strength bullshit that Rushie was spewing was the tepid reaction from the GOP candidates who said it was the fault of the liberal media (Newt Gingrich), just being absurd (Rick Santorum), and not the language he should have used (Mitt Romney). Only John McCain came out strongly opposed to Rush's assbaggery.
The real issue comes from the fact that the GOP, steered by the religious right, bases most of its policy and almost all of its rhetoric on patriarchal religious beliefs. Most religions, with a few notable pagan exceptions, hold that women just aren't as awesome as men and need to be told what they can and can't do with their bodies. From Muslim extremists to the modern Quiverfull movement, this kind of thinking does nothing but hold back the progress of women because the men just know better. I want my daughters to grow up wanting to be Buffy, not Bella Swan.
Being kick-ass Vs Being a Doormat
Mr. Obama, I think this election just became yours to lose.
|Posted on January 28, 2012 at 1:50 AM||comments (2)|
What's love got to do with it, indeed? Quite a lot, really.
Spend any amount of time watching anyone of the countless, brain-etching reality shows peppered across the TV landscape and you will inevitably come to the point where some sap gets kicked off (or evicted or not given a rose or has their torch snuffed out). Afterward there will be one of those confessionals where the other contestants, who just voted their co-schmuck out of the show, testify one on one in front of a camera how much the departed will be missed and I promise you that at least one of these jackasses will say, "I love (him/her) so much, and I miss (him/her) already." Bullshit. You don't love them; you just lied and backstabbed your way to a better shot at winning whatever the prize is by getting them booted. That's not love. That's not even in love's time zone. When used in that kind of shallow, self-serving context, the word "love" becomes an empty, hollowed-out husk. What an overused and underappreciated, not to mention misunderstood, word. So what is "love?" I've got some thoughts, but you knew that, didn't you?
Men in Pajamas
Ah, the ancient Greeks. Funny how much gets traced back to them. They were, after all, like the world's first college kids - all insightful and ponderous and pompous philosophizing and complicated just for the sake of being complicated. I would imagine that, just like the over-earnest college kids of today, the Greeks must have been unbelievably annoying to be within earshot of in a restaurant. But, when it comes to love, they had some interesting ideas. They had not one, but four words for it.
There was agape, which meant general affection, such as for one's children or spouse. Its biblical use referred to self-sacrificial or giving love, such as the love of God for humanity (minus the genocide). Reciprocation is not in any way required for agape love. In modern day Greek, agape simply means "love". So this is our "I'd die for you" love.
Next there was philia. Philia means "friendship or fondness" in modern Greek and meant friendship a couple thousand years ago, more or less, but could include the feelings for fellow soldiers and fellow travelers, political or business associates, members of the same religious group or tribe, lifelong friends, or even a merchant and his customers. It's a pretty broad word but usually requires that the emotion be returned unless, of course, it's attached to a word like "necro" in which case it almost certainly will not be reciprocated. Here we have our "just friends" love.
Storge means "affection" and is used more in modern times than in ancient works, but almost always denotes a family relationship. Or "I love you cuz we're related and I have to" love.
And finally there was eros. Eros is a sensual, passionate, longing love. The Greek word erotas means "romantic love". But eros does not always have to be sexual, it can mean the love you have for someone which is stronger than the friendship love (philia). Of course without the sex, eros seems kind of empty; it is where we get the word "erotic", after all. So, finally, we have "I wanna get bouncy with you" love.
The Swiss Army Knife of Words
So there you have some definitions. But why is that word tossed around so loosely? Probably because it frames the very core of humanity. Without it our families would fall apart, there would be no friendships, hell, children would never get raised (they would still get made, however, because love is not necessary for a good shag). But it gets used without ever thinking about what it really means to "love" someone because no one wants to second guess the genuineness of the love that's being proclaimed, it's a loaded word and we let its trivial declaration go unchallenged. A co-worker says "I love this sandwich." and we don't say, "No you don't. You like it, you enjoy it, and you may even favor it over all other sandwiches. But, you don't love it." And so the real power behind the word "love" gets watered down.
You've never felt like this before!
Now don't get me wrong, love can seriously screw things up. Wars have been fought over it, opportunities lost, lives ruined. And that is because love can make the most intelligent and rational mind go functionally retarded. Oh, sure, you'll still be able to operate machinery, but you'll make a fool of yourself and irritate your friends. Love can make you forgiving to a fault. You'll let things slide that, were they done by any other than the object of your affection, you would be cutting brake lines. And, if its unrequited love, well, may God (or your favorite deity) have mercy on your soul, 'cause that is gonna be a spirit grinding experience. But, when it's good, it's hot-chocolate-on-a-cold-winter-day good. I guess if you're smart, you won't let it happen to you because, like Willow said, "Love makes you do the wacky." Unfortunately, if you're human, it'll probably happen no matter what.
I guess the real question is: what do you really mean when you say "I love you"? Have you ever thought about it? There is a lot going on in that statement, and it should never be uttered lightly, or as an instinctive reflex to having had it said to you.
Some Thoughts for Your V.D. Sweetie
(V.D. for Valentine's Day, not Venereal Disease)
Now, every poet, songwriter, playwright, philosopher, and dip in love has droned on doe-eyed about love and any quick search on the internet will reward you with hundreds of quotes about it, but here are a few to get you going Let's start with what is easily the best definition. Not to get all Bible-thumpery on you, but I think this is probably what we all want it to mean:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." ~I Corinthians 13:4-8~
"Love is friendship set to music." ~E. Joseph Crossmann~
"Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit." ~Peter Ustinov~
"Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell." ~Joan Crawford~
"Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence." ~Erich Fromm~
"One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love." ~Sophocles~
"According to film logic, you are the antagonist in your significant other's love story." ~Soren Bowie~
I think Dr. Hibbert summed it up the best when he asked, "Is that the love between a man and a woman? Or the love of a man for a cuban cigar?"