Puppy Love: A Ruff concept

March 2, 2008
By Ayesha Massaquoi, Missouri City, TX

It is an unassailable fact: the fast-paced, give-it-to-me-now world today suffers from a lack of sensitivity. Amidst graphic films, raunchy television, and raw current events, there’s hardly any room for the quaint, peasantry sentiments of yesteryear. And at the top of that list of dead, or dying, anomalies, is love, and standing in a melancholy ring around it’s grave is us teenagers, desperate to get a glimpse of it before it parts forever. I, myself, believe the concept of teenage love to be a contradiction in every sense of the word, but the youth of today are insistent upon their claim to the love game, and refuse to accept the notion that maybe, just maybe, the majority of us really are heartless; that maybe, just maybe, there really is no room for love, whatever that is, in the majority of our sex-crazed bodies. Now don’t get me wrong: I’m a hopeless romantic. But the sad truth is, a walk through the halls of Hightower High School has the potential to render any teenager confused about love, and I, the coroner of love, am out to set everyone straight.
I cannot effectively discuss teenage love without first acknowledging that the entire concept is perspective. For some, love is commitment; for some it is selflessness; for some it is an obsession, and for a great majority, it’s trusting someone else enough to allow them to invade your privacy and do all the icky things you swore in elementary you’d never do. Even Webster has a hard time defining it; there are more than 48 entries on the word love in the English dictionary. However, the fact that the media has such an obvious heavy role in our shaping of love’s definition cast doubt on whether or not teenage “love” is pure. High school relationships in the real world have turned into one dramatic episode of DeGrassi and, ironically, The Real World, and I can’t help but wonder whether or not teenagers today are just going through the motions; role-playing the media’s definition of “love” in hopes of unveiling the actual sentiment. Sappy movie dates and hand-holding clichés just aren’t enough to convince me that it’s real. And call me a cynic if you want to, but I can’t help but smirk at the image of two teenagers gazing passionately into one another’s eyes after only two weeks of dating. It bears a striking resemblance to something I’ve seen before on One Tree Hill.
I can’t help but point out that teenage relationships rarely manage to last longer than chewing gum. The here-today-gone-tomorrow antics of teenage relationships are probably one of the key reasons why they’re never taken seriously. Us younguns take our relationships like my four-year old niece takes her toys: we see the advertisement, convince ourselves that that’s what we need, and then get bored with it or break it within three weeks of purchase. A year long relationship is considered epic, and the couple is christened high school sweethearts by popular agreement. But here’s the thing, sweetheart, I’ve kept cookie dough for that long… and not just because I’m comfortable with it. The longevity of high school relationships is usually embarrassing, and the idea that anyone could consider the short-lived ones associated with love, preposterous. Nuff said.
One glimpse down the hallway abridging the J and K hallways ( which was cleverly dubbed “lover’s lane” by yours truly) is evidence enough of how far gone love has become from teenage relationships… not to mention decency. Spit-swapping, tongue-raking, and pushy groping have become the average teen couple’s forte and today’s teenagers get around the bases so quickly that the word love should be considered a foul ball. It goes without saying that our new generation of lusty, promiscuous teenagers is infected with more than just the love bug, (some with a whole lot more if you catch my drift), and it is becoming increasingly clear as I age that Generation X has given birth to Generation XXX. It seems as though our generation, in between pawing at one another, is pawing at the loose strands of realities that have been undone, refusing to believe that we are a loveless people. Blame it on the raging hormones if you must, but this newfound vicious sexuality leaves me dubious as to whether teenagers’ ability to love outweighs their ability to lust. Actually, it doesn’t. I’m pretty sure that love and sensuality is connected only by a small thread that we, as teenagers who appraise of body over mind, are determined to cut.
The final and resounding issue in my assessment of teenage love’s frailty is abuse of the word love, and boy, has that word taken a beating. I must hear it at least ten times a day and it’s driving me crazy. You see, the more I hear the word recklessly blathered out, the more I fear that it is losing it’s meaning amongst teenagers. And it doesn’t help to write it. I can see it now, scribbled across countless notebooks and lockers, etched into tree trunks, and signed apathetically at the bottom of long-winded silly love notes. Try as we may, a sloppily drawn or hastily typed e-heart is not a sufficient replacement for the word love. The ultimate reason for my wariness on behalf of teenage love is the fact that everyone is so desperate and willing to say they have it. I may not know exactly what love is, but I know what it is not, and the words “I love you” are not an appropriate replacement for a salutation.
All teenagers believe in their lack of naivety with a conviction. Even in saying that we are young, we do not believe that our minds truly are. But when it comes to the question of whether or not teenage relationships are based on love, I must part with my age group defiantly. The answer, Miss Turner, is quite clear: Love’s got absolutely nothing to do with it… and we all know it.

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