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.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Love Letters

Yesterday, while cleaning out a drawer, I found a packet of letters. I had forgotten about that little bundle of earnestness.

Lovingly tied with a red ribbon, I recognized them instantly as the written testament to the awkwardness, wonder and exhiliration of my first love.

I was 14, he was 17. I was a city girl, he was a country kid. We conducted a long distance relationship for perhaps two years, which is an eternity during adolescence.

His name was Kelly. He had eyes as blue as the sea and a tiny scar by the corner of his mouth from biting an electrical cord as a baby. He was put together in the lanky way that farm boys are. He was lean and coarse and strong from hard work.

I thought he hung the moon.

I felt distinctly odd as I untied that frayed red ribbon. I realized that I was almost as giddy and breathless as I was the first time he reached for my hand, the first time he dared to place his lips tentatively against mine, the first time I smelled hay in his hair and sun on his skin when he held me in a careful, clumsy embrace.

I read those letters and ached at the sweetness. It wasn't just that they were filled with professions of love and longing.

It was there, alright, but it was scrawled hastily and furtively between lines filled with safer, more mundane narrative. They were pointedly casual those little smatterings of affection; glaring in their nonchalance, cherished for their meagreness and hoarded like treasure. They were terribly touching and as I remember, I devoured those words and savored the sweetness, sucking every last drop of nuance from them. I let them slip down the gullet of my soul and settle deep inside me.

I waited for those letters with anticipation that was both delicious and agonizing.

But what really struck me was how spectacularly normal, even humdrum, our lives were. We complained about teachers, parents, friends. We boasted about things we had said and done, each desperately wanting the other to believe that we deserved the devotion of the other. We described our lives in exhaustive detail. Those letters were a catlogue of typical teenage travail. They were mere minutiae, but they were bristling with import, as much because of what they lacked as what they contained.

You see...there was no calamity in those missives. No talk of war. No talk of poverty. Famine. Crime. We didn't' struggle, we didn't want, except for each other.

We were so stunningly innocent.

I read every one, smiling. A post script at the bottom of one letter instructed me to look for a little something extra in the envelope. And now, as then, I frowned at the thought that I had missed something. Now, as then, I was excited by the prospect of discovery. Written inside in tiny, laughing letters, was a message that said "Only monkeys look inside envelopes". Now, as then, I guffawed at the silliness.

I was suddenly gripped by the need to talk to him, to laugh and to celebrate all that we were, all that we would become.

I went so far as to look up contact information on the internet. I found his name, his phone number, his place of business.

And then I stopped myself.

Because I realized that the Kelly of today is a stranger to me. I don't know if he remembers me with as much fondness as I remember him. I don't know if he remembers me at all. And what of his wife? I have an understanding husband with a romantic streak a mile wide. He would not feel threatened. But I don't know that the she would be similarly disposed towards a long lost girlfriend.

And to what end? There would be no rekindling of romance. It would be pointless and maybe even problematic. How could I possibly explain that I wanted nothing from him but memories?

I didn't email him. I probably never will. He is lost to me, most likely, forever.

But that's okay. I have the letters. Maybe some day, when one of my children is deep in the throes of their first real love, I'll share them. Maybe I'll keep them all to myself.

And even though I love my husband with all my heart and soul...even though I am deeply committed to him and profoundly grateful for my children and my life here in the present...

I will always remember my first love with a special fondness.

I wish every love could be first love.

I wish every first love had letters.


  • At 8:23 AM, Blogger Liv said…

    beautifully put. me too. I wish we still wrote letters.

  • At 8:32 AM, Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said…

    Beautiful. I have a similar story kicking around in my head but I don't have the courage to write it. And I doubt I could have written about that boy as well as you've written about Kelly.

  • At 9:02 AM, Blogger Girlplustwo said…

    there is no love like our first loves. for better or for worse, they charted the course for the rest.

  • At 12:43 PM, Blogger flutter said…


    I have a poem my boy wrote me, when we first met, and it's so amazing to me how different the texture of us was then.

    I like us so much better now. Kelly sounds like a perfectly wonderful first love.

  • At 1:04 PM, Blogger Avalon said…

    I have a handmade wooden box, locked, in my closet. It is filled with months upon months of letters between me and my princess father. Some wonderful and some truly ugly. As soon as I open the box, I am transported back to another place and time.

    I don't know what I will eventually do with them. No one knows about them but me.

  • At 1:52 PM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Sigh... Nothing like those first loves, you are absolutely right.

  • At 2:43 PM, Blogger jean said…

    My heart did an little dance just thinking about my first love. It was a happy dance.

  • At 4:54 PM, Blogger Catherine Roseberry-Meyer said…

    So interesting. I just said something to someone about first love. I was thinking of mothers and dogs. You are speaking of adolescence, and I agree. Do most of us have story like that? I do.

  • At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I still talk to my first love, he said shame on e for not waiting for him... um hello he broke it off! He is still a great friend!

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger OhTheJoys said…

    You know, I contacted one of my firsts before I got married. Just for kicks. He was married and sent a photo of himself and his wife. He was so fat and ... well, let's just say he wasn't what I remembered. Keep the memory alive I say!

  • At 9:39 AM, Blogger thailandchani said…

    We all have those memories stored somewhere. It's been a long time since I thought about my first infatutation.. with a guy whose parents were so threatened by it that they made him join the Army.

    Oh, gosh. LOL



  • At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is amazing BA. I wish I'd kept my old love letters. I am actually in touch occasionally with my first love via email and we've become friends. Though in doing so he became someone different to me and that giddy teenage feeling about him is long, long lost.

  • At 9:22 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    When I got married I threw away the box of letters from my first love. It may have been a poor decision, but I did it. Of course, my first love was actually AT the wedding (and introduced his girlfriend to my father as [insert my real name here] - tee hee hee)

  • At 3:09 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    I was older when I had my 'first love' but I also have lots of letters. I haven't read them in years and years, but maybe now I will.

    And, I agree with your decision not to contact him---I think contacting him now would be a letdown of sorts.


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