Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Luke, I loved you!
This morning I stumbled across a crumpled, once loved photograph that I hadn't seen for a while.
I was greeted with a wave of warm nostalgia, followed closely by the tenacious grip of mild horror. I had just turned 14 when the photograph was taken. Rarely do we look upon our 14 year old selves and think 'puberty did me so many favours, I look f*cking awesome', but my 14 year old self really is quite the aesthetic disaster. I am wearing a thigh-high denim skirt, knee high pink and black stripy socks, and a hot pink vest top. Oh hello excessive mammary spillage, good day to you. My hair, which by the way, is circa 7ft long, is the staple of youth, scraped so tightly into high, scalp-chafing bunches that I'm surprised I've escaped my teen years without appearing eternally startled. I recall the moment, on that night, when I'd posed and pouted into my mirror and concluded that I looked f*cking awesome. Not for a single second did the reality hit me that I looked completely tarty and ridiculous and misguided; a 14 year old clueless cataclysm, blinded by the most weird and awkward hormonal-house-party I've ever had. 'Breasts, arrrrrgh. What do I doooo with them?'
Sat next to me in the photograph, looking straight into the camera with those same blue eyes that used to bare straight into my innocent soul, is Luke, the first guy that I ever had 'proper' feelings for. Of course, I'd had crushes in the years before that point; 'let's hold hands in the playground', or 'omg, he's sooooo fit, if I was sexually cognitive I'd probably want to touch his genitals' kind of crushes. Luke, however, was the game changer. He was the result of the transition from pre-pubescent, to plethoric 'I have emotions and I definitely want to touch his genitals' pubescent. I was delirious and confused and hopeful and hopeless. And the awkward pose that's more 'have you got any deep heat?' than 'please be my boyfriend', makes me realise something that 14 year old me would have insisted was 'absolute bullshit.' Oh, when swearing was the ultimate thrill...
The blistering naivety and hilarity of the first teen 'fixation' is one of the most perpetually wonderful things that we will ever experience. Yes, it was frequently awful, but it was also new and fresh and bursting with delightful, pointless optimism. The night Luke gave me a sympathetic Valentine's Day kiss, I scrawled about the whole evening from start to finish until about 3am, my untarnished heart ready to jump out of my chest and do the Macarena. And I didn't just write about our hopeless non-affair in my diary, I wrote it in my nan's too. One evening, when he said, 'you're actually quite fit, you know' (clearly I looked slightly less ridiculous that night), I almost urinated with excitement and proceeded to wildly celebrate with 'ma gaaaaaaaalllz!' and a sneaky bottle of WKD blue. Classy o'clock. And when I heard that he'd gone on a date with a girl in his year, I spent a dream-shattering, agonising night violently sobbing to Neyo's 'So Sick' on repeat. The whole love story (because let's face it, we were totez sooooo in love), was a fairytale one minute, and a Friday night Eastenders 'dun, dun' the next.
It's sad, isn't it, that those heart-bursting, soul-crushing days are over? Never again will I be able to stalk a man for an entire day and be regarded as 'cute' instead of decidedly creepy. Never again will I earn a sympathetic Valentine's day kiss for looking absolutely horrific. Never again will I aim to seduce with scalp-chafing bunches and be deemed a socially acceptable human being. Granted, we grow up, and our feelings become deeper and less inhibited, and we gain a better understanding of our sexual urges and yes, if we please, we can touch genitals with less insane trepidation, but none of that will ever come close to matching the bizarre excitement of pubescent desire. The euphoria of (actual 2006 diary quote) 'OMG, Luke told me his knob hangs 2 da left, he's soooo funny!' will never again be recreated.
Fortunately, neither will the tarty and ridiculous and misguided 14 year old, clueless, awkward, excessive mammary spillage cataclysm, but that defeats the point. Luke, I loved you. I wonder if anyone else has stalked you since.
Who was the first person you had proper feelings for? Were you ridiculous too? I'd love to hear your stories. Leave me a comment below or tweet me! @kathyb5710