Sunday September 30, 2012
Ever the sweetest
CRAZY, SEXY, HONESTLY BY IDA NERINA
Pure innocence and the total lack of expectations make first love special.
AND they call it ... puppy looo ... hooove.” I can almost see some of you cringe-ing in your seats reading those words. Much as I hate to admit it, that was probably the first music cassette I ever owned personally. Ya, Donny Osmond Cheesy, I know. Prior to that I’d listen to my mum’s (amongst others), collections of Cliff Richard, the Carpenters, Ray Conniff Singers, The Gilbertos, Elton John and of course, the ever brilliant Beatles.
The point is, they all sang about Love. Of how wonderful it is and how oh so perfect the world is when you have ‘it’. How broken your heart is when it is nowhere to be found. Whatever ‘it’ was, may have been or will ever be.
The pressure starts so early for us girls. I was going to say I noticed this giggly googly eye-dom among the young girls in my life, but who am I kidding? I was one too! Take a roll with me down my childhood, let’s.
I remember a certain craze for cutesy notepads we little girls used to rush for and then write random love notes to the boys. And because you read somewhere that “ladies” scent their love letters, you used Cuticura powder – because it’s all you have. You write S.W.A.L.K. (Sealed With A Loving Kiss) on the envelope for these boys. Only to find them running a mile away from you. Unless you were one of the lucky ones who had compilation cassettes filled with sappy, soppy love songs. Or beautifully crafted Love notes. Yes, so what did we know of Love then. Or now even, for that matter?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m neither being a love humbug nor am I denying an inherent human need to love and be loved romantically. I’m just saying there are so many things that seem to be tagged on to the notion of a relationship these days. Oh wait ... for like, since Adam and Eve. All drummed into most of us was, find a boy, get the white picket fence, 2.2 kids, a pet, a station wagon ... (Oh, and later on, girls got to study and get a good job also, then get the boy – or he will find you, even if for your wallet!) You know the drill ... yawn.
You hit your young teens. And this is where the real puppy love is supposedly borne. During your formative years, when you’re still wet behind the ears. When life is stretched out before you and questions about life’s wonders creep up, and you feel you can’t really ask your parents because, let’s face it, they just don’t “get you”. They’re adults. And to them you are just a kid. Kids just play and should remain kids.
Truth is I think that the love you find at this stage of your life is possibly the purest you may ever get in your life. Graced with the beauty of innocence, there are no real expectations. No wrongs. No no-no’s. You just enjoy each other’s company and awkwardly muddle through your lovely little life, asking and answering each other’s questions about what you think life is all about.
You get beautiful hand-written love notes. Read them in the privacy of your bedroom. You meet after school. Turquoise-pinafored girls and all-white boys share a roti canai, or a root beer float. More likely as it was more cost-effective as opposed to being romantic.
You run for the one house phone as soon as your parents leave the house to cling on to a voice that may have been so near only a few hours before. You sit at bus stops and keep chatting, staring at each other. Ignoring the buses that would take you home as they go by. Stretching the little time you have to share till it’s almost dark and you know you’re going to get into trouble for being late. Again!
You basically had to work hard for this love. OK – I’ve confessed this in an interview before – the most incredible date I have ever had, ever, was an afternoon on the very grassy green hill of the-then British Council Library in Kuala Lumpur. People were bustling in the backdrop of the building of knowledge and in front of us down below, the traffic hooted and honked, but we were safe in our little invisible cocoon, protected by the green of the beautiful shady trees totally oblivious to all this. It was so perfect! How ingenious and thoughtful was that date? Keeper! Ok another plus – I then wasn’t lying to my mum when asked about my whereabouts. I was at the library. And I never forgot that date. Nothing came close. Ever.
There were no personal mobile phones nor the cyber world to rely on for tired and used love quotes recycled over and over again by different people in different parts of the world. No need to impress with cutesy teddies or meals in posh places. Man I’m starting to sound like our parents, who would remind us how a ringgit could feed a family of four. Sorry kiddos. Yes, I guess I am romanticising the past a little here. Aww crap, okay – yes! I admit it, I am and have always been a bit of a soppy sap!
And what of this love You have showered Your world with, I ask You. Romantic love that is so pure that many had to forgo, to keep up with what is expected to be “right”. Grateful as we may be for the love in our lives, most relationships seem to have a need for labels and stipulated conditions. So I’m leaning towards Sigmund Freud’s take on this notion of pups in love – my feeling is we probably shouldn’t underestimate the power of early love, and recognise the validity of “the proverbial durability of first loves”.
> Having put it off for far too long, Ida Nerina has finally surrendered to diversifying herself creatively. She continues to be grateful for life’s small mercies. And short people. You can follow her innocuous ramblings on fakebook and other rampant psycho babbling with that blue bird, as she seems to have become a twit with a camera too.