It’s another story about Ernest. I know, you’ve probably heard enough about him, after the story where he got hit by the angry client. But this actually happened the same day, and gave me more to think about.
We’re walking a client up, another escort and I, Ernest following. We get past the gauntlet, just at the door, and the client’s making the turn onto the clinic property when I hear him say it. He says, “Come next door, we’d love to love on you.”
That’s my first reaction. “Ugh,” is my second. It makes me shudder.
I don’t want him to “love” me, much less “love on me.” Ugh. I have to pause each time I write that. Ewwwwww.
Then I think, maybe I’m not being fair. Maybe it’s some cultural reference that I’m missing, some kind of church thing. You know, I don’t watch TV, sometimes there are things that just go over my head. So I google it.
I find a song. By Jagged Edge. The first verse goes like this:
Girl if you want love and you need it now, girl
I’m the one you call name on the speed dial, girl
Want love don’t look no further you’re always right for me, you never hit the curb girl.
See when you come when you want that real shit
same place you come when you want one real quick
oh uh uh oh uh uh oh
You know, that’s how it go, that’s how it go.
Um, that didn’t help. I’m still thinking “Gross. No.”
Then there’s “Lay My Love on You,” but that’s also more romantic, and surely not what Ernest means when he says it.
Finally, I find a short documentary called “I Would Love on You,” which was actually kind of interesting, about a competition to see who could “love” someone the most, as measured by a Functional MRI. Weird, interesting, but probably not relevant to our Ernest protesting on the sidewalk.
“Love to love on you,” seems to have pretty clear sexual connotations to me, which gives it that extra “ick” factor. But even without that, proclamations of love on the sidewalk by protesters seem manipulative, insincere, and coercive.
And smug. They seem smug with it, as if those three words justify their actions.
I started this post a week ago, and I keep coming back to it~ not quite satisfied with what I’ve said, or maybe how I’ve said it. A tinge uncomfortable ~ am I just being mean? They really are sincere, i think. They think what they’re doing is loving.
There are worse things they can say ~ worse things they do say. So why does it seem so uncomfortable to me? I feel like I’m missing something.
There’s a touch of drama triangle, right? Cause love is good, and so I must be anti-love, and that would be bad… and I want to keep writing, to make sure you understand ~ I’M not the bad guy here…
And that’s pure drama triangle. I’ve been sucked into not trusting my own sense of what’s ok and what isn’t. Feeling like I have to justify my reaction. I can hear Nurse Betty and D in my head. “Oh, that’s sad, you think love is wrong, we just want the best for these women…”
And then it hits me. It reminds me of ~
~ ok, this might be kind of embarrassing. But it reminds me of guys in my youth, in high school, back in the day, guys who wanted sex. Who thought the magic words were “I love you.” As if that meant you were supposed to have sex with them.
Well. That’s what it reminds me of. “I love you’s” with a barely veiled expectation that you should do something in return. That “I love you” equals “you owe me.” Sincere in that same kind of way as the groping high school boy in the back seat of his daddy’s car.
So they want the clients to stop, to listen to them, to go to the anti-clinic, to change their minds. To trust a stranger to know what’s best for them, all for a “we love you.”
And if that’s what the client wants to do, that’s fine with me.
But I know people who practice love for others in ways that aren’t coercive, people who don’t say it looking for a return on the investment. I can tell the difference. And I’m back where I started.
“Come next door. We’d love to love on you.” Saying that to a stranger? It’s just gross.