Love means . . .

About a million years ago (OK, 1970), a movie came out starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw called “Love Story.” It was based on a novel of the same name by Erich Segal, who also penned the screenplay. The movie was hugely successful, and has since been given the “number nine” position on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest love stories of all time. (Number one is “Casablanca.”)

I’ve never seen the movie. First of all, I wasn’t even born when it came out (OK, I was 10, but the first 30 years of my life don’t count – long story.) Secondly, as a kid I was against anything that was popular. The more popular, the more I hated it (to this day I’ve never seen an episode of “Starsky & Hutch” and I would have to leave the house when my Dad insisted on watching “The Dukes of Hazard” on our old two-channel Zenith television).

More importantly, my refusal to see the movie has been a protest against its ridiculous tagline; “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

What the heck does that mean? I’ve spend the last thirty seven years trying to figure that out and I still haven’t the faintest idea. I was quite happy to discover recently that Martine feels the same way (although in her case it didn’t keep her from seeing the movie). It’s not just me! It confuses other people too!

That expression makes no sense at all. I love Martine very much, but I’m apologizing to her all the time (“sorry for overcooking the broccoli again,” “sorry for snoring in your ear half the night,” “sorry about that thing with the goat,” etc.) Does my endless stream of little apologies mean that we’re not in love?

Perhaps I’m missing something. Maybe the answer is obvious but I’m too thick to get it. Therefore I’m recruiting you, the readers of the blork blog, to weigh in with your opinions. Please participate in this exclusive blork blog survey between now and Thursday, March 8, and register your opinion. (It’s quick – just three multiple choice questions and you don’t even have to tell me who you are.) I’ll report results on Friday.

Come on, you know you want to . . .  Go to blork’s “WTF does ‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry’ mean?” survey.

19 thoughts on “Love means . . .

  1. You have to understand that Blork is at home today with a bad cold… I should check if he’s feverish as well.

  2. No, no, no, do not apologize. Blork is right, right on with this one. Like I tried to post in the miserly survey (ya just get one line of commentary? For a mouth like mine?) Ryan O’Neil is a wife/child beater, and can there possibly be anyone on the planet uglier than Ali McGraw? (Farrah Fawcett-Majors?)

    So much for love.

  3. Ed,

    This is exactly the kind of post that makes me love this blog. Calling bullshit on popular culture.

    And neither “all’s fair in love and war” makes any sense. Like hell it is.

    And I hate quotes in general. They are used mostly by shallow people, who don’t have anything original or intelligent to say in the first place.

  4. You guys are right: Blork is right. He’s 37 years late with his rant, but that doesn’t make him less right. Right?

  5. As Thomas said, good on ya for calling bullshit. That line is just a marketing tag line… notorious for evoking some kind of emotional response but meaning nothing at all.

    My current favorite is the line used during the commerical for Tylenol Rapid Release Gels. On surface viewing, nothing much stands out. You may even think, “cool!”. But the voiceover dramatically says:

    “Holes. The advanced technology behind Tylenol Rapid Release Gels.”

    Holes. “Advanced technology”??

    (A link to the ad: — it’s the second to last entry.)

  6. OMG Susan–that is soo funny. “Holes: The New Technology”, hehehe…

    My least favourite ad now is the one with Kelly Preston for Neutrogena Micro-dermabrasion, where she says with such disdain and disgust, “I used to use my hands for microdermabrasion [rolls eyes at self in contempt and disgust], but now I use this […points to little electrical rotating scrub-brush which is, in effect, a belt sander].”

  7. I was 9 when this stupid movie came out and I remember going to see it with a bunch of my friends and while they were crying when she died at the end I was glad because she was such a bitch, at least to my 9 year old mind she was, after all she kept calling him preppy. Anyway, the only good that came out of watching the movie and reading the stupid book was that I knew I did not want to go to Harvard because it seemed so stuffy.

  8. As I noted on the survey, love means my never having to say sorry to you. You, on the other hand, better apologise for every possible slight, real or imagined.
    Yup, that’s how it works for me.

  9. Hey, hey, hey! 1st, I will respond to Michel: What??!! What??!! I think it’s time for a little ‘discussion’.

    I was born in the year that this movie was made, so I guess I have a (good?) excuse for not seeing it. While I do consider myself to be at times soft & mushy, even romantic, this whole concept of ‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry’ is only believed by the same delusional people who believe that ‘I can change him/her’, ‘He didn’t mean to cheat on me’, and ‘We don’t need to work on our relationship’. WAKE UP AND GET A GRIP! That’s all I’m saying.

  10. We don’t apologize….we just add it to our list of grievances.
    The possibilities for future blackmail somehow manages to soothe the wounds.

  11. My favourite reference to this line is from the movie What’s Up, Doc? in which Ryan O’Neal plays Howard:

    Judy: Love means never having to say you’re sorry.
    Howard: That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.


  12. That survey’s “other, please specify”-entry allowed for 40 characters, which was not enough. So that’s why I enter it here.

    The only interpretation of that tagline I’ve heard that made sense to me was:

    You never have to say you’re sorry, you just say sorry because you want to.

  13. Yeah, not enough room for comments on the survey so here I am. In 1970 I was a newlywed and while we did see lots of movies pre-wedding we saw very few after. Better things to do ;) So didn’t see the movie. There was lots of talk then about how sappy the line was but it was far from the only sappy line of the times! Wanna go off on another one? When did “to thine ownself be true. . . .” become good advice? If if’s good advice why did the Bard put it in the mouth of a nutjob character?

  14. Sorry about the 40 character limit — I don’t think I have any control over that.

    In the meantime, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who has this problem. Although Alison seems to have something there. That interpretation does kinda-sorta make some sense, but it’s still pretty hokey!

  15. John Lennon, the great prophet, said: “Love means having to say your sorry every fifteen minutes.”

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