I Love It Now
Sometimes we make up our mind early about stuff – and those opinions stick with us forever.
Some of the things I loved as I kid I still love:
– Clothes so soft they make you hug yourself.
– Warm beach sand squishing through your toes.
– Tuna sandwiches with a side of potato chips.
And some things that I hated I still hate :
– Mushrooms. I was probably no more than two the first time I spit one out, and I’ve been spitting them out now for sixty years.
– Plaid. My mother loved plaid. I hated it. I still hate it. Plaid is for boys. Most especially brown plaid.
– Clowns – who were invented by adults to scare the crap out of their children, all while pretending they actually loved their kids.
Yes, most Loves and Hates can last a lifetime.
But sometimes your opinion can change.
Come to think of it, though, I can’t right now name a single thing that I loved as a child that I don’t still love. So perhaps Love lasts forever. I still want peanut butter. And yellow rubber boots.
So maybe only Hate can change.
Despite how much you hated something as a kid, you may find that over time (or sometimes even suddenly) you have a love for that previously detested thing.
For instance – as a kid I hated Elvis. I thought he was dumb in every way. I didn’t like his looks or his songs. His movies were corny. But (despite that fact that his movies are still awful), I found as I got older that his voice soothed me, and I see a vulnerability in the face in which I had previously seen such artificiality.
Vegetables. When I was a little girl, my mother would put ten peas on my plate, and not allow me to get up from the table until I had eaten them. Sometimes I sat at the table for a very long time. I would eat NO veggies at all. Except for corn-on-the-cob, which some people call a grain, but is essentially a butter delivery vehicle.
But now, vegetables somehow taste wonderful: peppers and onions and spinach and zucchini and green beans and broccoli and peas (yes, even more than ten) and asparagus and artichokes and beets and oh-my-god butternut squash and – I can’t believe I am even writing this – brussels sprouts.
But the most astonishing turnaround from Loathing to Love is this:
How I detested going to bed. My sisters were older than I, and got to stay up later, which was entirely unfair since I was so much more alert at nine PM than they were. And I knew what I was missing out on. All the best TV shows started at nine. My bedroom was near the living room and I could hear “The Danny Thomas Show” and “Hawaiian Eye” – which had Troy Donahue, for crying out loud.
And I did cry out loud. I cried and begged and pleaded to stay up late. Especially on Wednesdays.
Wednesday was “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. I could hear my sisters laughing. I could hear my mother laughing. And I could hear my father HOWLING. How I wanted to see what was making Daddy howl! It is no comfort to me that years later I got to see Dick Van Dyke in syndication until I knew every episode by heart. What I wanted was to be in the living room at 9PM.
But how things change.
Is there anything sweeter than bedtime?
Tucking yourself into that cozy bed, under that nice big quilt – and letting the dark quiet envelop you?
Just thinking about it – I can hardly wait .. and I am writing this at 2:05.
Each year I get to go to bed a little earlier. What sweet comfort.
I figure in two years I’ll be having dinner at 4:30 so I can be in bed by 6:00.