When I first met Alex and fell in love, the SSBs I discovered were at first charming, then odd, and now they drive me crazy! (I am sure this was mutual). SSBs are Secret Single Behaviors -- those things we all do in private when we are living alone and no one else can see. I think I first heard this phrase from Sex in the City.
I found that some SSBs were curable while others would probably not even change with electroshock therapy. When they started to turn from cute to gross, I would say, "Alex, I love you, but your ____ is making me crazy!"
One day, Alex replied, "BUT is a subordinating conjunction that negates the preceding phrase in the sentence. It contradicts and diminishes the 'I Love You'. Why don't you say 'I love you, AND ...' instead? That way, it won't seem like there is an exception to your unconditional love for me." (Do you know anyone else who talks this way)?
Usually, if someone corrects your grammar while you're trying to vent it can cause you to lose your !@#$. Being good at English is only useful in Scrabble or Boggle if you ask me anyway. But I guess it's a sign of how much I love my husband that it didn't even occur to me to take it the wrong way. I actually listened to him and adjusted my language.
It took only a short while to make the new phrase second nature, and now I use it often. Too often.
The reason is it serves another purpose. It takes the bite out of something I am upset over. The statement lets me express my frustration and my love simultaneously. In spite of my (usually) ridiculously overblown reasons for being PO'd, it makes us both laugh.
- If I have to smell your gas one more time, you are going to sleep on the couch tonight...and I love you!
- If you pick your ear wax and wipe it on your shirt one more time, I will vomit...and I love you!
- You will get to eat in peace and quiet when I do...and I love you!
- You are irritating me, it's all your fault, I'm hormonal, and I can cry if I want to! And. I. Love. You.