The first time I fell in love was the first time I ate chocolate. The second time was when I first read Blue Castle. My first boyfriend, however, occurred after my first love, but before my second. I was five years old at the time. His name was Oscar and he was three months younger than me. I was a cougar.
I fell for him the day he showed me how to open a potato chip packet without it bursting. This was one of those life changing moments you never forget.
“You open it from the bottom,” he said. And just like that, I knew I’d found the one.
I’m not sure when he realised that I was his one. Perhaps he was endeared by my inability to walk without knocking into inanimate objects (I had yet to discover my need for glasses, or become accustomed to my general lack of coordination), or perhaps he found my incapacity to articulate verbally appealing. Maybe he simply gave in to my post-potato-chip-packet-epiphany stalking. We will never know, though I reserve the right to speculate wildly (maybe it was my little finger – the one that doesn’t straighten – or the fact that I had already stopped growing). It was clear to all that I was a catch, and he was the luckiest kid in the playground.
After a few days of forcing Oscar to repeatedly demonstrate his incredible chip-packet-opening magic, I decided it was time I contribute to the relationship. Already an avid consumer of popular culture, and fan of Bewitched, I understood that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, so I tried my hand at baking. Without a kitchen, utensils, or any actual ingredients available, I was disheartened to discover that a wiggle of my nose did not produce the Sunday roast I had envisioned.
Though disheartened, I was not discouraged and took to the supermarket that was the school playground. Armed with water, dirt and a few sticks for texture, I emerged with mud cakes to rival the goods of the greatest Paris bakeries. My cooking had never turned out so well, and certainly has never reached such heights since. Unfortunately, Oscar was less than impressed by my baking masterpieces and dumped me on the spot.
Never fear, the mud cakes did not go to waste. Horrified by the thought that such baking might be thrown away, my friend Amy assisted me in devouring the glorious creations. No doubt again modeling the ever instructive ways of women on television, I enjoyed my first post-breakup binge.
I was sad for about three minutes, mostly due to the stomach ache caused by the delicious if not entirely nutritious mud cakes. Soon, though, I forgot about Oscar. Amy had started a pirate club and I was off to sail the seven seas. A sword (stick) in the eye later, and Oscar was merely a distant memory of potato-chip-magic and mud-cake-disappointment.
Ah, young love.