I want to thank today’s guest poster, Suzanne from bebehblog, for her last-minute pinch-hitting around the bonfire today.
Suzanne has a fabulous blog – and she takes amazingly beautiful photos, so you should definitely go check her out.
But first, let’s talk about high school sweethearts. Suzanne’s got a different take on this often-blogged-about topic. Do you wish you had married your high school sweetheart?
I wish I had married my high school sweetheart.
That would have been difficult, since I didn’t particularly have a high school sweetheart. I had a couple of boyfriends; a couple of less-than-boyfriends-but-more-than-friends; and many, many secret crushes whose names were scribbled in the margins of my notebooks and carved into the back of my locker door. So more accurately, I wish I had married my first love.
Wait, that’s still not right. Let me explain.
The person who wins the first love title was the boy-next-door. A friend sometimes, a crush other times, an enemy for a few weeks after he dated a friend; he expressed his undying love the night before we both left for college. It was just about as romantic as it could get, like a scene from one of those cheesy high school movies I (still) secretly love. We cried, we held hands, we swore we’d find a way to make it work despite the distance. We both thrived on romance, but at 18 we were unclear on the difference between romance and drama, love and co-dependence, dedication and addiction.
You probably don’t need to hear much more to imagine the rest. It’s a story as old as Romeo and Juliet – except if Romeo and Juliet were real life it would be just a tragic story about two sad, dead teenagers. Pretending we were star-crossed lovers ended up with both of us hurt, physically and emotionally. When people confronted us about our dysfunction it just confirmed our belief no one understood our love. The fact that my parents hated him only made me feel more like Juliet. We swore that no matter what happened or what mistakes we made we would end up together some day. It sounds ridiculous now, but they weren’t empty promises at the time. We meant it. It was the kind of thing you really believe the very first time you give your heart to someone because you have to believe it. You don’t know any better.
God, this sounds like a public service announcement for not marrying anyone you loved when you were 18. Maybe in some ways it is.
Obviously – thankfully – we managed to break things off and disentangle our lives before we were old enough to buy our own beer. It was messy and tear-filled but in a matter of months I met someone. I fell into Second First Love and I got married not long after graduating from college. My husband excels at all the things my Romeo was lacking – motivation, kindness, not borrowing my car to go see other women behind my back. I have no regrets at all about marrying him. But I wish I had met him before all the drama and heartbreak of that First Love relationship. I wish there were no songs that bring on a sudden pang of memories or movies I can’t watch without digging my nails into my palms. I wish going to visit my parents didn’t mean having to drive past Romeo’s old house. I wish we hadn’t gotten a cat together (no offense, Blushes the cat, but you are one cuddly, furry memory).
Mostly I wish I could keep my nostalgia sweet and brief, the way I feel about those high school crushes when I see pictures of them holding their new babies on Facebook. I wish there was a way to permanently remove the piece of my heart that was damaged. I wish I had saved all my first love moments for someone who deserved them and proved to be a good person with a kind soul who wanted to offer me as much as I was offering him. I wish my husband was my First Love.
And that’s why I envy people who marry their high school sweetheart.
Suzanne is a Navy wife, a mom of two ginger children, a crafter, knitter, baker, amateur photographer and a blogger. She specializes in iPhone photos, party planning and procrastination. You can find her almost daily at bebehblog.com, hourly on Pinterest and Instagram and always on Twitter and Facebook.