Do you really love me or are you just another racquetball?

We haven’t talked in a while, soI was just wondering how you felt about me.

People keep telling me “You know that she loves you, right?”

I want to say “yes” (and in fact I have dishonestly answered “yes”  justto make the speaker feel better, but I hate having to be dishonest), but having other people tell me that you love me reminds me of a racquetball I once knew.

When I was a wee thing, my favorite Sunday school teacher announced that she brought her pet into class.  We twittered with anticipation (since twittering on cell phones hadn’t been invented yet) as she would bring us a fishbowl-shaped object covered with a cloth. 

It didn’t really matter that fish weren’t that interesting, we were at the age where we were excited by any pet.

She announced that she brought her pet goldfish and gathered us all around for the unveiling.  She pulled the cloth away and revealed…not a goldfish…but a blue, racquetball floating in the water, half-filling the bowl. 

We’d all howl with laughter and exclaim, “That’s not a goldfish!”

(Object lessons are always an instant hit when we could prove that we were smarter than the teacher.)

Since this was Sunday School, the lesson was religious in nature…but I think it still applies equally to love:

Saying that you have a goldfish is nice, but putting something in a goldfish bowl isn’t enough to make it a goldfish, feeding it goldfish food isn’t enough to make it a goldfish, filling the bowl with gravel and plastic treasure chests and a diver that bobs up and down isn’t enough to make it a goldfish. 

Only if something acts like a goldfish is it actually a goldfish.

Things are defined by their actions and not by their descriptions.

…or as the old song says, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and there’s duck doo on your pickup truck, it ain’t no armadillo.”

If it looks like a racquetball looks, floats like a racquetball floats, and does not eat fishfood like a racquetball does not eat fishfood…it ain’t no goldfish.

You might tell people that you love me and other people might believe it, but if your love exists solely in an explanation and not in your actions…it ain’t love. 

Saying that you love someone is nice, but saying it isn’t enough to actually love someone else.  Only by acting with love someone will you actually love them.

The nice thing is that once you act like you love me (if you have an interest in doing so), you won’t need to have someone else tell me that you love me…because I will already know.

Until then when someone asks, “You know she loves you, right?” all I can do is shrug my shoulders, because I honestly don’t know.

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