The night I fell in love with someone nearly half my age wasn’t planned. After all, I’ve been happily married for 17 years. Our marriage has produced off-spring; four daughters. I most certainly didn’t expect a pop icon to introduce me to this new love.
Our meeting made me feel the angst and confused emotions that usually pick on unsuspecting 15 year old's. I tossed and turned in bed while scrambled words tumbled around in my confused state. How could I let this happen? I knew you were trouble when you walked in. I’m 40, I should know better! It was difficult falling asleep, I worried you or I might come to our senses and this feeling would flee before morning.
As the sun rose, I was happy to see nothing had changed, including my tormented emotions that refused to budge. Like a carefree child that frolics merrily in wonder one minute, and then loses sight of a parent and becomes lost and scared the next, my words too, were lost. The more I tried to compartmentalize these mischievous letters, the more they retreated in fear.
The night prior that had set my nerves ablaze pushed its way to the forefront of my brain.
Our meeting was inevitable. We were both in London, attending the same concert, and we both knew intangible elements were missing from our existence. It’s as though an unidentifiable force placed us within the same room. Not just any room, a venue filled with 15,000 others. Really, what are the chances we would be assigned the same seat?
I noted how eager you were as you made your way down the aisle to find your chair. I wondered if this was your first concert. You were surrounded by a gaggle of loud preteen emotions. Girls that tried to mimic the young pop star we had all come to see smelled like vanilla and cotton candy. Their homemade signs were adorned with glittering hearts confessing their love and devotion. As the scent of fresh glue drifted overhead, I watched as you stood in awe. And our eyes met.
I gifted you my seat. I could see you needed this, whatever “this” was, more than me. As you took your place, the joy that leaped from your smile made giving up mine worthwhile. As I slowly backed away, I noticed how you inhaled the joyful sounds of youth. You beamed like a child when confetti magically fell from the sky. Your heart raced remembering emotions that had long left your body. I watched in disbelief as the lyrics washed over you. Reminding you of first loves, heart aches, and anticipation. And as you looked back at me, I couldn’t help but let myself go. Our spirits merged. My inner girl collided with the grown up I’d become.
Taylor Swift’s Red Tour concert was the perfect backdrop to our fairytale encounter. Red, a color that represents a multitude of emotions my youthful spirit remembered well, and an emotion my grown up state had left behind. Seemingly lost in the dizzying commotion of raising four growing girls, I had forgotten the plethora of emotions that fall under Red’s umbrella: Love, Passion, Hate, Hurt, Joy, Frustration, Fear, etc… All of these feelings and more bottled into one bursting emotion! I began to remember the years when allowances were spent on frivolous things like gel pens, candy grams, and nail polish. A time when fashion came over form. And a time when a ringing phone signified one word, possibilities.
Our love story may not go down in history books, as a matter of fact, it may just be ours alone. How many people would understand this magical encounter? A night when my persistent preteen heart weaseled its way into an unsuspecting 40 year old. We merged and it was beautiful…and potentially, lasting.
Nostalgia is comforting, especially when you know the future is bright based on the lessons learned at “15” and “22”. I look forward to watching my four daughters live through their Red years. If they're lucky, they too might have a night where their old world collides with their new one. And if we're ALL lucky, the two worlds just might decide to "Stay Stay Stay" within us, forever....
“We were both young when I first saw you. I close my eyes and the flashback starts….”