I promise I will not start another post with a song refrain, but this one is so apt. the Princess, as you know, is home from college and lifeguarding at a camp. She is having major love problems. Without invading her privacy, suffice to say that we never love those that love too easily, and we always want the one that got away. That sounds like a fortune cookie - simply put, she doesn't return the feelings of someone who is her friend, and she is attracted to someone else but doesn't want to lose the friendship. She came home very stressed out from work and from all this relationship turmoil, and I gave her some sage words of advice and suggested she take a shower and cool off for awhile, but she has to go to her friend's house, who just talked to her ex-best friend and told him that she was seeing someone else and now he's never going to talk to her again and.....
What a flood of memories this all brings back to me. It feels like a million years ago that my hormones were racing and my heart was fluttering and my head was spinning from my desires, unrequited and otherwise. I feel the tenderness of her concern for her best friend, I feel the ache in her heart that she can't force herself to feel differently about him, and I feel her young lust to be with someone to whom she is physically attracted. I'd forgotten the drama, the angst, the phone calls, the drop-by visitors, the calls to friends to check on the other person, the concern, the worry, then the anger, the tears.
I'm really not a person to come to for relationship advice. I've been with the same man for a very long time. The idiosyncracies of our relationship are our own, confined within the tango of two persons who have known each other since they were teens. So I'm really good on teenage relationship advice, but don't have a clue about meeting and greeting in "mature relationships", or as my youngest delicately put it today "for older persons" (this was in connection with activities to do at a water park that she wants me to take her to, not love). Considering that, perhaps I am a good person to give advice to her. After all, certain issues are immutable, not affected by time or mores.
And what, you ask, are these immutable standards of love?
1. You can't force yourself to be attracted to someone
2. You can't expect the other person to "just be friends" because you want them to be.
3. No matter how understanding the unloved person is, once you start to date someone else, they will be livid and blow up in your face.
4. If you try to juggle too many boys, you end with yolk on your face.
OK, the last one mixed metaphors, but you get my drift.
Tender mercies. That's what thought of when my daughter was crying. We all just need to treat each other with tender mercy. My oldest can be a very tough person when she is angry. She can rage at me, scream, slam doors, and hold a grudge for quite awhile. (I wonder where she got that from?)
But when she cries, her face turns red and her shoulders shake, and she seems as tiny as when she was three. I hate seeing her cry over boys and friends. She's been hurt in some significant relationships, both boys and girls. I've learned, though, as most of us have, not to get too entrenched in the war because when it is over, and will end eventually, you have to welcome that person back into your house and serve them steak and mashed potatoes with a smile when all you want to do is plop the mashed potatoes on their head.
So we took her out for a burger, and drove to a new ice cream place where they mix in the fillings. By the time we got home, she was singing as she got out of the car. She's off to H's, to tell her the whole story, to rehash the IM'ing that occurred after she got home, to call her guy friends to see what they think, and hopefully, to get home and go to bed earlier than 2:00. God, I'm glad I'm not 19 anymore. And God, I miss it.