It’s after two a.m. now and I really should be sleeping but I’m choosing to protest sleep from now on. Losers and squares, eh? I’m not actually protesting sleep. That kind of sounds like a horrible time.
Every time I take my car somewhere and get home late, the paranoid Jennifer takes over the typically carefree, relaxed Jennifer. It’s an unpleasant three minutes walking from the far lot, on the barely-lit sidewalk, past a shady looking apartment complex where the men sit out on their balconies and shout to me regardless of the unreasonable time of day, to my dorm. I regularly proceed to come up with all of the horrifying things that could happen to me in those moments as I’m walking alone late at night. It’s probably not the most responsible thing that I do this, but I don’t exactly have other options. My scenarios are comedic once I make it to the safety of the well-lit outside area of my dorm. Tonight, I thought of two extremely unrelated things as I worriedly walked from my car to my dorm.
The first was a self-defense lesson one of my favorite teachers (and one of my favorite people of all time) taught me. I have a vivid (like the double rainbow) memory of her setting up a scenario where she had one of my classmates approach her and grab onto her like they were attacking her. She gave us these directions: 1. Get your hands above your head. 2. Scream. 3. Once your hands and arms are free, you take your thumbs and pluck their eyeballs out. In all seriousness, this is supposed to be one of the best self-defense techniques. Once you get past the image of how disgusting that would be, it kind of makes sense. Disgusting. So I was imagining being attached and how I would maneuver around my purse and my laptop bag to be able to free my hands and pluck my non-existant attacker’s eyeballs out.
And then I had a lengthy thought train about something completely different. This has happened a few times, but I want to write a bit about a corny topic. Fair warning, but hear me out. I think I would mostly agree with the statement that saying “I love you” has lost a lot of meaning. I’m not sure what most people are thinking when they say that but my general sentiment is that it is used to get something they want or out of obligation; therefore, hearing the words “I love you” has lost value for some. I get that. I’ve had moments though, where I’ve felt extremely compelled to tell someone that I love them and felt like I couldn’t. I can drop a “Goodnight, Graci. Love you” and it’s no big deal. It means exactly what I want it to mean, it’s appropriate, and it’s taken as the sentiment that I wish to express. In other cases, it’s extremely inappropriate and could easily be taken in a romantic sense when it’s not meant that way and I have to refrain from telling someone that I love them. I guess all of this goes to how we use the word “love.” I love hot tea. I love my best friend. I love to write. I love my dad. I love my sweetie. I love Bryce Avary. The list goes on, but it’s obvious that love is tossed around in many different ways, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just complicates things when talking about love and the meaning of love and interpreting the way someone shows love to you and what you mean when you tell someone you love them and on and on and on. I guess all of this is to say, I wish I could tell you I love you and for you to somehow be able to decipher the meaning of your particular “I love you” and for you to reciprocate that love back.
So, I love you…