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"I love you" ---- warning! danger!

paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20529
    ∞

I was thinking about the book "Atlas Shrugged" (granted, this is fiction) where people were portayed as expressing their love and it turned out it was pretty empty. And then there were people that demonstrated intense love but never uttered these words. But they did utter words to the effect of "I am your doormat as long as you will let me" and the other said something similar. And every day that they were not treated as a doormat was a gift.

So the whole doormat thing seemed about a thousand times healthier than "I love you". In the book.

And then outside of the book .... I kinda think there is a helluva lot of weight there. "Let me be your doormat" does seem to be a statement that goes beyond "I love you." Clearly there is a powerful love thing as part of the doormat package. But I can see people saying "I love you but I will never be your doormat."

What does "love" mean?

I've put some thought into this and I have a lame theory. Love is trust times ten.

The doormat stuff sorta supports this. "I offer my body, soul and all of my posessions to you to do with as you wish." --- seems pretty trusting. "I love you, but if you leave the toilet seat up one more time ..." - not so much.

Just some crazy thoughts.


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Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6661
    
    5

I love you, but if you leave the toilet seat up one more time ...


I am never gonna understand the toilet seat thing


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paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20529
    ∞

Originally posted by John Meyers:


I am never gonna understand the toilet seat thing


One time I left the toilet seat up and I guess my cousin was mighty used to it always being down. At least I think that's why she was screaming so much in the middle of the night that one night ....
Maureen Augustus
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 18, 2006
Posts: 72
Let me see if I can put it to you delicately.
Women use the toilet in a sitting position. There are times, especially in the middle of the night when we're sleepwalking to the bathroom, that we don't necessarily look before we sit. When the seat is up, we fall in and the water's pretty cold.

Nice visual, huh?


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24183
    
  34

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Heard that argument before, don't buy it.

Men use a toilet in seat-down position half the time, too. From a man's perspective, you're going to use the toilet in one of two modes, so you always have to check the current state and, optionally, toggle the state before... performing your operation. So to a man, it seems like a big waste of effort to always leave it in some known position, because half the time, that position is going to be wrong, anyway, for the next man to come along. Unless you'd like us to use the seat-down position for both modes of operation, but we get yelled at for that too... Personally, we'd be fine with that.

But actually in my house I get dunned if I leave the lid up. Supposed to keep the whole thing closed down.


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Maureen Augustus
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 18, 2006
Posts: 72
Eh, everyone's got their pet peeve, I suppose.

Your wife probably doesn't like to see the inside of a toilet bowl. My husband gets in trouble for leaving his stuff on our kitchen table too long, because I insist on a spotless table. In turn, I get in trouble if I rest anything on the hood or roof of our car, since he's certain it'll instantly scratch the paint. We've got a 1999 Saturn, not a 2007 Maserati.

What does your wife get in trouble for?
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24183
    
  34

Originally posted by Maureen Augustus:

What does your wife get in trouble for?


Eating ingredients. "Honey, didn't we buy some baby corn for this stir-fry?" "Umm.... yeah.... I kinda ate it."
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17250
    
    6

I think it is kind of like this.

I will everything that I can to make my wife happy, even at my own expense, meaning I don't care about my happiness, I am spending 100% of my effort to make her happy, and she feels and acts the same way with me. So even though I say I am your "doormat", I am never treated that way, and vice versa.

Mark


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Madhav Lakkapragada
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 03, 2000
Posts: 5040
Originally posted by Mark Spritzler:

I will everything that I can to make my wife happy, even at my own expense, meaning I don't care about my happiness, I am spending 100% of my effort to make her happy, and she feels and acts the same way with me. So even though I say I am your "doormat", I am never treated that way, and vice versa.

Mark


And there lies the argument 'Honey, Why do you want to be the doormat when I don't treat you like one?', which she doesn't really mean. But, from a guys perspective since she asked, she means it. And then the guy feels like that doormat. Are we getting anywhere!!!

- m


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Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6661
    
    5

When the seat is up, we fall in and the water's pretty cold.


Hehehe ! I actually visualized that. Whatever happened to the 60 watt bulb above the toilet. Women should turn the light on before they sit. Or we should have a position sensitive light device that glows red if the toilet seat is up. Or better still install a 80 V 0.1 Amp line on the rim of the toilet so it gives women a shocking reminder to check if the toilet seat is down ( that and the water should do the trick ! ). The only problem with this solution is when we men accidentally piss on the rim and get electrocuted between the legs.
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Originally posted by John Meyers:
Or we should have a position sensitive light device that glows red if the toilet seat is up.

I actually saw something like this last I went to Lowe's. The green light (that goes inside! the toilet bowl) I think gets activated when the room is dark.

Really what I think would be best is a little switch-button-with-a-LED to affix to the edge of the underside of the top lid... that still only activates in the dark. That way there is a light indicator at night when both lids are up OR when both lids are down.


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Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Too often "I love you" translates to "You make me feel good right now".

Being a doormat = choosing to put someone else's needs and interests above your own.

Sometimes our feelings compell us to be the unselfish doormat. Other times the feelings simply aren't there, so staying with that commitment becomes more difficult. But that's where I think love truly is - in choosing to gratefully put someone else's needs first when we don't feel like it.
Anand Hariharan
Rancher

Joined: Aug 22, 2006
Posts: 257

Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
I was thinking about the book "Atlas Shrugged" (granted, this is fiction) where people were portayed as expressing their love and it turned out it was pretty empty. And then there were people that demonstrated intense love but never uttered these words. But they did utter words to the effect of "I am your doormat as long as you will let me" and the other said something similar. And every day that they were not treated as a doormat was a gift.


Let me get a few things off the bat:

  • It's been many years since I read anything by Rand.
  • My literary appreciation skills isn't exactly legendary.
  • This is probably not the tangent you intended this thread to take.


  • IIRC, this central lady character (head of the railroad) shows her "intense love" to three people during the course of the book - the millionaire playboy, Hank Rearden, and of course John Galt. Her relationship with John Galt is probably the closest to the door mat analogy you have -- She crash lands into this hi-tech valley, and she is kind of stuck there, and she says stuff like I will sew stuff for you if you let me stay in your house (or some such thing).

    All that said, I think this door mat analogy goes against the very face of her book -- for her, the ego is paramount. So my question is, how exactly did you get this "real love is like being treated like a door mat" from Atlas Shrugged?


    "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    Jeroen T Wenting
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 1847
    hmm, so these people take pleasure in being ignored, trampled, walked over, and brushed aside.
    There's a word for that and it's not love, it's masochism


    42
    Mark Spritzler
    ranger
    Sheriff

    Joined: Feb 05, 2001
    Posts: 17250
        
        6

    Originally posted by Madhav Lakkapragada:


    And there lies the argument 'Honey, Why do you want to be the doormat when I don't treat you like one?', which she doesn't really mean. But, from a guys perspective since she asked, she means it. And then the guy feels like that doormat. Are we getting anywhere!!!

    - m


    But the point is, we don't treat each other as a doormat. Sure, I don't require her not treat me like a doormat. But, she would also know that if you did, the relationship wouldn't last.

    Mark
    Cameron Wallace McKenzie
    author and cow tipper
    Saloon Keeper

    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 4968
        
        1

    Being someone's doormat has more to do with an individuals low self-esteem, than with love. Dependency isn't love - it's mental illness.
    paul wheaton
    Trailboss

    Joined: Dec 14, 1998
    Posts: 20529
        ∞

    You guys have completely missed the point.
    Dave Lenton
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 20, 2005
    Posts: 1241
    Originally posted by John Meyers:
    I am never gonna understand the toilet seat thing
    I prefer to leave the seat and the the lid down. Not for political reasons (although it does bring a kind of equality in that both myself and my girlfriend need to move something), but because of what happens when the loo is flushed. I read somewhere (I don't know if its true, but it sounds reasonable) that when a toilet is flushed, a fine spray made up of what ever was in the bowl will go several feet up into the air and then settle over anything in the bathroom... including toothbrushes.


    [ September 12, 2006: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]

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    Dave Lenton
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 20, 2005
    Posts: 1241
    Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
    I've put some thought into this and I have a lame theory. Love is trust times ten.
    But is it possible to love someone without trusting them? I don't know, perhaps. Or would that just be a crush, and not "real love"? Depends how you define love I suppose.

    That's just it though - everyone can have a different definition of the word making it odd that people often throw it around in conversation without really knowing what other people understand by it. Is there any subject which appears in more songs and poems then "love"? Perhaps that is an indication that we don't really understand it, and that we try and use songs and poems to explore what it could mean.
    [ September 12, 2006: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
    Alan Wanwierd
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 30, 2004
    Posts: 624
    After re-reading the fantastic "Ladder Theory" ocne again we can describe a succesful relationship using both models - the "Doormat" model and the "Ladder Theory" model:

    In the "doormat" model with both partners willing to be treated as a doormat and neither partner wanting to treat eth other as a doormat we have a sort of stalemate - a "mutually assured emotional destruction" pact! As long as eth strength of conviction of both parties is equal the relationship stands a good chance of working - but the moment one party ceases to 'buy in' to the agreement they WILL start using the iother as a doormat and the inevotabel; emotional destruction begins....

    In "Ladder Theory" world the perfect relationship can be described as one where both parties BELIEVE they are at the bottom of a ladder disparity. (i.e. believe that their partner is mroe attractive/desirable/rich etc etc than they could reasonably expect to attract). Since positioning on someones ladder is completely subjective this mutual percieved disparity *can* occur and is the only way a long term relationship can last. Both parties believe they are doing as well as they possibly could do.... If the illusion is shattered either by a realignment of yours partners position on your ladder, OR by a sudden increase in self-esteem leading to a reassessment of where you should be on your partners ladder - then trouble is ahead!!
     
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