In a tweet somewhere along the way, I know I mentioned that we have a sixteen-year-old working at my office for the summer. I have to admit, both my co-worker and myself were not that thrilled about this. It’s not that we don’t like young people, but we were worried we’d have to do more babysitting than anything else. It came as a surprise to me actually, when I found out my co-worker had the same attitude as I; mainly because she is such a social person. I, on the other hand – the older I become – the more reclusive. Yes, I said it. I have only recently admitted this out loud. I may even be headed toward that “Finding Forrester” character, you know the withdrawn writer? Well, maybe not that unsociable, but let’s just say, I do fine working on my laptop or desktop for hours – not having the need for human interaction.
How is it that I always manage to drift off topic? Okay, reining in my thoughts. Keeping in mine what I said earlier, this young one has somehow attached herself to me. One day last week, she had the need to come to me and spill her friend’s guts. Seems her sixteen-year-old best friend is topsy-turvy over a nineteen year old. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, he recently left for duty at some military installation in Texas. Not to mention her parents are not happy with it. If you are a parent, young, or otherwise, think about it for a minute. You have a baby girl, or a fifteen year old; you cringe every time you hear a scenario such as this. But, I’ve been sixteen, and wonky over someone older; a person I could not have. I know you’re asking, yes? Maybe not, but anyway, my favorite aunt had a new beau – a thirty year old from the island of Jamaica. And, can I just say, more gorgeous than you could ever imagine. I couldn’t sleep, or eat for days. But, what could I do? Not only would my parents have had a cow, he belonged to my favorite aunt. And, right now I’m thinking a fourteen year difference? WOW! At this moment, I cannot for the life of me remember how I managed to get over it. But, we do, don’t we?
This is that first love for this young person. Can you remember him or her? It’s funny; I belong to Romance Writers of America, which consists of hundreds of writers, all writing, and wanting to pen that unmistakable love story. What I’m getting at is, all through the ages – from the beginning of time, up to today none of this has changed. Right? Love is love, and no matter how you tell the story it’s all for the same reason. Its human nature, something for which we were all designed. However, my new little buddy is surprisingly focused. All by herself, she came up with a solution. She decided to talk to her friend about backing off for a bit. Then, I reminded her that at nineteen, there is a strong possibility this young man would not keep the relationship exclusive. Funny, when she reported back to me a few days later, the friend thought the exact same thing; another dilemma averted. And, just in time, because the military decided to send a nice little letter to the girl’s parents. I didn’t ask why, I didn’t need to know that.
I know there are many people who marry their high school sweethearts, and that’s fine for them. Actually, there is definitely something special about both parties who can have, and hold onto such a relationship. But, my philosophy is this: We all grow, and most times not at the same speed. When I think back to my first love, in order for us to have stayed together, I would have had to remain in the same neighborhood, and associate with the same circle of people – restricting my growth, if you will. What does that do? It causes intense resentment. My parents taught me at an early age to always search, and keep searching. When you do that, you, at the same time, grow, which makes it easier to distinguish what it is you really want and/or need. Granted, I am somewhat envious of those who have married their high school honeys, and they are both the same now, as they were then. But, you see, that’s the catch – being the same now as you had been so many years ago. Because of what my parents taught, there is no way I could have lasted.
As for my new little friend and her “BFF,” they have so much lying ahead of them. They both have their sights set on college, and the one at my office is talking law school. As long as she doesn’t get hit with what I’ve heard called, “The Thunderbolt,” she should do just fine. Did you marry your first love, or that love from high school?
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