We don’t hate.

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“We don’t hate.” Mum would say. “We dislike intensely.”

She said this so much during my childhood that it has been drummed into me so much that I now cringe when I hear the word HATE.

“I hate tomato!”

“We don’t hate. We dislike intensely.”

“I hate school.”

“We don’t hate. We dislike intensely.”

And so on and so on until I was like a hate-bashing zombie. I now drum it into my kids, along with “Stop swinging on the chair because if you fall off and break your neck I am going to put you into a home.”

To be honest it would take a very strange person who LOVED EVERYTHING, not to mention a really dull one.

Jack came home a few weeks ago with his homework. His spelling list had the word LOATHE on it. He asked me what it meant and so I told him that meant the same thing as dislike intensely. But in my opinion, it is a wonderful word, not as aggressive as HATE, but much more loaded and powerful. So now we get nuggets like “I loathe broccolini” and “I loathe Justin Bieber.”

I rarely meet people who I loathe, perhaps I move in delightful circles?

So right, I have this theory that some people can just instantly dislike someone for no apparent reason. A million years ago while I was living in London, I met such a person. She was a newish friend of a good friend of mine, and I just got the worst vibes from her. She was surly, unfriendly and just a tad rude. When I confessed to my friend that I was not warm for her form, I was answered with.. “That’s ok. She hates your guts!”

After I picked myself off the floor, my brain whirled. How could she hate me? And after a while I came up with a theory that put my mind at ease. And it is this.

Ok so say you are at a dog park and there are dogs everywhere, all waggly tailed and joyful. And a new dog turns up and does what dogs do, which is to seek out and sniff assholes. Everyone is getting along really well with the new dog, apart from one small fox terrier who takes one sniff of the new dog’s butthole and promptly goes for the jugular. There is no rhyme nor is there any reason, but they just don’t get along.

So when you apply my theory to real life people, it helps you accept that not everyone is going to like you, and that is fine. You are just throwing off the wrong scent. And feel grateful that for every ass sniffer out there that doesn’t like you, there are dozens of people who do.

As long as you loathe, not hate. Hate is ugly.

What do you loathe right now?