Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

The Butterflies Prevail

When I was 5 years old I experienced my first-ever crush on a human being.  He was a fireman friend of my father’s and I remember just wanting to disappear into the woodwork with my first team of butterflies in my stomach.  Somehow, I managed to squeeze my tiny frame between the stove and countertop, a feat usually reserved for rats that can collapse their bones in order to hide in small spaces.  My emotions had me in a tight spot, literally.  For years my parents told and re-told the story, much to my mortification — especially during what I called my “emotional sunburn” years of my teens, where my emotions ran so deep that my skin actually hurt.


Years and years (and years) have gone by and I’m here to honestly announce that the physiological effects of a crush haven’t changed a bit.  I’ve been married for decades and have two beautiful children that keep me tethered to my foundation – but those bona fide crush butterflies return when least expected, something I always thought would fade with time.  Oh, heck not just with time – with age.  It seemed to make sense to me that once your hair turned gray and the footprints of cackling birds landed next to your eyes like some weird fleshy bird version of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre that the silly fluttering in one’s stomach would go the way of the Do Do.  After all, babies once used that space as their own personal apartment, so wouldn’t the landscape have changed to stop all that nonsense?


Nerves don’t affect me in the traditional sense of that quivering in the tummy when speaking or performing.  I have, over the years, sung or spoken in front of huge auditoriums of people, and it doesn’t phase me.  For me it’s the laws of attraction that still buckle my knees and summon the butterflies.


It’s not just a face before me that can bring that feeling rushing from my belly to my brain, flushing my cheeks, making my eyes water and my ears ring – there are sensory memories that will bring it about, too.  To this day, the clear, ringing voice of a tenor can transport me to another place and time, butterflies intact.  This one cologne still reminds me of the time I followed a complete stranger around a mall, never seeing his face – but floating along behind him on his intoxicating scent.  The taste of an exquisitely made espresso truffle can make the pavement in front of me ripple as if there were a momentary heat wave.  Those of you muttering, “Cheap date” under your breath, slap your own wrist for me.


There is a strange empathetic connection to my children’s emotions as well, that I wonder if every mother senses.  When my daughter went on her first “official” date at 16 (having before gone on group dates only) – I could hardly breathe as we shopped for the perfect sweater for an evening of ice skating.  By the time the handsome young man came to our front door I was positively ill with nervous energy.  They are now dating other people, but whenever that young man’s name is mentioned, I recall her long-ago butterflies and my stomach still experiences a brief fluttering at the memory.


It’s not that I’m complaining about this juvenile sensation.  It’s just that the rush of these emotions and feelings have lasted so long, that I don’t imagine them dissipating in any time soon.  I can actually picture myself playing Bridge with my octogenarian peers and having my arrhythmia overwhelmed by a swarm of butterflies as a dashing gentleman (with incredible cologne) reaches across the table to share his chocolate ganache with me.  Then again, maybe I’m wrong about all of this and it won’t be that way at all — but probably only because I’m more of a Scrabble or Blackjack girl at heart.  The butterflies, I’m certain, will likely remain the same.

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