Thursday, July 30, 2015

The "L" Word

Today I was posed with a task that is proving to be way more of a challenge than it should be.

See, I just returned from a brief vacation with my family (first time in for-ev-er!) and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the trip.  (Never, ever thought I'd say that!)  Anyway, it was suggested to me by someone I very much trust and respect that I send a thank you note to my parents, who I know worked quite hard to make sure I (and my high maintenance requests) were accommodated and that I was comfortable with everyone.

The thank you, though an idea I never would have had, was fine.  I could do that, no problem.  But somehow, it led into another conversation that still, hours later, has me unable to press send on the thank you note.

How do you close a letter to your parents when you really don't have the greatest of relationships, when they are "overly interested" in being in your world, and when there are absolutely zero boundaries?

I wanted to sign it with something simple, like "xoxox" but that isn't what was suggested.  I played around with a few others, such as "with appreciation" and "hugs" but again, not what was suggested.

The "L" word is what was suggested.  More specifically, I was encouraged to close the thank you with "I L you" but I can't.  I just can't.  The "L" word has such strength behind it, I just don't feel like I can use it with my family.  (Yes, I know I'm referring to the "L" word as "it," just goes to show how uncomfortable that word makes me feel.

So, in an effort to understand what the closing actually means, I did what any anxiety-ridden techie does - I went to Google.  I was enlightened, but still.... yeah....

So it turns out that signing a note or letter "love ya" actually is less "strong" as signing "love you" and that is less strong than signing "I love you" or "love always," which are quite strong and serious.  Then there are the variety of signatures that hold similar connotation and strengths, such as "affectionately," and "ever yours," and adoringly," and "with love" and all the other closings that make my stomach churn.

Don't get me wrong, I can liberally use the "L" word in the "right" setting.  Like saying "I love my dog," or "I LOVE maple walnut fudge."  In that situation, the "L" word fits without hesitation.  It's when applying it to people......

Growing up, every single phone conversation with my parents ended with "Love you" which drastically diluted the meaning of the "L" word, and contributed to my aversion to using it.  To me, it's got power and, well, how shall I put it..... power, strength, and an overwhelming amount of warmth that fill it, I just don't like using it unless it's really all those things.  Guess that's part of growing up with the deep scars in which I did, and learning to overcome my aversion while accepting the scars is part of the work my team and I are in for..... Oy.

Guess I better go send that email........

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