Monday, February 20, 2012

Little ditty ‘bout Jack & Diane…or in this case, Becky & Tommy

Confession time. I’ve been dreading our current topic, "Teen Lover, Where are Youuuu?"

Why, you ask?

Because I have no firsthand experience with teen love or teen lovers.

Now, if the topic had been “Angsty, John Hughes-worthy, Unrequited Crushes” or “Wild, Stupid Stuff I did in High School” I’d be golden. But teen love, huh, that’s a toughie.

Becky & Tommy had matching hair.
The closest thing I have to draw from is the love life of my best friend. Rebecca and I were BFFs in junior and senior high. In tenth grade, she started dating Tommy. They quickly became serious and were together until the ratbastard dumped her just after prom. During their 2+ year relationship, I hung out with them on a regular basis, but I also spent a lot of time branching out, so I wouldn’t just be a third wheel. Thinking about Becky and Tommy made me ask myself, if I could go back and do things differently, would I?

I think every girl wants the Jake Ryan experience—that A-MA-ZING high school romance that makes you feel special and gives you intimate knowledge of what it is to love and be loved. So, were there times I was a teensy bit jealous of what my best friend had? Of course.

Yes, Becky had Tommy—a make out partner and guaranteed date every weekend—but I kissed a handful of boys, hung out with several groups of friends, did community college theatre, cut class for Chinese food and Broadway shows in the city, and spent too many mornings hung-over. Would I be the same person without those formative experiences?  

Becky graduated with a broken heart and I graduated never having had a real boyfriend. But I wouldn’t trade my loser life for teen love. I like my angst and knowing what it’s like to be on the outside looking in. It’s who I am. And eventually my Jake Ryan found me...but that's a post for another time.

Now dear readers, let’s play the game of life. There’s a fork in the road, do you chose the serious high school boyfriend path or the serious life experience single path? And why?

Happy President’s Day!


Lorie Langdon said...

I didn't have a long-term boyfriend in high school either. It was hard at the time, but looking back I wouldn't trade the experiences I had along the way.
I did have one heart-breaking relationship in HS that I'll blog about next week. ;o)
Great post, Carey!

Kimberly said...

It doesn't really matter if it's you who had the experience or not. The reality is that you DID learn something from teen love. I'm sure that relationship affected you. I'm sure your best friend cried on your shoulder, and those tears influenced how you viewed love and commitment and loyalty. Whether the experiences were positive or negative, they do, in fact, shape your own life.
You got what you needed from that time, and in the end, you got your Jake Ryan, so all's well, huh? :-)

CareyCorp said...

@ Lorie - I can't wait to hear all about it.

@Kim - I did learn from it. I learned that one must balance their friendships with their love life. Because friends are forever.

Melissa Landers said...

I loved dating and having boyfriends in high school--despite the trouble they caused--so I wouldn't change anything. However, I'm grateful that none of my early romantic relationships lasted longer than a school year. The kids who *really* got hurt after a breakup always seemed to be the ones who'd been together for ages and ages.

Lea Nolan said...

Ooh, good question, Carey. And you made me LOL with the matching hair caption! I didn't have a serious long term boyfriend until my senior year and since he went to a different school that was pretty far away I didn't see him during the week and usually just once on the weekend. It freed me up to do all the stuff I loved to do -theatre, music, waitress at Friendly's-so it didn't have quite the same impact that a close-by boyfriend would have had. Although I wished I could have had a boyfriend before that, I'm glad I didn't because I could have missed a lot of stuff I really enjoyed.

Gillian Layne said...

I keep telling my 16 year old she's lucky not to have a serious boyfriend muddying the college choices next year. And my oldest's (18) best friend just had a major break up with her boyfriend and is now looking for other far away (read: expensive) colleges just to get away from him. Really? I vote for the serious life experience. :)

Adrianne Russell said...

I had the serious long-term BF in high school my junior and senior years. It had some good moments and intense periods of crazy emotion and wounding stuff that at the time I wasn't sure I would recover from. Freshman and sophomore years I wasn't allowed to date, so I had no choice but to go the life experience route. :)

Okay, that doesn't really answer the question. LOL - if I had to choose, I'd go with serious life experience.