Flood Insurance

“I’m not going to intentionally hurt our relationship ever.”

He paused thoughtfully.

“Unless I’m really mad at you, and I want to. Or if you deserve it– which will be adjudicated by only me.”

Lucky for me, Oliver was only joking. A lot of us, however, do this sort of thing until we die. We make statements, resolves, promises– and then add footnotes.

I’ll love you forever. Or at least until I get bored. Or as long as it’s convenient…whichever comes first.

Why yes dear, I’ll clean the dishes… in three weeks. Well, I’ll clean my dish and this spoon here. That’s two so that counts as plural, right? “Dishes?”

I’ll support you in whatever choice you make. As long as it’s the right choice. Which is, of course, defined by me, the source of all knowledge and truth in the world.

You get the idea. Basically it amounts to, “I’ll love you if___,” and then it would take a country of lawyers to sift through all the addendums we tack on. Please pay especial attention to the fine print, darling. Let’s not make any rash accusations of unreliability before I brandish the loopholes I so carefully left myself.

Really though, is that love? Real love?

Oh but surely we know better. No, that’s contract adjudication.

You know when your house floods and you thank god that floods are covered under your insurance policy, you call up the company, they whip out a 100 page tome of legalese to explain to you how they are completely justified in not helping you at all, and you spend an hour on the phone arguing with the insurance employee?

Mmmm, we don’t call that love either.

You can’t set conditions on love. It’s not love after that. It becomes something else. It becomes phone haggling with the customer service department of the mediocre to poor insurance company.

Don’t know about you, but I don’t want a marriage like that. I’d rather just love.

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