Several years ago I was working with a middle-aged woman who was known as a bit of an irritating fussbudget. She used my computer one day to check her email and accidentally left a print-out on the floor. It was an email from her husband that read, “I’ll pick you up at 3. I love you!”. It gave my heart a little pang.
My family members, although ultimately there for each other, do not say “I love you,” and I am not one to use the phrase loosely with friends. I have not in fact shared that phrase with anyone since my first serious boyfriend in my early/mid-twenties. It may, in fact, have been about fifteen years since anyone has said those words to me.
I consider it a sign of progress that this doesn’t bother me too much, as I have known many lovely people who were seemingly loveless and quite a few wretched souls who were partnered. I also know that the words are often said insincerely or they are felt but for a myriad of reasons withheld.
Still. With all the disappointments in life, they would make up for a lot.