Some years ago I was having dinner with my girlfriend, Liz; among other items on my plate was a heaping mound of mashed potatoes. When Liz noticed I had finished eating all of my potatoes, she instantly ladled another scoop onto my plate, without asking. She had done this before, and I felt I needed to say something: "Please don't automatically give me more food without checking first to see if I want more." "Oh. Sorry." It was a short-lived but friendly relationship, and about six months later she was living happily with a new man, one of my housemates, Steve. Meanwhile, I was formulating a theory about love: it's nothing personal. I began to reflect on my previous relationship, with Cathy. Again, I got it: love is generic. My personal idiosyncrasy in love is that I like for both of us to have the same cute little pet name for each other. With Noodles, it eventually became clear that our generic love styles really didn't match. "Who is it?" "Rochel, the shoemaker's daughter." "Rochel?