You always remember the first time.
– my first snowfall, age 17
– my first time on a plane, age 4
– my first time seeing the world through contacts, age 18
– my first time singing alone in front of people, age 15
You always remember the first time. You don’t forget the way it felt, the things you wanted to do or say. Sometimes the memory may trigger the same physical response as the first time. First times are huge, and you don’t want to screw them up. First kiss? First date? First real job after graduation? It’s all a big deal.
You know what’s a bigger deal? When the first time is something negative. Like the first time a man raises his voice at you. Or the first time a man calls you a bitch. Now those memories, those first times, those are the ones you wish never happened. They are the hardest to forget. They color everything.
You wish they didn’t color everything. One man isn’t representative of the entire male population. But, boy, does it feel that way in the heat of it. And you wonder if your expectations are too high; if it’s too much to ask for someone to care enough, to respect you enough, to love you enough to not call you an expletive. You wonder if you’re the crazy one, if you’re making a big deal out of nothing. Does comfortable humor – you know, the “I can joke about anything because he/she knows what I really mean” humor – now include making your sisters feel devalued? I certainly hope not.
When you’re still searching for value and worth one word can, in an instant, strip from you what little value you’ve found. And you’re left naked, cold, unprotected. It’s the worst feeling.