Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Dear Mr PostManners:
I am in a relationship with someone which I hope will develop into something long term. However, recently, I discovered my significant other doing something that disturbed me. One night, I awakened to discover that he wasn't in bed any longer. I rose and searched through the apartment for him. I discovered him in the living room, inhaling the scent off my leather jacket. At first, I was flattered--after all, it's nice to know that someone likes the way you smell. Then I realized that he was saying "I love you" over and over again. Unfortunately, I can't tell if he was rehearsing to say the same thing to me, which he has never done, or if he has developed a deep and sincere relationship with my black leather jacket. How can I tell? How do I ask? How do I respond if I discover him whispering sweet nothings to my coat again?
Yours most sincerely,
Lost in Leather
There is no doubt that "I love you, too," is the only really acceptable reply to "I love you." Acceptable to the lover, that is. Of course, since he seems to be saying it to inanimate objects and not to your undoubtedly thrilling self, then one suspects that he isnít demanding a reply. Unless, of course, he is just trying it out as a proxy, hinting about his true feelings toward you. (One confesses that one is a devout romantic. Oneís social secretary would dispute this fact, since said person has called one many other quite unprintable names on more than one occasion -- degree of unprintability depending on the particular activity in which we may be engaged, of course. But one digresses.)
It is, of course, possible that he feels both love for you and love for leather. Many a young man has been confused by his attraction to the accoutrements, and been unable to determine whether or not it is the man or the trappings.
First, of course, one advises that you simply ask him. This is always the simplest path. Of course, it is also the most fraught path; after all, he could always say that he really does only love you for your jacket.
Second, you can always decide to encourage his love of you through his love of leather. One has discovered that the cross your heart harness is almost always a fail safe item. (Of course, this assumes that you have the build and/or the chutzpah to wear such an item.) One has been told by one's social secretary that one looks quite fetching in one's leather pouch. And one's social secretary looks quite lovely in his chaps, wearing nothing beneath, brandishing his studded paddle and shouting, "Who's your daddy! who's your daddy!" ... Ahem. Yes. Well. I digress. The point is that by intertwining his love of leather with his love for you, soon you can encourage an entirely codependent relationship!
One suspects that the best path, however, would be to ask The Question first. If you receive an affirmative answer, then you can go forward with the leather.
(although One cannot imagine why you would want to obtain advice elsewhere.)Emily Post Institute