Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Monday, February 05, 2007

First Love

Do you remember your first love?

I don't mean your first crush, or your first puppy love. I mean, the first guy you ever really loved.

My first crush was Shawn Cassidy. It was pretty hardcore and surprisingly enduring. My first puppy love was Jamie Tookshure in the first grade. I used to leave love letters by a tree in his backyard. It ended when we moved to another city.

And I had boyfriends...boys that I "went" with, starting in probably...4th grade. Remember that? Going with someone? Where the heck did we think we were going in the 4th grade? It didn't matter, I suppose. Going with someone, whether we actually went anywhere or not, was a big deal. It was a rite of passage. Saying you were going with someone felt good. It felt special. It was irrefutable proof that someone found me worthy.

That certainly begs the question of why, at that tender age, my worth was tied to my ability to attract and keep a male...but it was what it was. And it was important.

But first love....

God, there is nothing sweeter, and nothing more awful.

If someone could capture all those feelings, good and bad, put them in a bottle and sell them...sales would exceed all previous records of any kind. Their stock would go through the roof. He or she, would be a made man or woman.

Because even the bad feelings that come with first love..self-doubt, jealousy, embarassment, despair....are so electrifying, so deep, so delicious ...that they made us feel alive. What wouldn't most of us give to feel that alive again???

My first love was Kelly Meierhofer.

I was 13. He was 16. His parents owned the small campground where my family camped almost every weekend during the summer months. He would do small chores around the campground; hauling firewood, ice and such to the campsites, minding the small store, and keeping the sites manicured.

He was tall and broad shouldered and beautiful in that gangly way that those recently acquired of broad shoulders are. He had blue eyes with long lashes and skin bronzed by the sun. He had a small scar by the corner of his mouth, that I later found out was from biting into an electrical cord as a baby. I thought it made him even more handsome in a tragic sort of way.

I fell head over heels for him the very first time I laid eyes on him.

But he didn't notice me for quite some time, and I was absolutely bereft each and every time he walked past without sparing me a glance. Each time he smiled at another girl. Each time he did anything to demonstrate that he had absolutely no interest in me, or worse, that he didn't know I existed at all.

The summer that I was 14, I decided that enough was enough. There was a swimming pond with a big, sandy beach and there I left a message for him, spelled out with rocks that were peppered with flakes of micah and quartz. When the message ceased to wink and glimmer in the sun, I knew it had been received. "I heart Kelly" was all it said. I didn't sign it. I didn't want to make it too easy for him, after all. He found out who left the message, as I knew he would.

And suddenly he began to look.

And when I noticed him noticing me, the thrill was like nothing I had ever felt before. I felt like I could move mountains, walk on water, dance on a cloud. With one look, a sixteen year old boy sent me over the moon. Can you remember what that felt like? It was elation and fear and confusion and it all jumped around in my stomach making me feel almost sick with joy. It was a living thing that joy, almost bigger than myself.

Eventually, I won him over and we became boyfriend and girlfriend.

At first, we would simply hold hands for hours on end, just enjoying the feel of skin against skin. And when our palms grew clammy from the constant contact, we would simply wipe them off and rejoin hands, fingers intertwining like viney tendrils. When, at long last, he kissed me, it was just like in the movies. No bumped noses, no mashed teeth, no filament of saliva hanging between us. It was tender and chaste and perfect. It was a kiss to be remembered until the day I die.

After that, we kissed every chance we got. Tentatively at first, but then, with such passion that my belly would ignite with a fire I was still to naive to identify. And we would kiss for so long that my lips tingled for hours afterward.

But it wasn't just kissing. We talked in a way I don't think most teenagers talked to one another. We told each other our deepest secrets and darkest fears. Both of us from poor families, we talked and dreamed of a different kind of life. We talked of doing better for ourselves. He never laughed at my plans. I never laughed at his. He made me feel like anything was possible and when I was with him, it was.

When Sunday rolled around and I had to leave him, it was as if my heart was being wrenched from my chest. Such bittersweet agony that was and how tightly I embraced it! I wallowed energetically in my misfortune, and was only too happy if asked, to tell my tale of woe. I felt important in my misery. I had someone to miss.

Oh, the songs I sighed to. The poems I wrote. The practiced melancholy, the brave soldiering on despite my broken heart.

How my parents bore it is quite beyond my understanding.

When I was 15 and he was 18, he joined the Army. I knew of his was part of his better life strategy. He left for boot camp and I cried. We wrote faithfully for a couple of months...and then...I grew weary of sitting on the bleachers at dances. Of always being the third wheel. Of the skeptical looks when I explained that my boyfriend was in the Army.

I had dreamt of marrying him one day and I believed that our love, consuming as it was, must surely be forever. But I began to realize that high school was going to be pretty lonely.

And so, quite callously, I broke up with him in a letter. And he, with what I now recognize as the pragmatism of maturity, assured me he understood and that it was probably for the best.

I never saw him again, though every once in a while, we would write to one another. Eventually, the writing stopped too, and my first love became a distant memory.

As first loves go, he was all I could have ever hoped for. If I had a daughter, I would want someone exactly like him for her first love. And though I had boyfriends aplenty after him, until I met my husband, there was never anybody who treated me with the tenderness and reverence and respect that he did.

I believe he really did love me and I wonder if that's why he behaved like a gentleman. Always.

He never tried anything beyond some fairly heavy duty necking, and a little furtive petting. He was for more worldly than I, and at an age where sex occupies a pretty substantial amount of thinking time for the average male. Now, as the Mom of boys, I'm even more aware of just how much time that is. The desire was certainly there, on his part and mine. Though I was innocent in a way that it's no longer possible for teenaged girls to be, I did recognize certain er....signs, that he was willing and able.

I have always wondered why he never pressured me to have sex with him. Was it because he truly valued my innocence? Was it because he wanted to wait until we were married? Was it because he didn't want to risk an unplanned pregnancy? Was it because he thought my Dad might just kill him?

Perhaps he just knew it was a bad idea, especially considering that I was still below the age of majority.

Whatever the case...he made my first love so very, very special. I have only wonderful memories of that time. It was perfect and pure and the only regret that I have is that I threw it all away in my ignorance.

If only I'd chosen him to make me a woman. The young man who did wasn't a bad sort. He was kind enough. And gentle. But I didn't love him and he didn't love me. It wasn't special. It wasn't anything except disappointing.

I don't think it would have been disappointing with Kelly.

I don't know where he is today, or what his life is like. But I want to thank him. For making my first love everything a young girl dreams about. For not taking advantage of that love to use me. For not taking my innocence, and for making sure I still believed in happily ever after when we parted ways. It could have ended much differently, and I will always be grateful to him.

Thank You Kelly Meierhofer. I hope you ended up with somebody wonderful.


  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger Amie Adams said…

    Oh this is so beautiful!!!!!!!

    What a first love worth envying!!

    I've recently reconnected with my first love. And I haven't figured out how to write about it.

    So glad you're sharing your writing with us again.

  • At 2:31 PM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    I too envy your first love. I had a love sort of like that, but we were a bit older and we weren't as, um, innocent. Let's just say that the blush was off the rose. But your story? Beautiful.

  • At 5:11 PM, Blogger luckyzmom said…

    Beautifully written.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • At 5:15 PM, Blogger Bea said…

    That was the first love I always wanted and never got. Wow. I actually didn't know that happened in real life. (16? Broad-shouldered? Liked you back? Didn't try to have sex with you? Amazing.)

  • At 8:15 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    That was a great first love. I also specialized in unrequited. :O)

  • At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I hope he is too.

    Wonderful story, BA.

  • At 11:31 PM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    Spectacular, BA! Just beautiful.

    I'm jealous. Thinking back to my own first love(s) make me feel more melancholy than anything.


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