When I was a pre-teener, I experienced my very first love (other than family, and who knew you loved them anyway?); his name was Mickey. Oh, I was head over heels and quite sure this would last forever. About this time, Mickey and Sylvia recorded their hit song “Love is Strange”. Well, of course, since the singer was a Mickey and my love was a Mickey, and because my first initial is S and so was Sylvia’s, this became “our song”. I doubt Mickey ever knew we had a song together, but for me, it was meant to be. As I recall the song now, there were a lot of “bay-bee, oh oh bay-bee’s” which suited me just fine, but the point of the song was that love really is strange. I should have known that was not a good omen. Mickey soon moved away and I was left bereft, but all this time later I still remember Mickey and that song. At the time, I knew not much about love and I surely did not understand just how strange it could be.
So here I am now, a divorcee and a partner-widow. I wander back through my memories and I feel certain that in both of those relationships the love was mutual. Unlike my very first love, though, head over heels I was not, in either case. Neither were they. Looking back, I think there was one other case of head over heels (hoh, in case I have to say it again) and at that point I was a teener. Again with the surety that this was forever, and again with the other half of the love affair not much interested and perhaps unaware that he was actually in a love affair. Love affairs at that point in my life were, of course, chaste, in case you are wondering. I am not sure I learned much from that experience, except that I never did come up with an “our song”, and I also discovered that some guys just cannot be separated from their cars.
OK, so back to now. In my very brief life on Facebook, I did look up both of these fellows. One is doing just fine without me and the other I could not locate. But is it not interesting that I tried? After all this time, why would I even care? This is one of the strange things about love, I think. It is clear that these two loves were not really more than crushes, but neither has been forgotten nor probably ever will be, absent Alzheimer’s. Passion, I guess, stays with us. I remember very few of the in-between boys and men, but those two? There they are, right over there, not having changed a bit.
OK, really back to now. My husband got around to telling me he loved me after I told him I was divorcing him. That should tell you that there was no hoh there. I know, though, that we loved each other. We had lots of fun together and we had lots of quietness together. We had friends with whom we shared good times. We also argued and sometimes yelled, but we were good friends always. We still are, although there were some very rough moments during and after the divorce, brought on more by the event of his youngest brother’s death by drunk driver and our grief that we could not share and needed to share than by our transition from married to friends. The strangeness of this love was that I do not truly think either of us thought much about love when we were together. We were friends who married and then were no long married but still friends. I call it love now, but was it?
So now a bit closer to now. My partner and I also loved each other. He was a recent widower when I met him, and having trouble dealing with the loss of his first and passionate love. They had met as preteens and never parted until she died. So I always knew that he and I were not going to do the hoh thing–he had done that and would not be doing it again. This was another case of meeting, finding that we enjoyed each other’s company and moving from there to being life partners until he died, thirty-two years later. I truly would never have thought, when we met, that we would be together so long. We laughed, we argued, we talked, we laughed some more. We really, really liked each other a lot. Love? Sure, why not.
So anyway, the why of this is that I have never in my life been passionately loved. No one was ever hoh over me. I was and am loved, and I know it. But I remember being hoh myself, and I sort of wanted to be the object of it. But then I think, what a burden that would be. All those expectations! That neediness! It would wear me out. I think at times that I would make a very good hermit, and I believe that if I were passionately loved at this time of my life, it would drive me to hermit-hood, sure as heck. Strange, yes?
Perhaps this love thing is best seen in the lens of that other Strangelove. Just ride the bomb down and enjoy the trip.