“He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”

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One of the earliest school games I remember was taking the petals off a daisy and repeating with each one “he loves me, he loves me not.” Of course we were hoping that we would end on “he loves me.” A similar game involved twisting the stem of an apple around in a circle. Each turn counted as a letter in the alphabet. When the stem finally fell off, the letter signified a boy’s name. It helped to long for a boy friend whose name was several letters in such as Fred or Gary. It was hopeless to get the stem to hang on until William!

We certainly found love to be a mystery, and I am not sure it ever became less of one as we grew into adulthood. We loved someone who didn’t love us back. Someone loved us who we didn’t love back. Two of us loved the same person. No one loved us. The angst went on and on it seems. Certainly pop music teems with stories of unrequited love. If all love was straightforward the musicians might have much less to sing about.

What pop music captures though is that sometimes the longing in unrequited love is nearly as satisfying as the desired reciprocity. Sometimes we could indulge in lengthy fantasies about someone without having to go through the actual ups and downs of a real relationship. This turmoil remains in my past. But here’s to the boys I longed for and never got and to the boys I passed over along the way.

5 thoughts on ““He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”

  1. Ah, so true. I had a lot of satisfaction from unrequited love, being able to imagine the ideal ‘what if?’
    And many times when I had got what I desired, I realised it was nowhere near as good as my fantasy.
    I also remember using flowers, in my case, buttercups. I would hold one under a girl’s chin. If the yellow reflected on her skin, I would say, “that means you like butter”. It was nonsense of course, but one way to be allowed to get very close to her. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete

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