Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I Love You To Pieces

I've waited all my life for a woman to tell me they love me with an endearing phrase and now I have two women telling me "they love me to pieces" and I find it bothersome. Is it a girl friend, a fiance, or a wife using this endearing phrase? Nope, just my freaking luck it is my sister and my Mom. I kind of cringe every time my sister and my mom tell me that they love me to pieces. I'm glad to be loved but is that really a term a sister or a mother should be using with a son or a brother? Isn't that a term that should really be reserved for a boyfriend or a husband?

Besides just exactly what does I love you to pieces mean? I know I am a tad eccentric but am I in pieces? I've been fine with my entire family referring to me all my life as being offcenter. That just shows they appreciate that I am a little different than they are. So my dollar bills are in descending order by denomination in my wallet, I will never post the thirteenth comment on a blog or a message board, and in a restaurant I won't eat the vegetables unless there are an even number on my plate. Yes I count how many string beans there are. That just means I'm a little compulsive (OK a lot compulsive) but does it mean I am in pieces? And if it does mean that I am in pieces just exactly how many pieces am I in and just exactly how many pieces do they love? Can't they love me those times when I am whole and not in pieces?

I need some advise here. Do I 1.) Tell my sister and Mom how much it bothers when they tell me they love me to pieces? 2) Make a joke out of it? or 3) Do what I have been doing. Bite me tongue and don't risk hurting their feelings?

If you can give me some advise on this matter I will love you to pieces.


Anonymous said...

It's a term of endearment Offy....Leave it at that....An old friend used to say "Go where you are CELEBRATED, not just TOLERATED" Bask in the warmth of their love......The world can be a cold cruel place...Let them love you in their own way.

William J. said...

Thanks, Lisa

I just worry about how it looks to the outside world.

I like going where you are celebrated and not just tolerated. Nice phrase.


Anonymous said...

My family is very lovey dovey....We don't care what the outside world thinks...If your friends are really your friends, they will take you as you are...(and your family too...it's a package deal!) LOL!

William J. said...


Our family is same way. We are a total package. We are also a family of huggers. Men hug men. Brothers hug brothers. Dad always hugged us. We never even thought about it, maybe that is why none of the men in our family ended up as homophobic.


Mary Z said...

Good advice from Lisa. I love it that your family hugs. Ours does, too. John's family didn't hug or touch, and it's VERY important to him that we do that. It's been fun watching our teenage grandsons going from flinching and tolerating hugs from Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunts to initiating them.

William J. said...

Mary Z

Thank you.

I love the growth that your grandsons have shown.


Pat said...

Well, geewhiz, Bill, it's just a phrase. If it bugs you, maybe you could ask them to just say they love you a lot, and be glad they do. Make it a joke if you like, and repeat what you've said here about pieces.

I'm more interested in counting veggies, which is something I'd never have known about you had you not revealed it here. So what happens if you get served an odd number? Do you surreptitiously put the offending #13 in the nearest potted plant? Look around for a dog to slip it to? Sneak it onto your dining partner's plate? Inquiring minds want to know. I love knowing this about you. :-)

William J. said...

Hi Pat

Yourself, Lisa, and Mary all agree so I am just going to accept it for what it is and not mention it.

At our CompuServe get togethers I kept all my compulsions hidden from you nice women because then I was kind of embarassed by them. Now I endorse them as part of me.

I also have to have the salt and pepper shakers perfectly lined up before eating. If they are out of kilter it kind of ruins the evening.

If there are an odd number of vegetables I just don't eat them. Bad luck. I cannot tell you the number of times a waitress or waiter has said to me "you didn't eat your veggies."

There is also that thing about pennies in my right pocket and all the other change in my left pocket.

Think Jack Nicholson in "As Good As It Gets."

Mary said...

Another OCD! How fun, I knew I liked you. You do realize, next time we all get together, we're going to be staring at your vegetables, don't you? Heh.

I personally read where you said two women had told you I love you to pieces and thought, eww. I hope he's not serious about them, that's a family phrase. If you had a girlfriend who said that, it would be icky. A mom or sister, well, that's not what I'd say, but it's a nice affectionate thing.

My mom tells me she misses me so much it hurts. I live five miles from her and see her at least once a week. I find this annoying. So I understand what you're saying.

Maybe you can start using a phrase you like better with your mom and sister, and they'll pick it up. I like I love you more than anything, or you're my favorite brother. Feel free to steal either or both.

Pat said...

I'm glad to see you're embracing your small compulsions. And sharing them with your friends. I myself am guilty of "magical thinking" from time to time (otherwise known as superstitions). I know they're only superstitions, but I feel better when I give in to them, though I try to do it unobtrusively for the most part. I suspect most of us have those little quirks we rarely share.

William J. said...


Hello fellow OCD!

I'm sure nobody noticed but when we ate out in groups I seldom ordered anything with veggies. At Higgins I had already had the pork chop in my pre group testing so knew it came with two aspargus. I ordered the same thing at the group dinner.

We have the same Mom. I'm over there almost every day and mom tells me she misses be every time I visit and then crys when I leave. I find it more than annoying, I find it manipulative.

If I was lucky enough to fall in love with someone who was in love with me I honestly wouldn't care how they told me they love me I would just appreciate them for who they are and hope they would do the same. She can even love me to pieces if she wants.

I love the idea of using a different phrase with them that is nice gentle way to get them to change. I may steal both.


William J. said...


Thank you for referring to them as small compulsions.

I'm also glad to know you have some magical thinking once in a while. I also agree with you that we all have little quirks that we don't share. I just seem to have more than most. When I played sports I always had a penny from the year I was born in my sports shoes. If just seemed like when I forgot to put it there we lost.


Lillian.Newman@comcast.net said...

I definitely hear you. I recently ended a friendship with a woman (I am a woman as well). We'd be emailing back and forth and out of the blue she would blurt out "I just love you to pieces!" It majorly freaked me out. Endearments are one thing but know what your boundaries are and what you are safe with and if you're not feeling too good about what they are saying share it with them, so you feel okay. That is what I did in so many ways. Ended up costing me the friendship, but it was the price I had to pay for my own truth.

William J. said...

Hi Lillian

Welcome to the blog. Thank you for posting.

I am really sorry that you had to end a friendship. I do think, however, that the best friendships are based on honesty and maybe it was just meant to be.

Since posting this piece I have gotten more comfortable with the phrase my sister and mom are using. Deep breath time.

I hope you will return to the blog.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bill, I truly appreciate your response. Respect is integral in any friendship. I love the saying "don't make anyone a priority in your life, when you are just an option in theirs". When respect goes, then the friendship sours. With family it's different. I will accept love you to pieces from them, but not from a casual friend I knew only for a few months. Keep in touch with your feelings and comfort level. They are there because you are wise in your own truth! :) Lillian (lillian@fragrantblossom.com)

William J. said...

Hi Lillian

So nice to see you here again. I love the bit of advise "don't make anyone a priority in your life, when you are just an option in theirs."

Respect and trust either goes so does the friendship.

Sometimes, however, I don't know what my feelings are lol.

Thanks again for posting.