I started using the expression in the earliest days of writing this blog. This is because I actually say this a lot in conversation: "I met a woman yesterday named Suzanne and I fell madly in love with her." I think the reason I started using the expression at all is because a) it's always true, and b) I think it sounds funny for a guy (me) to actually say those words. Us hirsute and gruff manly-type units often get stereotyped as being unable to express our feelings, particularly using the "L" word. Because of this gender profiling I think I started out saying that I'm "madly in love" with lots of people just to be perverse. Plus it's always true.
As I write this, however, I just realized I'm the only adult male I've ever heard actually use these words in a casual conversation with someone else. I don't think I know of any other guy who ever says "I'm in love with so-and-so," joking or not. Maybe we really are unable to express our feelings with the "L" word. Hunh. Guess I'll have to think about that some more. Well, I already strongly suspected that I'm not a typical guy so no surprise there at least.
At any rate I started out this blog using the phrase "madly in love" in bold type -- Margo Timmins was the first I believe -- and have been using it ad nauseam ever since -- and it's always true. As I said long ago by way of explanation, "falling madly in love is something I do about every twenty minutes when I’m out in public and not at the YMCA." This has become a Hulles blog tradition that I've come to cherish. In the good old Mythos I started a section for women I'm not madly in love with and so far Jennifer Garner is the only inmate of Cell Block Not.
So that's the back story. But, for example, LaCosta (Lollie) doesn't necessarily know this, so what is she to think when she sees me say (in bold type!) that I'm madly in love with her? Probably something like this:
Oh my God, what is this guy saying about me now? He just wrote that he's madly in love with me in front of God and everybody, everybody being maybe three or eight other people besides me. What the fuck? For one thing he's a creepy old white guy and I wouldn't have anything to do with him if he was the last man on erf. For another thing, even if he is actually madly in love with me, the jerk, why would he say it smack dab in the middle of a blog post? Next time I see cK I'm going to beat the snot out of him for letting Hulles follow my back trail to my home page. And if I ever meet Hulles in person I'm going to ram a pointe shoe so far up his ass that he can taste for himself whether or not there's wood in the toe.
Or something like that. I get the feeling Lollie doesn't take much shit from anybody, which is one of the reasons I like her so much.
Perhaps you noticed earlier that I kept insisting that when I say I'm madly in love with someone it's always true. You should have noticed, that's why I kept italicizing it. Well, it is always true, dammit. However, being "madly in love" has traditionally implied that you could only attain this state with one person at time, and I've said that about 3,283 women so far in this blog, so what's up? Glad you asked. I suppose I'm being sort of poetic when I say that I'm madly in love with someone here. What I probably actually mean is that, were I to hang around the woman I'm speaking of for any length of time, I really would fall madly in love with her and only her and change the oil in her car for the rest of the days of our lives. This is because it's my nature is to wear my heart on my sleeve, as they say. Actually, the way I like to put it is that "I wear my heart on the sleeve that I sneeze into."
But enough penetrating and unflinching self-analysis. In the course of thinking about all this, I came up with the idea of actually ranking the women I am madly in love with, from the top (someone I would immediately have babies with before even letting her get the words "Who the hell are you?" out of her mouth) to the bottom (someone I admire from afar, possibly even fantasize about, but wouldn't actually want to talk to if she was the last woman on erf). Wouldn't a numbered list be a good idea? I could have whats-his-name's class at Wellesley go through all my blog posts and make a list of such women, then I could sit down and rank them.
Of course it's not a good idea. One advantage to being the world's oldest adolescent is that I'm finally starting to learn about women. It's not so much that I understand them, mind you, but more and more I'm able to predict their behavior in a given situation, no small feat as any man will tell you. And I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that an ordered list of women I'm madly in love with is a really bad idea.
If you happen to be a woman and you created a list of men that you desired and I found myself ranked, say 11th, my reaction would be "Hunh, she's delirious, I should be El Numero Uno, but that's a woman for you, probably fried her brain taking too many Cosmo love-compatibility quizzes, what are you gonna do?" then go flirt with a twenty-year-old barista with big hooters to make myself feel better. Or just get shitfaced with a Mexican Windbreaker and blow the whole thing off, so to speak.
But a woman? I know for a fact that if you're a woman and you see me write in this blog that I'm madly in love with so-and-so, some part of you thinks to yourself, "Bee-yotch! I can't believe Hulles could write that about that skanky hoe so-and-so. I feel slimy all over just being in the same solar system as her." The weird thing is that this is true even if you wouldn't have anything to do with me if I was the last man on erf! It's about competition I suppose. I have female friends I've known for fifteen years who would rather be disemboweled with a wooden spoon than get down with yours truly, but just let me say in their presence that I'm meeting, say, a steamy young esthetician named Jen for coffee, and all of a sudden it's "That tramp! She's no good for you at all. She's only after you for your money, or would be if you had any money. Who's Jen?"
So if I made a list of women with whom I was madly in love and ordered it by most MIL to least MIL, imagine the vitriol, even if absolutely no one on the list really wanted to be there. The only person who wouldn't be muttering and stropping the edges of her razor-sharp nail file would be whoever was number one on the list, and she'd be all worried that I was going to actually pursue her or something: "Eeugh! Yay, I'm number one, but eeugh!" All the rest of the listees would be snapping viciously at the ankles of the ones ranked above them and cruelly taunting the ones below them. And every woman jane of them would be pissed at me. I'd have to start reading the spam and deleting the emails from real people, the reaction would be so violent. "Man Found Stabbed To Death By 3,283 Nail Files; Police Seek Really Pissed Manicurist."
And the women who weren't on the list? Yikes. They'd be lurking outside my blog, and when anyone came by to read it they'd stop them and say, "Hey, you don't really want to go in there. The guy's an alcoholic level-3 sex offender and barking mad besides, and if you have a border collie you might think about keeping it indoors from now on if you know what I mean." Hell hath no fury as a woman unlisted. Even my own grandmother would be slightly pissed that she wasn't on the list and she's been dead for several months now.
So no, I'm not going to make a list of the women that I've said I was madly in love with in this blog, and even if I did I most certainly would not order it. Besides, I'm madly in love with all of them (you) equally -- that is to say, utterly and completely -- so ranking the the list makes no sense at all. Thus you women can all breathe a collective "Eeugh!" and go back to thinking about window treatments or whatever it is that you do when you're not reading the Hulles daily drivel.
And if you're a man, you're probably thinking, "Holy shit! Is that agile footwork or what? I can't believe he said all that stuff about women and came out smelling like a rose. I thought for sure he was gonna get killed off by Lollie before he was done with the fifth paragraph!" Well, guys, remember that I'm a trained professional in this field and a pretty decent sprinter besides. Please don't attempt this sort of thing at home. If you absolutely must try it out for yourself because you're making your own Jackass movie and have already rented the dwarves, remember to hide or destroy your girlfriend's manicure set first. "Police Baffled By Yet Another In Series Of Nail File Murders; Governor Orders Salons Closed Across The State."