Not a Typical Love Story
Falling in love with someone nearly half my age wasn’t the plan. After all, I’ve been happily married for seventeen years. We even have four daughters. I most certainly didn’t expect my ten-year-old and a pop icon to introduce me to this new love.
Our meeting made me feel the angst and confused emotions that usually taunt unsuspecting fifteen-year-olds. I tossed and turned in bed while scrambled words tumbled around in my confused brain. How could I have let this happen? I’m forty; I should know better. It was difficult to fall asleep after our encounter. I worried that you or I might come to our senses and this feeling would flee before morning.
As the sun rose, I was happy to see nothing had changed, including my tormented emotions. Like a carefree child that frolics merrily in wonder one minute, and then loses sight of siblings and becomes lost and terrified the next, my words, too, were lost. The more I tried to lasso and gain control over these mischievous thoughts, the more they retreated in fear of being discovered.
The night prior had set my nerves ablaze and pushed its way to the forefront.
It was inevitable. We were both in London attending the same concert, and we both knew intangible elements were missing from our existence. It was as though an unidentifiable force placed us within the same room. Not just any room either; a venue filled with 15,000 others. Really, what are the chances we would be assigned the same seat?
I noted how eager you were as you made your way down the aisle to find your chair. I wondered if this was your first concert. You were speechless surrounded by a gaggle of exuberant pre-teen emotions. Girls that tried to mimic the young pop star we had all come to see carried the innocent scents of vanilla and cotton candy. Their homemade signs were adorned with glittering hearts confessing their love and devotion. As the scent of fresh glue drifted overhead, I watched as you stood in awe. And then our eyes met.
I gave you my seat. I could see you needed this moment, whatever “this” was, more than me. As you took your place, the pure joy that leaped from your smile made giving up mine worthwhile. I slowly backed away, noticing how you inhaled the joyful sounds of youth, beaming like a child while confetti magically fell from the sky. Your heart raced remembering emotions that had long departed your body. I watched in disbelief as the lyrics washed over and through you, reminding you of first loves, heartaches and anticipation. And as you looked back at me, I couldn’t help but let myself go.
My inner girl collided with the grown up I’d become.
Attending Taylor Swift’s The Red Tour at The O2 in London with my daughter was the perfect backdrop to our fairytale encounter. Red is a color that represents a multitude of emotions my youthful spirit remembered well, but which I had left behind. Lost in the dizzying commotion of raising four young women, I had forgotten the plethora of feelings falling under Red’s umbrella: love, passion, hate, hurt, joy, frustration, fear. I began to remember the years when allowances were spent on frivolous things like gel pens, bubble gum and nail polish. A time when fashion came over form. And a time when a ringing phone signified one word: possibilities.
Our love story may not go down in history books. It may just be ours alone. How many people would understand this magical encounter? A night when my persistent pre-teen heart weaseled its way into my forty-year-old body. We merged, and it was beautiful.
Nostalgia is comforting, especially when you sense the future is bright based on lessons learned at “15” and “22”. I look forward to witnessing my four daughters go through their Red years. If they’re lucky, one day they might have a night when their old selves stumble and trip into their present. And if they’re really lucky, the two worlds might just decide to co-exist amicably and “Stay Stay Stay….”
(It’s been seven years since I wrote this post and for the record, I’m really lucky. The residuals stayed.)