Thursday, September 09, 2010

Just Between We

We bought a new armchair to go with our new living room flooring, which meant having to borrow a van from nearby friends so I could ferry it home. (And really, folks, if you don't want friends calling on you to borrow your vehicle--for god's sake, don't buy a van.)

Being a conscientious borrower of vehicles, I made sure not to adjust the seat or mirrors, or even play with the radio dial, which is why I found myself en route to the consignment shop listening to the execrable "classic" song, "Hungry Eyes," which features the lyric:
With these hungry eyes
One look at you and I can't disguise
I've got hungry eyes
I feel the magic between you and I
We all remember when were young and we said to mom, "Roberto and me are going to the reservoir to drown kittens," only to feel the burning shame of having mom correct us. "Roberto and I are going to drown kittens," she would admonish--and she was right. That's because Roberto and I were the agents of action in this scenario and so our pronouns needed to take the subjective case.

But "between" is a preposition, and prepositions, for some reason, insist on being followed by the objective case (objects being the things having something done to them, rather the things doing the doing). Here's where it get's tricky. The objective counterpoint to the subjective I is me. The objective counterpoint to the subjective you So "you and I" might be drowning kittens, but that's just between "you and me."