The Four Loves

So, for Valentines Day, I had planned on telling you how to make a Red Waldorf cake. This one, in fact:

T-shirt clad radishes do not have discerning taste.

I made it yesterday afternoon and B and I tried it after dinner. He didn’t say so because he’s just that nice, but I have to admit that it just wasn’t good. It was sorrily dry and the red sprinkles read sad when they bled into the icing. This is what happens when my go-to cookbook doesn’t have a recipe for a red cake and I have to resort to D-list recipes from a clearly inferior book of recipes. So, for a truly good V-Day treat, I will again refer you to my besfrinn Cameron’s blog Krug the Thinker where she posted yesterday with a delectable- looking recipe for fudgy walnut brownies.

So, as is my custom these days, I woke up around four AM and selected from a variety of things to stress about. Last night the chosen topic was what the heck am I going to blog about for V-Day since the cake didn’t turn out well? And since lately I have had little to no qualms about regaling you, my darling readers, with awkward tales from my adolescence, I decided to go that route. I think there’s something about being a living, breathing, pregnant land barge that makes me not care too much about embarrassing myself. I’ve got to get in the tried-and-true habit of mortifying my little baby upon her arrival.

Names have been changed to protect the innocent in this abbreviated history of me and little Cupid.

Apply Depp to young hair. Be idolized by eight-year-old classmates.

As a little girl, I was a crusher. There was always some boy in my class who I attached my anonymous affection to on the first day of class. It was as natural as bringing in two boxes of Kleenexes on the first day. But the first substantial crush was with Surfer Boy in third grade. For an eight-year-old, this kid had an incredible mass quantity of blonde hair which he styled to perfection, I’m sure, with incredible mass quantities of Depp. In addition to awesome hair, he was nice and popular but not stuck up at all.

Obviously, if he were to have ever found out about my secret love for him, I would have been literally struck dead with mortification, per the rules of little girl crushes. It was in my absolute best interest to keep my devotion under wraps, so as not to die and all. But I could tell my Mimi about him. How dangerous could it be to tell one’s grandmother about one’s love? Come to find out that Mimi was actually FRIENDS with Surfer Boy’s grandmother. Ah, the web of grandmothers in Memphis is one of clout. I hoped that Mimi could put in a good word for me with SB’s camp and possibly draw up the documents to arrange our marriage, but apparently her jurisdiction did not extend that far. My secret love for SB went on and on and on until seventh grade. If he ever found out, he never said anything. I like to think that he was aware that breaking the silence would have killed me, so in effect he was just trying to save my life. How dreamy.

So fast forward a few years to First Real Boyfriend when I was sixteen. Bats&*t, crazy, frenetic, all-devouring first love. First Boyfriend was in a band. Like, really. And he went to public school. And he kissed me for the first time in the back of a van. And my dad hated him. And my friends were very divided on whether this new character in my life was a good thing or a bad thing. I think the jury’s still out on that one.

Yeah, so it was LOVE.

ALL-CAPS LOVE. How could it not have been? He freaking brought me roses when I had a tetanus shot, for crying out loud. I was enraptured and dumbfounded at my luck for having a boyfriend with a guitar. The relationship was commemorated with a great deal of poetry that couldn’t take any other form than that of pure teenage free verse.

Can you imagine how it ended? With me in a puddle at the end of my ten months of bliss with the news that he had dumped me for another girl named Emily from his vile public school. Yeah, so guitars and wide-legged pants can’t be trusted. There’s a free lesson to you, Miss Bebe.

College. The first years of college for me were basically an eclectic mix of faceless beer-scented guys who were occasionally punctuated with boys who may have actually liked me regardless of my dubious affiliation with a sorority. My girlfriends told me that if I ever wanted to get a real boyfriend, I had best stop talking about Beowulf and obscure electronica at parties. Pretty good advice, actually. But dorks die hard and since I didn’t run with an similarly elite dorky crowd (or even like beer at the time) I didn’t really have any luck in the relationship department.

I eventually met a guy one summer who worked at the same art supply store as me, and we actually got along quite well. But then things got real two months into our relationship when my dad passed away unexpectedly. This poor guy had actually been on a cruise during the whole ordeal of the death, wake, and funeral so when he returned, it was all news to him. Yeah, kind of a buzzkill for me AND him. Suffice it to say that a relationship built on Spiderman and Gorillaz is not one that carries over well into bereavement.

But then. But then. But then.

Sweet B circa 2003

Who did I meet but a young man named B. And it was all over. That sweet smile I saw from across the classroom when we met in Contemporary Lit is now the smile I start and end all my days with. I love him so, so much as every year passes by, and I’ve learned so much about myself all because of him. He loves me despite all the failed cakes I’ve made, he out-dorks me in his musical and literary tastes, and he helped me make a Bebe.

He is my own private Mary Poppins – practically perfect in every way.

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11 comments

  1. I have a great recipe for red velvet cake if you would like :) It is quite delicious. P.S next valentines you will have bebe!!! So much fun !!!

    1. I would love it! I love red velvet cake but have never had much success with making it myself. You can email it to me at emilycaustin@yahoo.com

      Thanks!

  2. Maybe I need to find someone who can out-dork me, not out-drink me ;))

    1. Or even better, someone who can do both!

  3. This is so sweet, and I love you. And I love B. Also, you are hilarious. I think I would like to commission you to create such a hilarious and witty narrative of my dating foibles and romantic mishaps. Since you would be performing the role of a bard, we could add some Chaucerian touches, and it would be brilliant. Can’t wait to see you!!! And thank you, as always, for the shout-out:)

    1. You know I would be honored to do anything Chaucerian for you! We both certainly had our share of hard knocks before we married awesome guys.

  4. What a great love story! I can just see you talking Beowulf with the beer-scented guys. :)

    1. Thank you! I still kind of recoil at the memory. That is, of the beer-scented guys, NOT Beowulf. I think ol’ Beowulf would’ve made a good boyfriend.

  5. A well, told, evocative in spirit, and inspiring love story. You really did get a degree in English, didn’t you.

    1. Hehehe, yes, and EdFinancial Loan Services certainly won’t let me forget it. Thank you. We are both indeed lucky gals for ending up with good ones :)

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