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I Do Not Appreciate You Saying “I Appreciate You”

John Rauschenberg


It's a normal part of the day: you do a small favor like opening the door for somebody, and they respond with "thanks" or just a smile. The transaction is over--you use a few calories in exchange for a dose of serotonin. Good stuff. Yet some people remain obsessed with finding the sweetest and most distinctive possible way to express themselves in the face of the apparently marvelous labor you have performed, with disastrous results. The latest obnoxiously cutesy line is “I appreciate you.”


I contend that you did not appreciate me, italics or otherwise. You know nothing of my true largesse. I didn't cook one of my famous breakfasts in bed for you. You experienced neither the toad nor the perfect architecture of the hole in which said toad rests. You didn't hear one of my famously droll observations on the whimsies of contemporary life (just ask me for my hot take on horses versus self-driving cars). You didn't watch me ascend from a pool in slow motion wearing only a Speedo and my innocence. You definitely didn't see me do the New York Times Saturday crossword, because you would use a stronger verb than "appreciate" (think “cherish”).


In fact, I have the uninspired door-opening skills of a Luxembourgian shut-in, but you appreciated something I did, not me, and I won't think you're a shallow, transactional human being if you say that. And if you truly did appreciate me, that's creepy. Like "moist" times three creepy. You didn't even talk to me, and don't say that in one glance you took in my entire physical and spiritual presence and appreciated it like an art historian appreciates a Braque after examining it for weeks. You spent only milliseconds on my full, throbbing calves, which deserve sonnets in themselves. Did you really notice that in a cruel joke, God made my left foot men’s size 9.5 and my right foot 9, so one of my shoes is always tight or loose? Still, I wobble along valiantly with the patience of Job. And what of my internal organs? People have always said my kidneys have the sensual curves of spooning Kardashian sisters.


In conclusion, the next time you hear someone say "I appreciate you," just check-raise and respond with "I love you,” or even better, “I know.” Or, if you really want to be remembered: "I don't know what to say. Nobody has ever made me feel like this. I trudged here thinking--or rather not even thinking--that this Wednesday would be a typical colorless Sisyphean exercise, a hopeless stacking of deeds against the void. But one look at your lithe, wanton hand reaching for the door, in a veritable tableau of desire, has awakened me. I live to do thy will always.”


Or, you know, just give 'em a big, moist smack on the lips. Three times.


If you enjoyed today’s moot, follow John on Instagram. If you are feeling generous, consider donating to the Regents/Chancellor's Scholarship Fund, John’s charity of choice.

*For each moot, we generate a cover image using  DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'I Do Not Appreciate You Saying “I Appreciate You”' in the style of Georges Seurat, the John's artist of choice.*

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DALL·E 2022-10-06 23.00.04 - man holding a door open for a woman in the style of Georges S

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