Unrequited Love: Oh the Irony

A long time ago in college, I decided to take a graduate level psychology class. I had already taken some of the lower courses for my minor and while I wasn’t a graduate student, the professor gave me permission to go ahead and take “The Psychology of Relationships.”

It was fascinating, the topics, yes, and also the class structure. There were only 10 of us and we sat around an oval-shaped table and discussed these topics. And at the end, we were to give a presentation that make up for 75 percent of our final grade.

My assignment, unrequited love. We partnered up with someone, like couples, to give our presentations.

I dug into the topic, this idea that someone could have such strong feelings for another and they were simply not returned. There were so many forms of unrequited love, the relationship that broke, someone pining over another, the love triangle, and more.

We studied the relationship cycle and how and why a person will decide to stay, very much akin to an abusive relationship, weighing pros and cons.

I took this all with me as I prepared, feeling a bit nervous to speak in front of this group that was at a minimum 2 years my senior, or more.

But first, I had a deadline to meet. I raced back to our media building as I was the editor in chief of our yearbook. We owed a number of pages to the printer and I was running back to that building in between classes, every chance I got.

My boyfriend had been on a trip to New Orleans with some friends from school, all guys and one new girl I hadn’t met yet. He was seemingly distant upon return, and while I had to saunter off to work towards these deadlines late a night, he decided to go to a bar with friends. I couldn’t have met him if I wanted too as I wasn’t even 21 at the time. But like all things complicated, I didn’t have time to sweat the small stuff and focused on my tasks at hand. The next day was my presentation and my big due date for yearbook.

While I certainly had a bit more fun than I needed too at school, I also took things like deadlines, commitments, etc. very seriously.  So day-of the big presentation, I rehearsed my speech and then headed off to the media building in between classes to review more copy.

Then, the phone rang at the media building (circa not many cell phones existing) and it was my boyfriend. He said I needed to come over, quickly, he had something important to discuss. Still rehearsing my presentation in my mind, I asked him if this could wait. He said no.

So with only an hour till my class presentation and still a large deadline looming over me, I drove over to his apartment, nearby our school campus.

He told me that he and the girl that came to New Orleans had something. That, “She made [his] head spin.” And I sat there, feeling all the feelings of disappointment, but more importantly, the anger at squashing that little voice inside my head that tried to tell me something was wrong. That little voice was screaming at me, but I pretended to be too busy. I didn’t have a rebuttal, how could I? I could’ve focused on the cheating aspect or been really angry with him (that all came later anyhow). But in that moment, I just walked away feeling a new sense of pain spread from my chest to my fingertips.

The irony was not lost on me. I could’ve simply given him my speech on unrequited love.

So during our presentation, the words “unrequited love” rang over and over again in my mind. I couldn’t help but grimace. All I could do was simply stare back at this class knowing they had no idea what I had just gone through. It couldn’t get more real than this, I thought.

Our grades had finally came in. And my professor gave us a B for the presentation. Turns out we didn’t have enough emotion.



“Mama, am I going to die?”

I jumped on my 4 year old’s bed to get ready to read her a bedtime story. She handed me a really long book and I sat there thinking, No, not that one… But then she launched into a handful of questions that I was so unprepared for.

“Mama, why can’t I see God?”

“Where is Heaven?”

“Does everyone die?”

“Mama, am I going to die?” … “I don’t want to die.”

“Are you going to die?”

I nearly fell off her bed. This was a moment in time, I wished I could’ve said, “Pause, please” while I went and Googled an appropriate response online. But instead, as we lay in her bed, I explained to her that everyone does eventually die and usually it’s when you’re old, have lived a wonderful life, and your body just doesn’t work anymore.

She told me she didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Personally, I still don’t feel comfortable with the thought of death, how could my 4 year old?

I ran upstairs after lots of hugs and reassurance that our family was sticking together and got on my phone to see what the powers-that-be would say to do. Luckily, they said to be honest, even to a preschooler.

This morning she asked me again about it and recanted that “it’s when your body doesn’t work anymore, right?” And I looked at her thinking, I really hope that was an okay answer.

“Mama, does my body work?” she asked.

“Can you jump?” I asked. She said, “Yes.”

“Can you run?” I asked.

She smiled and said, “Fast!”

And just like that, we were on to a new subject.

The Sweet Sound of Snoring

There are so many sounds that bring a smile to my face and a sense of nostalgia:

The sounds of little children giggling warms my heart. Alternatively, there’s nothing so sacred than absolute quiet. Not a sound.

This morning I realized I love the sounds of breakfast cooking, when you’re not the one cooking it!

At night as I hear the train’s whistle blowing, it feels like a daily reminder of something so industrial and romantic to me.

But one sound that I was so shocked to hear and love, was the sweet sound of my youngest daughter snoring. There is something so innocent and pure about that sound, it’s almost like a pur.

When she was an infant, I didn’t realize how thankful I would feel for the reminder that she was okay as she slept. And now today, as she’s older, I still hear the loud purring sounds of her snore and it makes me smile. I hope to imprint that sound in my heart.

Now if I could just get the pug to not snore so loudly, I could get some sleep!


Letter to My Daughters

Dear little ones,

I wanted to write you a letter to read when you’re older because life gets complicated, life gets busy, and you get busy with your complicated life.

Please remember that you can do anything you want in life. I want you to repeat this to yourself, like I do with you now. When we get older, we seem to come up with a million excuses or reasons why we shouldn’t try to do something. But I believe in you and I know you’re amazing.

Don’t give your heart out to everyone but give it fully to those you trust. A full heart makes for a happy life. You’ll never regret loving someone with all that you have.

Don’t trust everything you hear. People say a lot of things that don’t make sense. Remember who you are and decide for yourself.

Be a dreamer. Never stop.

Never compromise who you are. Feel confident enough in yourself to say what you believe and be strong enough to stand criticism. Others will learn from you if you can do that and it’s a great thing to pass along vs bullying.

No regrets. We all make mistakes, learn from them.

Don’t be a bully.

Don’t ever let yourself be bullied. Stand up for yourself no matter the stakes. Or at least call your mom.

Always know that you can come home. And that your mom has a hug waiting for you.

Caveat: Also, please know that mama has been around the block. Thereby, there shall be no sneaking out of your ground level windows. I will be standing outside upon your return. No closed doors with a boy in the house. Otherwise that party for two will become three.

At the end of the day, I’m still going to try to hold you in my arms even when you’re an adult. So slow down, enjoy life and don’t try to grow up so fast.


your mom.

 Letter to my Daughters