News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

July 24, 2012

LIZ CIANCONE: The true meaning of love … really!

TERRE HAUTE — I got so hot and tired and bored the other day that I actually turned on the television set in the middle of the day.

I discovered that I really haven’t been missing very much, but I did learn that people are having emotional involvements with some of the oddest things.

Several young women went into rhapsodies over their telephones. Each extolled the virtues of the phone they had purchased and the “plan” which apparently renders the thing operational. I assume the “plan” translates to the company which sends out the bill at the end of every month. To a woman they trilled, “I LOVE my phone!” It’s hard not to sympathize with folks whose love life is so circumscribed.

I thought it was possible to be pleased, or satisfied, or content, or even enthusiastic about a telephone program, but it never occurred to me to conduct a love relationship with a telephone. I don’t much like to talk on the telephone, much less would I consider a long-term emotional relationship.

It is also possible to love your furniture dealer, I learned. I’ve bought quite a few pieces of furniture in my day, but have always dealt with a salesman rather than the dealer so I can’t honestly say whether or not I would even consider a relationship with a dealer.

I have owned several pieces of furniture which I have enjoyed using over the years, but I honestly can’t claim that I love even one of them — certainly not in the same sense or the same degree that I love my Best Friend or my family or my country. I can’t imagine finding the same degree of comfort in an easy chair or a mattress that I find in a hug from my BF.

A few comments concerned loving their medication which seemed to solve all of life’s problems leaving the folks beaming with health and well-being. I guess they didn’t read about the side effects, “some of which could lead to death.”

Have we really lost the sense of what words mean? I’ve heard people tell me that they “love asparagus” while they “hate” broccoli. What has happened to simply enjoying a good vegetable, or deploring some abstract such as bigotry? We can like a lot of things without rising to the extreme of love. So many words are floating around which better define our likes and dislikes that it might pay to define our preferences more specifically.

Besides, we might enjoy expanding our vocabulary along with our emotional nuances.

I’m still a bit worried about all those young women whose love life is centered in a telephone.

Liz Ciancone is a retired

Tribune-Star reporter. Send e-mail to


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