Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The stigma of the first time!
I sometimes judge our society on how it has romanticized the concept of “The First” in relationships. The first kiss, first love, first fight, first sight, first date, first hate…whatever…you get the picture! Not only is this obsession legitimized by the perennial stalwarts of everything romantic namely Archies and Hallmark but it’s turned into this marketing opportunity which every corporate worth its dime seems to be jumping into. Now I know people will be like, what’s wrong with that? Actually honestly…nothing! But I just have a diametrically opposite opinion about it nonetheless. Let me explain.
My problem is not that I disagree with people celebrating and marking their first anniversaries or dates etc. It's just that everything first is supposed to be this life altering, emotionally defining moment which you will savor and remember for the rest of your life and if god forbid something goes wrong, you will be scarred for life, unable to feel or ever experience the divinity in that moment, coz obviously it can never happen again! Or they would like you to believe. Ever felt the pressure of expectations weighing down on you when you’re about to get or give your first kiss…or experience something intimate for the first time. It’s like you are supposed to be this vivacious, enigmatic lover who knows all the right moves and all the right lines and sweeps your partner off their feet, violins start playing in the background, the moon and the stars descend from the heavens and you both are transported to this magical world to experience something that is truly cosmic and transcendental.
Was that how you thought it was going to be, or should be? I am sure if not entirely, the depiction was close. But how did you know this was supposed to happen, you didn’t dream it or imagine it all by the creative forces in your mind. You were made to believe this is how it should be or must be. Whether it’s from being fed on the philosophy and fictional junk of these candy floss romantic flicks or going teary eyed reading quixotic paperbacks aka Mills & Boons, Twilight and the likes. They set such high and idealistic precedents that somehow we are supposed to match them at some degree. At least that’s what every hormone infested adolescent feels and so do many young adults. Not meeting these standards seems to be nothing less than a crime, or leaves you feeling inefficient, depressed and questioning your ability and worthiness. Not the picture perfect ending we were gutting for now is it?
Now people will argue that I am completely discounting the importance of the first encounter. No I am not, what I am saying is, we have romanticized it far too much. It's supposed to be special, but we’ve turned it into this do or die kind of performance ability test which everyone needs to ace. Now I really hope that most of you had first encounters that you really treasure and fondly remember. However, if you did not, that’s OK. You can make it work the second time or third time, or whenever you feel you are ready. That doesn’t mean you’re a failure and your partner is going to drop you like a bag of wet sand. It’s not like you started walking the moment you were born. You learned to crawl, then to stand and then to walk. So you’ll get there, some people I concede have a natural ability…some people are good talkers, some people handle emotions well, some connect with people well, some solve math problems with ease, and some people have artistic ability and some people are good at relationships. But that is no manner conveys that you can’t learn. Human beings by nature are emotional creatures, emotions are at the core of who we are and how we behave and are influenced. So it’s not some major complex physics formula that you need to crack. If it doesn’t work for you the first time, it will eventually. No need to eat yourself up over it.
People really are fixated with getting it right the first time, coz apparently if it’s right the first time, then it’s perfect. C’mon now…nothing in this world that is perfect or perceived as such was accomplished on the first go. Hell…Edison tried a thousand times before he invented the electric bulb. Einstein spent his entire life working and researching to come up with E=mc2. So give perseverance a high five people!
Let me tell you honestly, most people have very awkward first times. Firstly coz they’re nervous maybe even petrified, overtly self conscious and insecure. So if someone tells you, dude I nailed it at the first go…please! Tell that person to go suck an egg coz 9.5 out of 10 times they are just fibbing and even if they are telling the truth, they are definitely pulling it beyond obvious recognition. Don’t be hung up on this first time dogma that society tends to perpetuate. If it’s perfect the first time, that’s wonderful, congratulations to you! If not, not to worry, it’s just a learning curve, there will be many more times when you can make it special. The best part is, you will be better prepared and better conditioned. And when it does happen, it will be on your terms, and you can waive the magic wand and create your own wonderland.