#2 -First Love and First Kiss
Write about both if they weren't the same.
Well let's get this out of the way -they weren't. Love first!
Ah first love. It happens as all good first loves, it sneaks. One minute you're a rational, calm, maybe even a little cool, human being. You like a person. Just as a person. To talk to, to adventure with. Then you notice the other people you used to adventure with have fallen away. You're no longer a renegade bouncing along from person to person for entertainment, whoever comes along is fine. No, instead you're seeking out one person, again and again and always. And if you're young, you don't know quite what it means. Not enough to make anything happen at least. You just let it ride as long as you can stand it.
And then one day you can't stand it anymore. Too long have your staked out the cafeteria, timing when and how long they stay. Too long you have spent memorizing your beloved's class schedule so you can conveniently run into them on their way back to the dorm. Too long have you spent volunteering for all their clubs as an excuse to spend time together. Too long.
I'm a grand gesture person. I have no idea how people date in the modern world where it's all farce and subterfuge. I'm going to stalk you and hunt you down until I know everything you love, therefore how to catch you. Then I'm going to do something weird like make you an all too obvious mixtape or send you a love letter -which society will tell you is heavy handed for a lady, but I will tell you hasn't lost me a man yet. (Disclaimer: It may have lost me a man, but I'm too oblivious to notice and/or if they get scared off you don't want those anyway).
And the gesture works. And it is good. For a while, it is good. And then it is bad, it is very bad. Because you are young and don't know what you're doing and don't know how to let the future go by keeping the present and don't know how to let the present go and fade into the past. And the uncertain future is more appealing than the certain future and you choose it. Then your first love is gone and c'est la vie. The world is as it is, and you're probably not supposed to stay with your first love.
And the first kiss? That was before the first love.
The first kiss, let's see. There's a movie I love called "Mistress America" which, if you watched, might annoy you. But I love it because in all her blissfully ignorant glory, Mistress America is me. And in Mistress America, there's a scene. where a younger cohort is fretting over what to do because she just discovered she likes her friend as more than just a friend but he has a girlfriend and what to do! What to do! And the Mistress exclaims:
"ADULTERY? Why the fuck does it matter? You are all eighteen! Where is this old-person morality coming from? There is no “cheating” when you’re eighteen. You should all be touching each other all the time. "
Let's preface with that. When you're 18 before you're 18, that doesn't count because you're young and irresponsible and obviously you're not going to marry this person.
My first kiss had a girlfriend. We had been talking for week and weeks in that way of "talking" and I thought it might go somewhere. And then he started dating someone else. Hi, my name is Elise and I have this very annoying habit where I refuse to lose.....ever (read more on that tomorrow!). So, one day I invited him over and seduced him and got my first kiss. And then a lot more later and later.....and later. Let's move on from my questionable morality as a teenage and go to the good part which is what this experience taught me and how it's made me better. Yes, partly don't kiss other peoples' boyfriends and husbands, etc. unless they ask you to very nicely.
But also this. Relationships are complicated. I feel the English word is paltry -love. What does love mean? We could spend days and nights expounding the variations or we could name them as the Greeks did. Eros, philos, agape. Lust love, friend love, total love. Which is it? What do you mean? At the time, I was Eros, young and lustful and in need of an outlet. What better than philos, the love of my friend, to share it with? But we weren't agape, the total love. We were friends and fun. And if you couldn't gather from my "Relationships before you're 18* are pointless"standard, I wasn't much for commitment. I didn't want a relationship where I would be nurtured emotionally and didn't want to nurture anyone else. I wanted to explore the wonder of life with a trusted companion.
Life becomes much easier when you can sort things this way. When someone tells you "I love you, but just as a friend" it doesn't have to be a traumatic experience. Someone is offering you love and even if it's not the form you wanted, love is to be cherished. And you become more adept at discerning your needs. Do I want true companionship or a distraction? How involved am I? What am I not getting? What do they want from me? When you can discern what you need, what others need, and know where to meet and forgive when necessary, truly you've won the kissing game.
*My real rule is 25.
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Just a Woman in STEM finding her way