What’s Love Got To Do With It?

‘Everyone’s too busy talking about love to do their work,’ my son said after school today.

Girls are drawing hearts and kisses in their diaries, the names of boys in triplicate, dreaming of turning frogs into princes. Boys pretend not to notice but they stand straighter when the girls walk by, trying to look as cool as possible.

I remember those days. I was in love with a boy named Billy Dee when I was thirteen. A boy with hair so black I thought he could have been the son of Elvis. A boy who didn’t walk, who loped, who always seemed to be leaning against buildings looking interesting.

My friend told Billy Dee I liked him.

‘Big deal,’ he said. ‘Big deal.’

I was so hurt I wrote a poem that started –

I love Billy Dee

But he doesn’t love me

He said big deal

But I know it’s real

Bad, bad poetry. So it begins. Love. Seeking it. Finding it. Losing it. Wanting it. Needing it. Rejoicing in it. Giving up on it. It sure does make the world go round.

A girl in my son’s class asked if he wanted to be her boyfriend. This was how she put it –

Hey you, do you want to be my boyfriend?

Seems she was the last girl in her group to get a boyfriend and the pressure was on. Beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to love, so when the clock is ticking even some nameless boy just hanging out in the playground will do.

But my boy, he’s got standards. This was his reply –

I don’t think a relationship where you don’t know the other person’s name is going to last.

Wish I’d been aware of that waking up in some grotty student digs with a guy wearing a badly dyed black T-shirt that had bled all over the bed  and me while my head pounded and my heart sank as I tried to remember his name. Charlie? Mike? Steve? Maybe it is the fate of all girls to at one time refer to their supposed beloved as Hey You. All I know is I couldn’t get the dye off my arms for weeks.

The girl in my son’s class was put out by his matter-of-fact rejection of her –

I never really loved you, anyway, she said.

What’s love got to do with it? my son countered.

You’ll see, my boy, I thought. You’ll see.

13 thoughts on “What’s Love Got To Do With It?

  1. It is interesting how quickly many choose to want to find “love” in some form. Sounds like your son is very loved, knows it and is not seeking to play the playground version of love. Hats off to you and your son.


  2. Wise boy you’ve raised. I found out that when I had my first g-friend when I was his age, that soon after many girls took a sudden interest in me. Seems I was not desirable until I was already commited. And so it has been my entire life.


  3. KAREN:
    It is incredible how it all comes back to you when High School starts. It obviously made a much bigger impression on me than I thought. The formative years, eh?

    He’s a funny kid. He wasn’t flattered at all, just affronted.’ She didn’t know my name,’ he said. LOL.

    That’s what gets me. It must be innate, that need to find love (or what they think is love) above all else. Glad my son seems to have a common sense approach to it!

    Her name is Taylor. She is not his type, apparently. LOL.

    Oh, that’s no good. Funny how those patterns are established so early on. I know a lot of people who’ve experienced what you have. Me too, A boy I liked in High School didn’t like me until I went out with someone else. Typical, isn’t it?


  4. Oh dear… so it begins eh?
    The Boy informed me that he was going to marry Tamarrah when they were older. Like after Grade 1. Then she switched school. I don’t recall much heartbreak. Alas. It looks like there may be bad poetry ahead for all of us.


  5. When I was a kid I hoped that I’d never become interested in sex. It seemed to drive people crazy, and I didn’t want any part of it. Of course my wish never came true. It’s good that your son is able to tell you about these things. I received almost no guidance from my parents, and could have used it.


  6. omg! I loved this story. So well written Selma.

    Your son is a cutey patootey…his wit sounds similar to my son’s. I think they would be friends….AND remember each other’s name.

    And I loved your one night stand description….yeah, blurry head, wondering how it all happened…seemed so right at one point during the night before. And then having to be reminded by the black dye lingering. lol!


  7. Ah your son sounds like my kind of guy.

    I am amazed that they are into this sort of thing already. He is only a year older than my son and there doesn’t appear to be any of that going on here – the boys and girls seem to still mix as friends. Gosh – scary – I cannot imagine my son having any idea what to say to a girl – his greatest love is climbing trees!


  8. NAT:
    The bad poetry is coming. I am sure of it. Hahaha.

    I was so embarrassed about that dye. Not easy to explain away. That was the last time I ever hooked up with a Goth. 😆

    Oh me too. Far too complicated. For many years becoming a nun looked good!!

    That boy is switched on, I tell you. The one-liners just fly out of him. It’s a laugh a minute!

    Hahaha. It’s always a bonus when you can remember one another’s names. Your son sounds cool.

    That dye plagued me, I tell you. It’s hilarious when i think about it!

    Last year in Year 6 my son wasn’t interested at all. He still isn’t. It’s all coming from the girls. Were we like that at the same age? I can’t remember being quite so keen, so soon. It’s all about the street cred now. And if you’re single, you ain’t got no cred. At 12 or 13. Holy moly!


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