The First "I Love You"

The candy aisle of Walgreen's won't let you forget that the holiday of dating and love and kissing and cooties is right around the corner, and since we've already talked about some of the shittier aspects of love today, let's flip the script and discuss some of the good things, the things that make your heart flutter in your chest and make you smile with your entire face and make you feel clean and light inside and that make Celine Dion songs really mean something, you know? Let's talk about the first time someone told you that they love you, in a more-than-a-friend type way.

I was a junior in college, studying abroad in a Mediterranean country, and was a couple of months into dating my first ever serious boyfriend, another American college student in my program. We had been out to dinner earlier that evening and then gone to a club called, creatively, "In Da Club," which was the only club in that particular Mediterranean city that played American hip hop music.

I was pretty drunk by the time I got home, and we were arguing about something stupid that drunk people argue about. His ex girlfriend? The fact that I was talking to the DJ? I don't remember.

Things got a little heated, and he broke down and told me that he was afraid to lose me because... because... he loved me.

I felt dizzy. I'll be right back, I said, and I scurried off to the bathroom that I shared with my four other roommates and proceeded to throw up all of the contents of my stomach. When I tried to flush the toilet, the puke clogged the shoddy plumbing (in this country, you can't even flush toilet-related refuse paper down the toilet, as the pipes couldn't handle it) and the toilet proceeded to overflow, puke and all, onto the marble floors of the bathroom.

Shit, I thought.

I ended up cleaning up the bathroom sufficiently, over the course of 15 minutes or so. Romance!

Now that I look back on it as another sterile Thing That Has Happened, it seems kind of cheesy, pretty weird, and a little gross, but at the time, it meant something to me, and I hope that I never get to the point in my life when it doesn't mean something. Love, or the chance of love, is worth all of the gross foreign pukey stories in the world.

So, readers: when's the first time someone told you that they loved you?