The other day in the car Bubba said "William really really loves Samantha."
"Oh really? Hmmmm. Let's see what kinds of interesting tidbits we can find out here. Is there anybody you really really love? Or is there anybody that you think is very pretty?"
"I fink Christiana is really pretty. I followed her around all day today. But Mommy, she wouldn't play with me at all today and she kept running away from me."
Oh Lord. This sure seems like it's starting early. "Well, Bubba. Let me tell you a secret. Sometimes when a girl knows you like her, she runs away. Even if she likes you back."
"I have no idea Bubba."
I was a little surprised to be having this conversation with Bubba this soon. But he's almost 5 and I had picked out my future husband by around the age of six or seven, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.
When I was very young I fell in love with Roger, who was a classmate of my brother (who happens to be 6 1/2 years older than I am). And I was in looooovve. I wanted to marry Roger and pitched such a fit when my mom told me that I couldn't marry him. The only way that my mom could get me to calm down was by taking me to the stove and saying "Look, if you're a wife you have to cook dinner for your husband. You can't reach the stove." Oh. Okay. (Hey, I could be reasoned with even back then).
Even though we weren't allowed to marry, I still loved Roger. One Valentine's Day I made him a card and my brother was kind enough to bike all the way across town on a cold, dark February night to deliver it to him (although being about 13, my brother was probably looking for ANY excuse to get out of the house -- Hi, Brother! THANKS! Don't know if I ever told you that. Oh, and can any of you imagine letting your 13 year old ride his bike across town in the dark, by himself, these days? Back then it was completely safe, and truth be told, probably still safe in the town I grew up in.)
My love for Roger ended the following Christmas. For some reason, still unknown to me (and I'm the one who did it) I put my only photo of Roger inside my Christmas stocking. I don't know if I thought Santa was going to bring me a real live Roger (he eats! he drinks! he wets!) or what. But Santa TOOK my photo of Roger. Granted he did replace it with a lovely ballerina necklace, but STILL! Somehow I ended up blaming Roger for all that and the love affair was over. The fact that Roger's family moved to another town that year probably had NOTHING to do with it. Or the fact that I had moved on to my brother's friend Bill.
I had numerous, numerous crushes over the years, mostly on guys who were WAY older than I was (Daddy issues, anyone?) There was Houston, who asked me to dance at an All Night Dance-A-Thon my mom was chaperoning. I was so mortified that I turned him down and then kicked myself the rest of the night. There was Rod, who played the violin. Sigh.
There was Barry, also a classmate of my brother, that I met on a class trip to D.C. that my mom chaperoned. He was very funny and thus began my attraction to funny guys. But I was the younger sister and none of the "cool" high school kids wanted me around. Years later, when I was in high school I ran into Barry again. He was hitting on me and I admit my ego was somewhat assuaged, but I was also just the teensiest bit creeped out. I was 17. He was 23.
Probably my last serious crush before actually starting to like boys, you know, my OWN age, was Quinn. Quinn was my leader at the day camp that I attended for most of my life. I was in love with him for many, many years. One day I overheard Quinn tell one of the other guys that Sherry, a friend of mine at camp, was going to be a fox when she got older. Sherry. Not me. I was crushed.
So, I definitely remember what that unrequited love feels like. I know Bubba, and Punkin' too, are going to be in love many, many times during their lives. At least I hope they will. And I hope I can take their heartbreak seriously. But not too seriously.
6 years ago