Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Unrequited Love

Half term is rolling round once again, and I am really looking forward to the week off for all of us. The last few weeks have been incredibly busy for me - six discos in May alone on top of the karaoke nights. This included two weddings, the second of which is this Friday. These require a lot of preparation. This is not to mention the book launch and everything else I have been doing.

But next week, Claire is off, I am off (other than Sunday 1st June) and the kids are off, so we will of course have lots of things to do.

One thing I am looking forward to, which is a kid free day (sorry lads) is going to see the new Star Trek movie. On Wednesday the kids will be off to grandparents for 24 hours, giving us some adult time, a rarity. We will make maximum usage of this time, beginning with a trip to Oxford on Wednesday afternoon to see the film followed by a meal in the evening.

I asked on facebook about 3D films, because believe it or not I have never seen one. The responses were mixed, some think good old fashioned 2D is better which surprises me. I must admit, the idea of wearing extra glasses over the tops of the ones I already have doesn't really grab me. But I suppose I will have to try the 3D experience at some point, so I think maybe we will give it a try and if we don't like it we don't have to do it again.

My only previous experience of 3D is with some awful cheap glasses given away with the Radio Times for a season of "3D" programmes 20 years ago which included the Doctor Who/ Eastenders 30th anniversary Children In Need special which quite frankly was absolutely dreadful. It seems we have moved on a little from then.

A lot of these new developments in film and TV are lost on me anyway. The problem is, it is all very well having HD and 1080i screens, but if your eyes are not up to it, where is the benefit? I remember when Lost came out on Blu Ray, all I was hearing was "It's amazing, you can see every blade of grass". To which my response was "I can't make out every blade of grass on the lawn in real life because of my crappy eyes so it's all lost on me".

I wish my eyesight was better, but my left eye remains blurred, no matter what lenses the opticians try me with. The glasses I wear only give me very marginal improvement. The weird thing is, if I pull my eyelid to the right or left with my fingers, it actually comes back into focus, but that's not a lot of good to me. I can't go wandering around the place with my finger stuck in my eye all the time. What's the problem? Don't know but I am off to the optician (a new one) very shortly so I'll see if they can do a better job than the last lot.

Half term means opportunities to spend more time with the kids and perhaps it is just as well Ollie is having a break. He seemed rather sad yesterday, so at bedtime when I tucked him in I had a good chat with him to try and find out what was wrong.

Now this is very hard work with Ollie - attempting to get to the root of any problem involves quite a long questioning technique, as he gives very vague answers to questions, and it takes ages to drill down and get to the bottom of the problem.

He has a friend at school, a girl in his class he is very keen on. I have known this for a while as he has told me he loves her and she is his best friend. At his age (5) of course this is all very innocent, but it seems he has a crush on this girl. Anyway the jist of the problem is that this girl who he has been referring to as his girlfriend doesn't want to be his girlfriend. She only wants to be his friend, and when he told her that he loved her, she said that she loved her family more. Which of course is how it should be.

But Ollie clearly really is very keen on this girl and is feeling rejected. Sadly for him, and I did explain this to him, this is a fact of life and it is going to happen to him a lot more.

Ollie's artwork, on the patio. A classic chalk love heart moment.

I know it is going to happen to him a lot more, because Ollie is a carbon copy of me in so many ways, he is going through all of the same things that I did at that age. I had a crush on a girl in my class called Sasha Moyes when I was about Ollie's age, and myself and my friend Dominic squabbled over which one of us was going to marry her. I always wanted to hold her hand and try and kiss her but she wouldn't let me. The problem was solved when her family moved to Africa for two years. I remember being very sad.

And throughout my life I have felt the pain of unrequited love so many times. Is it something that happens to us all, or am I (and presumably now Ollie too) particularly susceptible to it? How many times I have felt the unbearable pain of a huge crush on a girl who just doesn't feel the same way. The agony, the yearning, the wanting to be with someone and the constant soul-searching, "why doesn't she like me, what's wrong with me?"

This isn't stalking or weird behaviour, well I don't think it is, just the pain and frustration of wanting to be with someone and having to come to terms with the fact that they don't feel the same way. Maybe it was just a phase, but for me, this phase lasted about 30 years. From the day Sasha wouldn't let me kiss her until about my mid 30s when I finally settled down, I went through this agony with someone or other pretty much on an annual basis.

Thankfully today I am comfortable in my own skin, but I don't regret those bitter sweet crushes, and there were plenty of moments of joy to go with the disappointments when I actually found that the girl in question was rather sweet on me too, so it was not all bad.

Sadly for Ollie, he has all of this to go through, and if he is a carbon copy of me, and is already suffering the pain of this first rejection, I fear he has much heartbreak ahead.

But he does have one thing on his side. He has me. I've experienced all of this before him. Last night I sat with him and we talked, and I gave him the sort of support he needed, and by the time he went to sleep, I had a happy little boy again. There will be more tears ahead for him, all I can do is be there for him.

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