Must  Love Be A Bent Butterknife?


My mother was a creative problem solver. In her pragmatic approach to life, she plowed ahead, assessed the situation, dealt with it, and moved on. Still, her ‘problem-solution-what’s next’ approach often resulted in negative outcomes. For example, instead of using a screwdriver, mom would pick up a butter knife to tighten a drawer pull or cabinet knob, corkscrewing the tip in the process. She saw a completed job. I saw a bent knife.

I loved my mom, but my early frustration at her improvised problem solving led to my lifetime commitment to finding the right tool for the job. You wouldn’t use a sledgehammer to hang a picture any more than you’d use a tack hammer to pound a fencepost. 

I realized the other day that though I love my mom, I also love football and a good laugh. I love the warmth of the summer sun, and my wife too. And the carnal application of love has resulted in our two daughters. It is easy to agree that in each case love’s intended purpose is not the same.Though the vagaries of love have kept my marriage alive,offering some magical emotional glue, the same word cannot be expected to perform so many different emotional tasks. 

Men are accused of not expressing their feelings but I have come to believe that we’ve been handed a butter knife and asked to build a house. And if the word ‘love’ is a butter knife, it cannot perform like its Swiss Army Knife cousin. To the average guy, ‘love’ is a 20 volt lithium battery-powered Porter Cable cordless drill/driver that will easily insert a 4 inch screw into an oak 4X4. Sure, that’s great!  But not if you’re trying to tighten the hinge on the arm of your sunglasses.

We need fewer emotionally bent butter knives. So, in an effort to implement my mother’s problem solving approach, I retreated to my ‘emotional word-shop’ recently to craft love based portmanteaus. As a result, I’m happy to lovingly present these word mashups to delineate and define more-exact suitable applications for love. Here, from my newly crafted emotional toolbox are a few new word samples to ease the heavy emotional lifting that ‘love’ performs daily. Feel free to add to the list since I firmly believe that, “You simply can’t have enough tools.” 

Zalust: is the emotion felt by the average guy while eating his favorite pizza. The best day ever? Dayagape. Whereas, when you look up and fall instantly in love, that is droolamo, and boonlove is the feeling you have towards your best buddy.  The most powerful soulmate love must be: mando-mucho-gusto.   Then there’s sportamor  meaning the unbreakable bond between a guy and his favorite team. Sislove and amobro can be used to describe how you feel about your siblings with papagape and momamor  reserved for your parents. 

I’d love to say more, but I’ve got to take all the bent butter knives down to the basement and pound them straight using my Stanley two and a half pound polyurethane headed dead blow hammer.

Entertaining audiences for over 25 years, Mike Perry appears at schools, festivals, picnics, parties, and variety shows. His performances incorporate: comedy, circus skills, magic, storytelling and audience participation, to excite and inform, educate and entertain children of all ages.

“Growing up is optional. Having fun is mandatory! “

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© Mike Perry