When I was 15, my father gave me the sex talk: “If you come home pregnant, I’m kicking you out of the house.” My stepmother’s version was a bit different: “Let me know if you get into trouble, I have money set aside.” Looking back, I wish my parents would have talked openly to me about love, birth control, and infidelity.
“Eddie,” the first boy I fell in love with, and whom I chose to have sex with, turned out to be a consummate cheat who cut my heart into many pieces. We used a condom maybe three out of 30 times, and it’s only through the blessings of the universe I never became pregnant.
I had been crushing on Eddie since freshman year. He had amber eyes and freckles, and I thought he was so cute! Of course, many, many other girls also thought Eddie was cute. He took full advantage. Eddie didn’t give me the time of day until we were seniors, and by that time I had a boyfriend.
[The included photo shows me at 17, attending the senior prom with my good friend Rob Carro, who has since passed away.]
After Eddie and I kissed for the first time, I broke up with my boyfriend. It just didn’t seem right to stay with him when I was so ga-ga over Eddie. And I was naive enough to believe Eddie liked me as a person and wanted me as a girlfriend. And while I hadn’t ever had sex with my former boyfriend, Eddie and I did right away–in my living room, my bedroom, in the back of a truck, on a hillside, you name the place and we had sex there.
I loved Eddie as much as a 17-year-old girl could. Not only did I think he was gorgeous, I paid for his lunch at least once a week during football season. I had sex with him any time he asked. Once, I even wrote an essay for him, dumbing down my A paper to a C, so the teacher would believe Eddie actually read and analyzed “The Glass Menagerie.”
After I heard Eddie had been kissing and sleeping with other girls, I cried in private and was afraid to confront him. I figured that would be a quick way to get dumped, even though we had no real relationship. Eddie liked to spread himself around. When we were alone, he told me he was “not a commitment type of guy.”
Imagine my surprise when I showed up to school one morning and learned Eddie was in a serious relationship with a girl who happened to be the daughter of a doctor. I was the daughter of a shoe-repair man. Looking back, I see how she could raise his status higher than I could. But, was she in love with him?
How I cried. And cried. I asked Eddie to meet me in the gym so we could talk. I cried all through the conversation, but I told him I wanted him to leave me alone. No more sex. No more free lunches. No more serving as his patsy. Eddie cracked my heart in two. Wrung me out. I had nothing more to give.
Part of me hates Eddie, because my first time in love was defined by lies and cheating, and I dumped a sweet guy for an oversexed jerk. And while you might think I would have learned my lesson from that experience, I have fallen for the forked tongue of a narcissist more than once. Sometimes, it’s easier to believe the lies of a smooth talker than the truth from someone who loves you.
Obviously, being in love and loving someone are very different. I was in love with Eddie, but I hardly believe I loved him. Especially because he did not love me back. Luckily, I am not a grudge holder. I still believe in love. Plus, I heard that Eddie has daughters, so perhaps, as a father, he has been able to see the other side of heartbreak.
My father once asked me how I would handle questions from my kids about my sex life back in the day. Perhaps he thought I might be ashamed or embarrassed. Being open with my children about the past is important to me. Maybe they can side-step a few romantic landmines by learning from my mistakes. Let’s hope so.