Monday, May 14, 2012

Blogfest Challenge: First Loves

            Today's Blogfest challenge of First Loves comes from Alex Cavanaugh: First movie, band, book and person. This took more thought than I originally expected! It was fairly easy to choose each thing but finding the right words to explain why they are so special was certainly a challenge at times.
            “The Crow” was the first movie that ever blew my mind. It haunted me for days. I was in high school and it was the first time a movie had ever affected me in that way. It was a bit unnerving. I watched it again and to my amazement it was just as spectacular as it was the first time.  I bought the soundtrack then the musical score and I listened to them over and over and over.  There was just something about the images combined with the music and the concepts of true love and revenge that spoke to my emotional teenage self and has always stayed with me. 

            When I first heard of Dave Matthews Band, it was 1995 and Jerry Garcia had recently died. When someone at school said they’re going to be the next Grateful Dead, I said “Pfffft….whatever”. The first time I heard a DMB song was that summer when “What Would You Say” was their first radio hit and I thought “That’s okay but what’s the big deal?”. Then I saw them on Saturday Night Live and it was love at first sight. I clearly remember Dave wearing bright plaid pants and dancing like a maniac. There was an enormous violin player and the song “Ants Marching” was unlike anything I’d ever heard. I was smitten. I saw them in concert for the first time about six months later and I knew that I’d never before or again love any music like this. Anyone who knows me at all can tell you I’m a pretty big fan of Mr. Matthews and his band. Actually I don’t usually like referring to myself as a fan because it reminds me of people who say they’re a huge fan of cheeseburgers or chick flicks and it’s just not the same. The best comparison I’ve come up with is to say that Dave Matthews Band’s music is like religion to me. That may seem blasphemous but I don’t mean it that way at all. These men and their music have been in my life since I was 16 years old and have provided me with a soundtrack through some of the most wonderful and terrible times of my life. I’ve seen them in concert 24 times. The most fun I ever had at one of those concerts was when I went by myself and was in the 2nd row. I’ve met them once and have their FireDancer logo tattooed on by back. Many amazing people have come into my life through a mutual love of DMB’s music and I'm grateful for that.
I’ve loved books as long as I can remember. My mom tells me that before I could read I would carry my books around and pretend I was reading by making up stories to go with the pictures.  I remember very clearly walking home from the store near our home with my mom around age five, holding this book and running my hands across the pages.  The images of these kittens painting have been burnt into my mind.

And now, here I am an adult who loves books and cats and has a special affinity for animals in clothes. It makes me wonder what came first: Was I drawn to this book at age five for those reasons or did the book start those interests for me?
            When it comes to romantic love, I met my first on the school bus when I was 12. It was a typical adolescent romance for a while. We hung around each other awkwardly, then we “went out” even though neither of us could take the other anywhere, then we broke up, hated each other, became friends again and then went our separate ways after high school and I’d hear from him every once in a while. Ultimately, our story spans eighteen years and includes me marrying someone else, then getting divorced, him having two children by two different women and then spending some time in federal prison. We reunited through FaceBook after three years of being out of touch and were now on different sides of the country. There were confessions of love, apologizes, a visit and a marriage proposal. As I was preparing to move east to start my new life, I got dumped. Hard. It turns out that during this time he actually got another woman pregnant and they’ve since had twin daughters. He called me during that time because he needed someone to talk to because he was “going through some really tough stuff”. I told him to go to hell and I haven’t heard from him since. So this story isn’t exactly a happy one. BUT in the end A) It’s a good story and B) I learned so much about myself and what I was willing to put up with to feel loved. I grew so much after this last experience that I was able to be on my own and in turn be ready for the man I’m with now who may not be my first romantic love but hopefully will be my last.
            It’s funny when you start to think about things like this; the first things you fell for that made you who you are today. I’m happy to be able to share these little stories and maybe even turn someone on to something new (except the dirt bag ex-boyfriend!). 


  1. I remember as a child you had a stack of little golden books. You would carry a few of your favorites in a sesame street shoulder bag. You always would ask me or Rosie to read you one, and one of us would. I remember usually reading the one about Jack and the beanstalk to you and I would always be forceful when I came to the "FE FI Fo Fum" part because you were always disappointed if I didn't! you would say "do it again! do it again!".... Your mom always looked for books for you at yardsales too. She was so proud of how smart you were for such a young child.

  2. I loved The Crow. I was absolutely heartbroken when Brandon Lee died during production. My husband and I actually named our son after him.

    I'm a new follower via the First Loves Blogfest. Nice to meet ya!

    (BTW - you should move your Google Friend Connect gadget to the top of your sidebar so people can see it and know they can join your site. It's great incentive to make a connection, but I didn't even see it until I started to comment. Just a thought.)

  3. Wow, that's a heck of a story there. Glad to hear you've emerged from it in a better place. Nice to meet you via this blog fest.

  4. Thanks for sharing these great stories!

  5. Thanks everyone, I really enjoyed this challenge! Nancy, thanks for your advice-I already made the change.

  6. The Crow is an amazing movie. So bittersweet since Brandon Lee died just before they finished filming it. I think the fact that real life mirrors the movie so much is what made it powerful and haunting.
    Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

  7. Aww, those kittens are so sweet!

    Sharing the Love!
    English Speaking Zone

  8. I really liked your story about first love, it is real. I have been in relationships like that and I am so glad that you got out and learned from it :)

    Great blog, btw :)


  9. I remember that book! Loved reading your stories.

    I'm a new follower. It's nice to meet you! :)

  10. A little behind in visiting first loves. The crow was a great movie! We all learn lessons from so many different things in our lives. I hope your love now is your last love too!

  11. Sorry I'm late.
    I remember reading The Crow graphic novel and crying. Then they made the movie which was so different but, like you said, haunting. I think Brandon Lee and his death had a lot to do with it.
    Great picks. Even your first love story!
    Thanks for sharing with us.

  12. Hi. Your doing great.