Has it really been that long since the whole Rihanna and Chris Brown saga? A recently released documentary shows Chris reliving the night that forever changed the course of their relationship, when the two ended up in a physical fight in his Ferrari that left his then girlfriend, Bajan superstar Rihanna, bruised and bloody, and screaming expletives in the street. The incident made international headlines but up until recently Chris hadn’t said much about it.
It was something of a shocker this week to rediscover they’d been teenagers at the time of the incident. The two met when they were 16 and 17, and I couldn’t help but think of my own relationship maturity at that time. I can safely say though, I was not so fascinated with the whole concept of love and relationships.
I’m not sure much has changed. But more of that at another time! The Riri-Chris teenage love affair gone wrong had me thinking about my own hardly memorable high school relationships. Typically, they never lasted for more than two weeks. We’d barely get around to making out before I would decide I’d had enough. Usually, it would be for something petty, like a person calling or texting me too much. But in all seriousness, my rationale must have felt valid at the time!
In any event, my recollection of any kind of relationship in high school always goes back to the moment when my first kiss (or maybe the first kiss I actually care to remember) was ruined by an eagle-eyed teacher who threatened to tell my parents. I’m still not sure she ever did, but it sure put a damper on the situation!
In those days I wasn’t exactly part of the crowd who considered themselves more grown and experienced than everybody else. I tended to be on the outskirts of ‘hush hush’ conversations from the people brave enough to say the ‘s’ word, and those bold (in extreme cases) enough to engage in sexual acts on school property. Though most would prefer to ignore it, that kind of thing still happens today. It is only now that I realize just how normal it might have been to just go with the motions of the crowd.
Later on, as many of us would have discovered, the first time rarely counts. Particularly not when it comes to sex. For the most unlucky of us, that in itself would have been a completely awkward and unintended encounter gone completely wrong. I mean literally, a nightmarish scenario completely devoid of any romance whatsoever, and nothing at all like what we would have seen in the movies. Hopefully, there are others who were a little more fortunate.
As the years progress, so too do the numbers rise, for men and women. While some people tend to obsess over the idea of high body counts, a friend I spoke to this week cracked me up when she shared her perspective that “the count rolled back every year and began at zero”.
My friend who lives and works in Boston is currently in the midst of quite the admirable (not to mention ambitious) dating journey where she’s decided it’s in her best interest to date men across the board, from races of all varieties, something she’s never felt the liberty to do before, growing up in our small Caribbean nation. Talk about tasting the rainbow!
I say more power to her. As long as she doesn’t go the ‘Tinder’ or ‘OK Cupid’ route and date anybody and their father as long as they’ll buy her food, as seems to have become the norm (don’t ask me how I know!).
With that I reflect again on Chris Brown’s description of his and Riri’s state of mind at the time: “Young, naive, and gullible, but also just happy.” Despite their failed union, his words managed to epitomize what some of us really need to do in order to have the life and love that we want. Busy schedules be damned! Recapturing the simplicity of our youth could be just the right answer.