Friday, March 02, 2007


"Ah, sweet pity, where would my love life have been without it?" ---Homer Simpson.

Sometimes I sits. And sometimes I sits and thinks. And other times I sits and thinks about things of whimsy. This morning, as I drove to work, my mind wandered and I asked myself: "Self, when did you first tell a woman or girl, that you loved her?" The question surprised me, but not my dog Bernie. He expects such nonsense from me.

"Do you remember the days when you would ask a friend to ask one of her friends if there was the possibility that if you approached her that perhaps she would be receptive to your overtures?" I asked myself, thinking of middle school. My mouth curled into a broad smile.

"But what about the first real admission of love? Working up the courage to overcome that sinking sense that you were closing the door on a trap?"

Bernie looked out the window.

I remembered a story David Steinberg used to tell. He would relate how an older friend, a burly individual whose body hair took on a life of its own, would give advice about romance.

"Whatever you do," the friend related, "don't ever tell a girl you love her. Don't ever do that. Never. You'll be sunk without a way out."

And in the story Steinberg ends up at a school dance, paired with a Shirley Pearlowitz, a teenager with breasts the size of Ethiopia. And as the music played and they snuggled closer to one another, Shirley leaned forward and whispered in his ear: "My parents are out of town.....and I'm a nymphomanic."

To which Steinberg stated he replied: "Shirley, I love you."

Me? I don't remember. I recall holding that word in awe. I remember a young girl once saying she loved me and my non response becoming an awkward silence. But I don't recall my first expression of love, although I had experienced many sleepless nights in love unrequited. I became an expert at it.

"I'm such a good lover because I practice a lot on my own." --- Woody Allen


James Burnett said...

Cool post. Made me reflect with embarassment. I think the first time I uttered those words was in high school with the first girl who helped make me a man. First timer's blurt out, I guess.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Lovely picture. And you've made me try to remember, too, the first time I heard or spoke those miraculous words.

It certainly wasn't the one who, on my 13th birthday said, "Susie, when I kiss you, you're supposed to kiss me back."

And it wasn't the one who told me that I was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He wasn't old enough to drive and his anti-semitic mother cut that one off at the pass.

I really can't remember. And I should be able to. But at least I'm very clear on who tells me now, and that's the best I can do.

This was a funny post, Stewart. No one would blame David Steinberg for not following orders under such duress.

Travis said...

Hmmmmm...the first time I said it? I don't recall - perhaps as a teenager in that I-know-I-feel-something-but-I-don't-know-what-it-is-so-I'll-say-I-love-you kind of way.

But I do remember the first time I said it and meant it. And that woman broke my heart into smithereens.

But, like a T-1000, the pieces melded back together and I found the right love.

spyscribbler said...

I've never been much for the love word. I have no idea why. Not too long ago, I realized that my protagonists--even in my romances--never say it to each other. I probably need to seek the help of a mental health professional. :-)

I do know that DH insists I said it fist, but I very clearly remember him saying it for a whole two or three weeks before I managed to choke out the words. I know I'm right! I suffered much mental anguish about it!

Turnbaby said...

I really like your bits of whimsy, particularly the reflective ones. I know precisely the first time I said it. He said "Love ya" back to me --I have always equated that expression as a dimunition of that feeling--a way to say 'it' but not committing to 'it'. Fine for friends but not lovers. I should have known then he'd break my heart but I was so young with so much still to learn.

Susan Miller said...

There's some line in the movie "Love Stinks" where one of the characters tells his buddy, "Once you say 'I love you' you are obligated thereafter to say it everytime she does." (That's as close as I could get to the actual movie quote.) Anyway, for me that line was a great representation of how so many men and some women feel about that word. Your line about the trap door is another great example.

Childhood, right? My parents were loving; my grandparents were loving. Nobody had a problem with that word. It was said often. So that's what I do with Slater. And most anybody else that needs love.

I love you, Stu. And hug Jon with the same sentiments from me next time you see him, please.

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't remember the particular context in which I first said it, but I certainly remember the girl. I remember...

Stewart Sternberg said...

James, reflection with embarassment is the best part of life. Who doesn't drive away from somewhere at least once in a lifetime, pounding a steering wheel and shouting: "What an idiot I am!!!"

Hearts, I loved that picture. I loved the line about him not being old enough to drive, and the antisemetic mother.

You know, Trav, I'm starting to think that many of us can't remember when the first time was that we said those words seriously to someone. I wonder if it is because at the time we had no idea of the possible significance of the statement, or because we are not proud of the usage in a certain situation.

Spy, you and I have a lot in common. I have always had a hard time telling someone that.

Thanks turnbaby. You know, if I said "I love you," and someone responded with "back at ya", I would have thought I was dating Sammy Davis Jr.

Sue, I love you too. I have to call Jon. He is still undergoing radiation and chemo, but the good news is that he has seen his tumor shrink by some twenty five least that was the last report.

Way to keep an audience leaning forward Charles.

Kate S said... dancing.

Like Spyscribbler, I can barely choke the word out. Not sure why, probably undemonstrative family or something. The only person I can say it easily to is my daughter.

Never thought of it clearly before now, Stewart, but your post made me realize that with the exception of my kid, I've never initiated it. Felt it, but wouldn't say it.

SQT said...

Saying this used to be so hard for me. I come from a family of people who's idea of showing affecion is a punch on the shoulder.

I'm kind of like everyone else, I do remember who I said it to, but not when. I know he said it first and I think it took me awhile to reciprocated. I should've known then that relationship was doomed.

It's easy with kids though. My children hear it a lot and they're much more affectionate than I ever was, so I must be doing something right.

Crunchy Carpets said...

I and was not one for declaring my love for others..not even as a child.
I do remember boys leaving my valentines in my desk at school declaring their love for me!

I think it wasn't till my first 'real' boyfriend and first love that I felt 'safe' enough to say it.

I was chuckling thinking about this, because I think my current dh and I had a harder time coming to some sort of agreement that we actually did indeed love each other.

Took months I think!

jedimerc said...

I agree with the many... very funny stuff. The word 'love' and I have had a strange relationship. At times, I have been very easy to let it fly, and others far too reticent. Like many others, the situations have demanded different responses... at least now, I know a little better :) Maybe.

Christina said...

I like how you address yourself. Aren't pets wonderful? They never question our moments of insanity when we start talking to ourselves. Ahhh, I miss my baby girl. She often answered me even when I wasn't talking to her, it made me feel less looney.

As for love. I don't know who I first said it too. Probably my "New Kids on the Block" bed sheets. Come on, they were hot back then when big hair was in style and I was young enough to find boy bands cool. David Bowie was probably the second image I said it too. As for boyfriends, I don't remember ever saying it to them, though I probably did. . .

Lucas Pederson said...

I remember my first, "I love you".
I had just moved to Iowa from Minnesota. I started school here in middle school, the sixth grade to be exact. I was sort of wierd, because for the first couple years since moving I had had a lot of girlfriends. I entered middle school, scared to death that no one would like me, and, BAM! I had a girlfriend that day. I seemed to be the next Leo Decaprio for them. I'm not bragging here, well, maybe a little.
Anyway. I couldn't move down the hall without a swarm of girls surrounding me. I had never gotten this sort of attention at my old school in Minnesota, so you can imagine my shock and exictment.
So I had a girlfriend that day. We stayed together for a month or so, then that sort of died out. In teh seventh grade was when I told my fifth girlfriend ever in my life that I loved her. She had also be the first girl I had ever really kissed. She was a grade older, smart and funny. I hear she lives in Illionios somewhere. time slips away.

tkkerouac said...

love your insights stop by anytime.

Carol said...

I wonder if there is something in the aire (Spring?) causing this wave of nostalgia. I've been feeling this way too, although not about love, just life.