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  • Paul Davidson

I Love Ya

You have said the words to me. And I have said them back. Sort of.

It is the greatest scam ever pulled over on human beings. It is the greatest mangling of words that has never been noticed. It is a saying as old as time yet as new as those soon-to-be cancelled Segway devices. It is the usage of the phrase, “I Love Ya” as a way of escaping the act of having to vocalize the real, painful, committed phrase, “I Love You”.

I have mastered it to a T.

I think most people who like their partner or current-boyfriend/girlfriend more than the said current partner/boyfriend/girlfriend are just happy to hear the word “love.” Yet no one stops to really think about what’s being said to them. “I Love Ya” is like “I Like You” which is like “Right Back Atcha, Buddy” which is just like “Ditto.” When people are in love and it’s a one-sided situation, anything is better than nothing.

How many messages did your high school crushes sign “Love Ya” in your yearbook? How many times did you look back at those messages and think to yourself, “Wow, they really love me!” How many times have you left someone’s apartment (the morning after), said goodbye to them at the doorway with a hug and a kiss and an “I Love You” only to be given back the “Love Ya Too” comment and skipped off to your car all happy? Only to realize, right this minute as you read this, that the mutual affection was not what it seemed to me.

I am not here to cause pain in relationships. I am not here to bring the depression and hatred back to the surface from all the failed relationships and psycho partners from Hell. I am here to bring to the surface the awareness of the fact that there are people out there using “I Love Ya” and getting away with it at every corner. They are sucking people’s emotions out of them, causing them to wear their hearts on their sleeves, only to be (in reality) doing so for a paltry “I Love Ya” instead of the real deal.

If I was signing an e-mail or a letter to someone who I didn’t love, I would use “Love Ya”. When I pick up my cleaning from the cleaners around the corner and they’ve gotten out a great big stain, I say “Love Ya Guys.” When the mailman delivers me a package from Amazon.com, I shout out “Loving Ya Bigtime Brutha.”

But when “ya” turns to “you”, you’re in for some serious business, buddy.

So, on this twenty-fifth day of August, I would like to ask all users of the phrase “I Love Ya” to point out its meaning at the time of utterance. Something simple like this:

Girl: “I love you so much, Jim.”

Boy: “I love ya, too, Heather. But I need to let you know that if you really listened to what I just said, I didn’t say ‘I love you’ but ‘I love ya’. There’s a huge difference.”

Girl: “There is?”

Boy: “Of course there is. Had I said ‘I love you’ it would have meant that I feel for you as deeply as you feel for me. But when I said ‘I love ya’ it means that you most likely love me more than I love you and although I probably like you just enough to keep this going until it gets annoying or too laborious of a process, the feelings are definitely not strong enough for something long term. So, that’s what ‘I love ya’ means…darlin.”

Girl: “Oh.”

See? With a little simple explanation, the lines of communication will open up, the words can be described and explained to everyone’s satisfaction…and the phrase ‘I love ya’ will mean exactly what it really means.

I like you.

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