Alright, alright. Summer is almost over, but not quite yet. Some kids may have started school (my grad school classes are going into their 3rd week, ugh), but everyone knows that summer is not officially over until the last night of Labor Day weekend.
So let’s go on a drive, crew. It’s still warm enough to cruise around with the windows down – wind whistling through our hair – and the music up.
I suppose I get my habit of talking about songs and what they mean from my mom. And it’s this song, “Will you love me tomorrow,” that I have clear memories of talking to my mom about in the car.
In case you didn’t know it, the song is about someone wondering if they’re about to have meaningless sex or something more meaningful. My mom would to sing it to me when I was in high school and would point out key lyrics to me, kind of like this –
Mom singing: “Is this a lasting treasure, or just a moment’s pleasure? Can I believe the magic of your sighs? Will you still love me tomorrow?” Followed by Mom glancing at me. She’d say, “You know what they’re talking about, Lee? Sighs? Sex. But will he still love her tomorrow? Kind of important, Lee.”
Then the Shirelles would croon: “Tonight with words unspoken, you say that I’m the only one.” (Mom pointedly looking at me, no doubt adding in the translation of “sex” for my benefit.) The Shirelles, oblivious to this exchange, would continue. “But will my heart be broken, when the night meets the morning sun?”
Leesha would groan and put her hand over her face, knowing what was coming next. And what came next? What else? As I was a teenager and she a frazzled creature known as the mother of a teenager, she’d launch into a long conversation of sex, relationships, being careful, and all that fun stuff.
Years went by and after the lectures stopped, I would listen to the song and remember that conversation with my mom. She had a point of course, but you have to appreciate the ingenious way she brought it up. When the song would come on in the car, I would often turn it up and tell the story. Then announce to my passengers that I’d one day do the same thing to my kids, treating them all to a silly rendition of the speech, and allowing everyone to relive a bit of those awkward lectures from parents.
And then something happened – I left my husband and had to restart my life…which meant at some point, I’d start dating again.
This was terrifying. (And this is actually an understatement.)
Sure, there were the normal questions that everyone wonders – After being with one person for ten years, what would it be like to be with someone new? What if it was weird?
And, since I haven’t disclosed any details of my divorce before (and am not going to right at this moment), I’ll just say – there were some added fears for me.
In the first days after leaving my ex, I’d stand in the shower for a long time – scalding and scrubbing my flesh to erase terrible fears. There was a week when I barely ate. There were terrible nightmares. And there were months where I couldn’t even read a romance novel, much less imagine being with anyone new.
But – even though it didn’t seem like it then, little by little, I began to heal. Time is a greater healer of all things, after all, and one day, I decided to start dating again. That’s when this song came back to me, in a bit of a taunting melody. But unlike a lot of people who may wonder if the sex they’re about to have will meaningful or meaningless (though I did wonder about it a bit), I really wondered how I’d react after – if I’d curl up into a ball and cry…or run to the bathroom and be physically ill.
But – amazingly enough to me at the time – none of those things happened. And, since I’m classy and won’t give away super intimate things, I’ll just say this – I’m back to reading and writing romance novels. ;)
I’ve said all of this for a greater purpose though. And it’s that you can heal from any hurt that you have. You can experience something terrible and get past it. Fear and pain may build up to be a wall set in your path. But you can get past it…and the other side of that wall is a truly beautiful place.
“Will You Love Me Tomorrow” written by Carole King (I LOVE her) and Gerry Goffin
“Tonight you’re mine completely
You give your love so sweetly
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes
But will you love me tomorrow
Is this a lasting treasure
Or just a moment’s pleasure
Can I believe the magic of your sighs
Will you still love me tomorrow
Tonight with words unspoken
You say that I’m the only one
But will my heart be broken
When the night meets the morning sun
I’d like to know that your love
Is love I can be sure of
So tell me now and I won’t ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow…“