I find myself saying “I love you” a lot. I do it at the expected times: When we’re bonding, particularly when we’re being romantic. According to you, I say it in my sleep, even. “Love you, love you,” I mutter when I’m nudged but don’t quite wake from the jolt.
I say it so much that we’ve joked that if I were a Pokemon, that would be my name: Loveyou.
Curiously, I say it when you’re not even around. I don’t think I’ve told you about that before. There’s never been a good time, really, to explain this odd behavior.
But particularly when you’re in a bad mood, and I’ve discovered it, either by setting you off and starting an argument or by realizing you’re in a bad way and withdrawing so I don’t set you off, I’ll find myself reminding myself of my feelings for you. “I love you,” I’ll say, to no one in particular, after I’ve gone somewhere where you can’t hear me.
It’s a natural behavior for me. Instinctual. And I never gave much thought as to why, until the last time that I did this.
You were grouchy, having some back pain from a combination of factors. I went off to the bathroom, took a shower. And while the water was coming down, I did it. I said, “I love you,” and thought of you. I thought of the person you are when you’re grouchy, in pain. And I thought of the person you are when you’re at your best. When you’re laughing with wild abandon. Or when you’ve discovered something new that excites you and you’re diving in.
And as I said, “I love you,” this last time, I realized it’s for me, too. When times are tough, I want to remind myself of my feelings for you. I want to make sure they don’t get lost in the myriad ups and downs of normal, everyday life. Sickness and health. Richer, poorer. Back pain or not. You know, all that stuff.
Sometimes saying “I love you” isn’t for you at all, but for me.