Friday, 28 March 2014

LOVE IS A FOUR LETTER WORD: Youngster craze.

Love is a four letter word. Only four, but the number of words taken to explain it multiply by thousands. It is a ‘thing’ we all go through in our lives. And as we grow up we experience it more. We learn it does not only take feelings to say you love someone.  We understand it is not the same as saying “I like you”. We are also introduced to lust, what I like to refer as her evil twin (I just chose Love’s gender)and infatuation. And we also experience heartbreak after heartbreak (after another heartbreak if you were insistent)

This feeling of love of course has a genesis. The feeling, not the action traces its roots back to when we did not understand our bodies well. You were just coming to terms with the fact that your voice is getting deeper or the size of your bosom is not the same flat you knew and one day you walk into class and bam! Has that boy been in my class all along? When did that girl get so beautiful? Enchantment is real.

It’s a Monday evening. 5 o’clock. I am in my room reading a novel, A big little life, as I wait for my brothers to get back from school. I have brothers. Two of them. They are twins. When they were born I could not get over it that we have twins. I have always been obsessed with twins since a tender age. Many many many times I would always fantasize about having an identical twin sister who would go to school for me and I would sleep all day (happens in movies). I still fantasize about it :-). God knows my heart will crush a little if I do not have twins of my own. Babies are wonderful either way, twins or not.

My brothers are fraternal twins, although people still have a hard time telling them apart. At the moment they are thirteen going fourteen.

I turn a page of my book when one of my brothers, the younger one, enters. He sets his backpack down. I look. He seems restless. He does not look at me straight in the eye. He has that habit when he wants to tell me something. Something sensitive. I wait.

“When you were my age did you have relationships?” He drops the bomb.

I am taken aback, I actually widen my eyes. Then a broad smile draws my lips. I am surprised because I was not expecting to be asked that and amused because he has now brought a flood of memories.

 I had a crush alright. He has never known. I was 13 then, in class 7. I cannot exactly remember how I started to like him, I just know one day it registered in my mind that I liked this boy. From what I have learnt from my brothers, if they do not like a particular girl, that girl should not like them. If the girl does, the boy is taken to a whole new level of discomfort. I apparently never told this boy I ‘liked’ him and at the same time I was having a hard time telling my heart to stop liking him. How I wish it were easy like a finger snap.

My heart would flutter at the simplest of things! Things that were normal to everyone, I would put meaning to them. Even though there was absolutely none whatsoever. Normal things like him asking me the page of the English homework or just tapping my shoulder so I could make way for him to pass I would over think them like crazy.

Fast forward a year later, I am a candidate. You know that feeling you get because you are a KCPE candidate, you are old enough to make some decisions or that you are old enough to experience some things? I somehow honestly felt like it was not wrong to have a boyfriend at that age. I could not understand why our teachers were constantly on our necks with “boyfriends and girlfriends are not for now, you still have a lot of time”. Time? What time? I am ready to do this! Never mind I had no idea what it meant to have a boyfriend. 

Two weeks ago I was reading these columns in these copies intended for teens. There was a section those like “Ask Aunty”.  These Aunties are very queer although they do give sound advice sometimes. A 16 year old boy was questioning why he does not have a girlfriend because all his friends do. Guess what was buzzing in my head?  “Young boy, do you know how much TIME you have on you?” Maybe this 16 year old was a hypothetical situation but I did relate to it. I honestly thought that time was not there. I must’ve been in a stupor.

I sit up and smile at my brother.

“Yes we did”

And this beckons him to go on and on about the topic, asking more questions. I make my way to the kitchen and we bump into his twin.

“Gertie, you had boyfriends and girlfriends at my age?” He asks. Very straightforward, this one.

“Yes we did”

And he goes on and on. Both of them are now explaining and complaining and questioning. I cannot help but feel that they are very lucky. When I was at that stage I had no one to ask. I had to depend on what my gut felt. And here is where I thank my parents so much for bringing us up so well. Most adult problems and poor choices actually stem from poor childhood. My parents were present all through and they made sure we had all we wanted and needed so I had no major rebellious cases, just the few normal ones like “Respect my privacy”.

I tell them what needs to be told. That it is normal to have those feelings but it is not always wise to act on them seriously. A crush here and there is not harmful. A date (and by this I mean hanging out together during the school Sports day) with a girl you like is not harmful, that is actually how you start learning about girls and how they are complicated. Friendships with the opposite sex are also not harmful. But priorities need to be properly aligned and time is still a lot on their side. Serious things don’t even start up until past your teen years.

They have not asked me what love is yet. That will be asked in their high school years. I am just glad they do have people they can speak to about their sexuality. Every young teen should have someone sensible to talk to. Sexuality is a topic that should not be ignored, it helps to drop in a few tips here and there and hold the horrendous ‘talk’ with your teens (siblings or children)

I am beginning to sound like a mother now:-) I am getting the vetting; I hope to be a good one when the time comes!

Enjoy your weekend :-)





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Everyone has 24 hours a day, difference is how you use it up. I am a cocktail of a lady who loves art and is tech-savvy.

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