I found out recently that my first love is now married. And not to me. *Sigh* I was four when he asked me out. We were taking turns riding his tricycle, and as he rode in circles around me, he said those words. "Hey, wanna be my girlfriend?" How could I say no to such a romantic suggestion? We were together until kindergarten, where he met "the other woman," Vanessa. Of course, I had my own interests to deal with in the boy who brought me an entire bag of seashells and gave everyone else just one after his trip to the shore. Oh kindergarten...
I left it all behind me when I moved from New York to rural Iowa. In first grade, there was Rusty. We shared a birthday and had to decide who was going to bring treats when. He was such a gentleman and agreed to let me have our actual birthday. What a charmer. In third grade came Steve. He was shorter than the other boys, but just too adorable. Plus, my best friend liked his best friend, so it worked out rather well.
Another move left me without a crush until 7th grade, when they actually started getting serious. I mean, these were the days when you might actually talk to the boy you liked or sit next to him at lunch. In 7th grade, a tumultuous year (as many middle school years are), I fell in love with a boy we nicknamed "The Voice." His voice changed into that deep baritone before any of the other boys in our class. I loved to hear him talk. Of course, when he spoke to me, I forgot how to use my tongue and just stared at him, mouth gaping, looking like a fish gasping for water. Very attractive, I assure you. My love was short-lived, however, and one day in gym The Voice leaned over and made a rude comment about me to a friend. Poof! No more crush. Which is good, because weeks later we were assigned to be seated at the same table in library study hall and he yelled, "NO!!!" quite loudly. I'm pretty sure that isn't a good basis for the start of a relationship.
There have been several infatuations/loves/crushes since then, but of course I am not going to disclose them on here, as many of them are still my Facebook friends, or friends of friends, and some things are better left a secret. What isn't a secret is the fact that I am a romantic. For a team building activity, my coworker had us each cut out pictures from magazines that we thought represented each other. Mine consisted of weirdness, happiness, dancing, and romance. I have mentioned before that I want to be Cinderella. I don't think it's wrong to want the fairy tale, as long as it's grounded in reality.
I have long since had an idealized view of love. Of course, that has matured as I've grown older, and especially as I went through the education and experience to become a marriage and family therapist. I know love is hard. It takes sacrifice and compromise. And bravery, because the ones you love the most can hurt you the worst. I have awesome examples of love in my life. My parents, grandparents, and siblings show me all the time how to make things work, and that things aren't perfect in love. So in theory, I know a lot. But despite all my infatuations, despite my strong feelings of something, I don't think I have experienced that thing called love, constantly elusive to me.
I am thinking right now of my metaphor for my "love life," and I'm not going to share it on here, but if anyone is interested, let me know. I will share it in private. It involves desserts. On a conveyor belt. Which prompted me to call it my "conveyor belt of love," which coincidentally become a cheesy dating show that was on for one episode last year. Oh I am laughing a lot right now.
As more and more of my friends fall in love, get married, have kids, it makes me think about the whole idea of love and family. I love being single, but I also have a desire to be married and have a family. I mean, I would be an awesome housewife. Sometimes I clean. And I'm great company. PLUS, I can cook. I mean, just tonight I was trying to figure out what to eat, and I came across macaroni and cheese. Boring, right? No way! Using my wits and what I could find in the cupboard, I turned that boring kid's meal into a stellar pasta dish fit to serve at a fancy dinner party! (You can so serve tuna casserole at a dinner party.) See what I mean?
Sometimes I wonder how much to believe in fate. Is there just one person out there for each of us? If so, how could we fall in love so often? And why do some of us never fall in love at all? How many times have you been in love? How did you know it was love? And how do you know it will last?