She put her book on her lap as if a sudden idea occurred to her.
“When did the word like become so…”
“Commercial?” he replied from his work desk on the other side of the room. She smiled.
“You always can finish my – “
“Dinner?” He interrupted with a smile.
“Oh so funny,” she said as she dangled her legs over the side of the dark red couch of their study. “You’re working pretty hard over there.”
“Marketing doesn’t market itself, as my boss always says.”
“Trying to get the new book more likes?”
“Yup,” he said with a frown. “It’s tough. We’re up to 1, 256. My goal is 3000 by the end of the week.”
“Do you get what I’m saying, though? It’s almost as if the word like has lost all meaning. The power of liking something has been diminished, in a meaningful way. I heard a ten-year-old tell his friend that she should like his blog, and she said only if he liked her friend’s pic for some contest. He agreed. But what does he care about the contest? He liked it, I’m sure, as soon as he got home, so that she would fulfill her side of the verbal contract and like his blog. The word is losing its umph, its pizzazz, its gumption.”
He turned to face her, which was simple since he was in a swivel chair. “From a human standpoint, I totally see what you mean and can get behind you a hundred percent. But as a heartless bastard in the world of marketing, what you’re saying right now is scaring the shit out of me.”
“Maybe I’ll start a campaign. A campaign to take back the word like! I’ll tell the world to stop liking things and to just like things! Real life like! I’ll never forget the day you first told me you liked me, I giggled and blushed. Remember?”
He nodded even though his back was to her.
“Maybe you should start a Facebook page.”
“Very funny. But if we weren’t together, and you told me that you liked me now, it just wouldn’t mean the same thing. I like you. Well, that’s nice and all, but you also liked Girls in Wet T-Shirts and California Raisins today, so I’m not really sure where I fit in on your list of priorities.”
“Okay, first off, I liked Girls in Wet T-Shirts as a joke. And I happened to be eating raisins yesterday and thought about how much I liked them, so I liked them.”
“Oh trust me, I laughed at the joke, no worries there. I knew it was your sense of humor aimed right at me. I’m just saying.”
He clicked the mouse a few times. “Hmm…looks like someone likes Those Pantyhose That Come in an Egg Container today. Can I start calling you hypocrite now or should I wait?”
She laughed as he turned to face her again and used his feet to wheel right up to the couch. As she looked at him he took her hands in his and pulled her upright and they faced each other. The smile left his face and he looked at her with love and longing.
With all of the seriousness he could muster, he whispered, “I like you.”
She smiled and blushed.