Pearls of Just What?: Things People Say to Me

“I want you to know, I appreciate you.”

When someone says this to me, even if we aren’t that close, I can’t help but be a little underwhelmed. Who says that kind of shit anyway? ‘I appreciate you?’ It’s not like they’re thanking me for holding the door for them or watching their cat when they go out of town.

‘I appreciate you.’ On the surface, you might think that it’s a nice compliment. In reality, it’s the limp dick of endearments. It makes a nice sound, but when all is said and done, the most remarkable thing about it is the echoing emptiness of it. Imagine if someone you know looked at you very seriously and then said, “I want to give you something that shows how much I value you.” And what they hand you is a crumpled receipt from the gas station or an old candy wrapper. It’s a phrase that makes me feel like a permanent stranger–the brown scented dry-erase marker equivalent of an acquaintance.

But I want you to know, I appreciate you. Bub.

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3 thoughts on “Pearls of Just What?: Things People Say to Me

  1. It won’t happen again. ( I say that sometimes ) Please allow me to pull the limp dick out of my heart and explain why I have said that. I only say that here in this realm of character exchange. If someone has commented or done something that touches me, I can’t hug them close or look into their eyes or actually speak with emotion so they know that they affected me in some way that touches me. I can’t do anything for “you” because distance and silence are an immense wall to scale to actually reach you. If I am touched deeply, I feel something and I want to acknowledge the kindness because I honestly think kindness is one of the greatest strengths we have. I cannot sculpt a work of art in return but I sometimes will try to find words to say. I appreciate you means I hold what you said or what they did as dear to me. That’s just me though and that’s only said in comments if I can’t find any other words.
    That said, they are cliche and I’m not offended that they come across as flaccid. You not only have a vast vocabulary, you have a strong and skilled grasp on language to create varied palettes of emotion, meaning and intent.
    I’m smiling over here as I write because I agree with what you said to a point. I’m secretly hoping that you’re talking about people you interact with in person. I can’t always find better words and sometimes an easy cliche works. It could be taken as lazy or inept as a writer. There are times that I will only read the action behind the words used.
    I was about to log off because I was falling asleep but then I had to read your post. Then, I had to comment. You write as an artist creates so some words must become lifeless. I reeeeeeeeally hope I’m not way off base in comprehending your post. If I’m way off base – please erase this. Thanks and Good Night, Jayne erase or send? erase or send?…. : )

  2. Oh, dear Jayne! I hate to think my tongue-in-cheek-pique caused you worry. Yes, I am talking about face-to-face interactions. As well, your comment draws me up short a bit, because I forget that not everyone has a complex vocabulary (present company excepted.)

    I was giggling as I wrote it, I assure you. But on a serious note, it’s something others have said to me in instances where I feel there’s a severe disparity of emotional investment–like saying “I love you” to someone and that’s what they come back with.

    Your response does serve to remind me that I am harsh, and that my amusement can bruise others. Be assured that it wasn’t intended to harm or to slight you and others who use the phrase in times when a lack of words adequate to the feelings of the moment are at your disposal. Rather it was a giggly dart aimed at the emotionally lazy people I encounter, who aren’t willing to meet me halfway, but are more than willing to take everything I offer.

    I was carried away with the image of someone offering a crumpled piece of paper and saying intensely–“It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this.”

  3. The only reason that I could write my comment is because I bet on you being in this mindset. I couldn’t see you in any other light. I could admit to saying these words because I understand why I use them. I like – no, I love when people give playful or serious opinions. It makes you (them) real to me; and because of that, I was ready for the backlash if you chose to do set me straight. I knew that if it did come, you would pull it off with great style and that would still make me smile!
    As far as this stuff in person, as you described…it is just as you described.xo, J ( Your comment didn’t come through on wordpress for some reason. I came back to write an “excuse me” comment because last night, I wasn’t fully awake but I was compelled to comment.

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