Twas two hours before midnight on December 31, 2012...
Having just attended some First Night festivities at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Linnea Herzog and I traipsed back to Somerville to go to a party.
Before we left First Night though, we got to catch Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys' first set in the main auditorium. The set included favorites such as "Ourselves", "28 Seeds", "Cataclysm", "Soldiers Came", "Pornival", and a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black".
It was appropriate that WSATAOBT was the last live performance I attended in 2012, as I had seen them on at least five occasions this past year:
Loved getting a live preview of some of the songs we are soon to enjoy on their forthcoming album, Soft Time Traveler. Also got to say a quick hello to the always lovely and uber talented Mali Sastri and Ants Conley (those two make such a magnificent duo).
Well, I am baaaack after a longer than planned hiatus. Made it two days into regular daily blogging before I fell into the state of neglect - going for three days in a row this time! Just kidding, we'll go for no fewer than four! ;-)
I have been having a little self-reflection time (read: pity party) for myself over the past week or so. Some fresh air, sunshine, exercise, good music, good conversation, and good food (ok, maybe a little good wine too) has put the pep back in my step! It also didn't hurt to have a full three days away from the office...
Happy back to school time for all you teachers, school professionals, and students out there. Fall is nearly upon us!
Fall is undoubtedly my favorite season. I love the crispness of Fall air, the smells, the colors, the activities, the comfort food... You name it, I love it (save for horror movies and haunted houses, much to the great dismay of GDB). On the whole, I love the fall. Which brings me to today's posting topic;
Your first love
Going to take some liberties with this one...
I know this post should likely focus on people, but why stop there? I am a pretty passionate person and when I like something I REALLY like it.
Chronicologically, my first love was plural - my first loves were my Mom and Dad. But that's a post for another challenge day (stay tuned for Day Four)!
Let's start out easy, with inanimate objects... I really, really loved my white satin trimmed blanket as a child.
Now I didn't carry it a la Linus from "Peanuts" - but I slept with it every night. Took it on sleepovers and vacations, too. I even took it with me when I weekended at the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Conference as an operations leader in 1995. "Blankie" got left behind in a pile of bedding in a dorm at Emmanuel College. That thing was pretty threadbare by that point. I was 16 then, after all. Mom, who rules the universe, went to Babies R Us or some similar store the following day to pick me up a replacement - aww, isn't she the (biggest enabler) best? Surprisingly similar (and to my delight, larger) models were still in production! Blankie v. 2.0 now resides under the pillow of my old twin bed in my childhood bedroom.
As for other "loves", love for family, friends, and my brother, Rich, pretty much dominated the first nineteen years of my life. Sure, there were (tons of) crushes. I can hardly remember a day spent without a boy on the brain...
I started my career of male admiration early, with crushes on two of my preschool classmates, EL and NP. Boys were never scary to me, never had "cooties". I always liked them (and wanted them to like me). Back to EL and NP - I thought they were so cool and every outdoor playtime the three of us would play in the schoolyard things like "obstacle course" and during indoor recess one of them would always make sure I got my favorite tricycle (purple, of course!) from the selection of wagons, bikes, trikes, and hot wheels to ride around the preschool gym / auditorium. My "love" for EL and NP wasn't exclusive, though... At the ripe old age of four, i had my one brief foray into same-sex love land whereas I told anyone who'd listen that I wanted to marry my preschool classmate, the very female, MR! You see, I formed the belief that I still hold fast to today - one should marry their best friend. MR was my best friend so I just felt this to be who I should marry. At age four.
Much to the dismay of several of the men (and maybe a few women, he he) in my life, all subsequent crushes and puppyloves have been boys. In Kindergarten, I started to crush on older guys - my neighbor DG for one. Our paperboy Tommy brought a daily dose of heart-pounding directly to our front door. At one point or another I had crushes on most of the boys in my elementary school class (one at a time, of course!). Notably EE as my cousin Denise will recall. I was super bummed when he moved away in 3rd grade!
And like any good girl in any given Massachusetts elementary school in the mid to late eighties, I loooved the New Kids On The Block. I never really had a favorite; loved 'em all. Mom would tape any appearances on the news and such for me, lest I miss them while at school to (daydream about boys) learn. What a champ! The grade ahead of me was also filled with crushable boys. So many crushes, so little time. I still remember their names to this day (as I am sure my family who had to endure me talking about them ad nauseum way back then can attest).
Soon enough 1988 came around, and I left the adorable boy buffet known as the Kiley School and moved on...
...to an adorable boy SMORGASBORD!
Middle School @ Higgins Middle brought along with it boys from all over town! South Peabody, West Peabody, Downtown Peabody, oh my! Add to the sheer overwhelming volume the preteen rite of passage known as the middle school dance and I had butterflies for miles! Don't even get me started on the introduction of co-Ed birthday parties and bar/bat mitzvahs! It's a wonder I managed to get good grades...
At this point I had never been kissed and being someone's "girlfriend" meant slow dancing at dances, talking on the phone, exchanging Christmas / birthday / Valentine's Day presents... But no real "dates". AZ, JF, RP, JB, RM, RL, and SM passed through my "dance card" these three years of Middle School and enjoyed the title "boyfriend". Of course there were SEVERAL mega-crushes that never manifested into "going out" so I will move on. Of the "boyfriends", four of those lucky fellows got nothin' but some puppylove notes, cards, trinkets from Filene's, and lots of phonecalls from me. Three got real lucky -
They got kisses! FULL.STOP.
God, life and "love" was so sweet and simple in those days! Here's where I resist the urge to go off on a tangent about how kids these days are overly socialized & sexualized. Another topic for another day.
High School involved some short-term boyfriends, a TON of close guy friends (who I had no interest in dating) and as per usual, a lot of crushes. Sports, clubs, plays, student government, and oh yeah - SCHOOLWORK - occupied most of my time and the boycraziness took a backseat until I met one special LC toward the end of my Sophomore year. He was special to many a lady. Not only that, but he lived about an hour away, was similarly busy with sports, clubs, student government, and oh yeah - SCHOOLWORK. Yet, if I had to pinpoint the loveyest of all my puppyloves, LC wins - hands down. We stayed close until the end of my Freshman year in college. A true unicorn... A sensitive, intelligent, not to mention tall and handsome --jock. Aaaaand were it not for him, I would never have segued into the world of "adult" relationships. To this point, the magnitude and import of all crushes were mere blips on my cute / charming boy radar. Thanks to LC, there have been three distinct "loves" in my life.
I am so grateful to have known (to have given and received) such love in my life. Some has been constant, some too quickly fleeting... but as Tennyson wrote and countless trite but true (pun intended) romantics have quoted:
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
From Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem In Memoriam:27, 1850
After writing this, I am experiencing this amazing feeling of gratitude for my life, the universe (and everything). Life is bittersweet much of the time but all the while, I am acutely aware that I am SO lucky. And loved.