Tater Tot Casserole as a metaphor for “1st love…”
I remember walking into my house one night and smelling the most heavenly aroma imaginable. The scent filled every room, heightening my senses to euphoric proportions! I headed straight for the kitchen.
“Mom,” I said. It smells so good in here. What are you making?
” A new dish,” she said. “It’s called Tater-Tot Casserole.”
I didn’t know what “Tater-Tot Casserole” was, but I couldn’t wait to try it. My brothers and sisters agreed. We were sick of chicken and the myriad ways my mom prepared it. She was a wonderful cook, but chicken was chicken, and we’d had too much of it! “Tater-Tot Casserole” called for golden tater tots, hamburger, soup, and cheese. To us kids, it sounded almost exotic. We rushed to the table.
She brought the “Tater Tot Casserole” from the kitchen and set it before us. It looked heavenly. The perfectly browned Tots drew us in and won our hearts! Scooping a spoonful of the bubbling mixture created a rush. We couldn’t wait to touch that first fork-full to our lips. “Tater-Tot Casserole” thrilled us.
“We love this, Mom,” we said. ” Please, make it again!”
She promised that she would.
She sure did. The next week “Tater-Tot Casserole” still tasted heavenly. It did the following week, too. By the time week 5 arrived, “Tater-Tot Casserole” was getting old. Chicken took on renewed appeal. Week 10 left us begging for mercy.
“No more “Tater-Tot Casserole,” we pleaded. The love we’d felt, just weeks before, had soured. “Tater-Tot Casserole” didn’t endure the test of time. We had to make a break with the Tots!
This is where 1st love comes in. 1st love adolescent romances remind me of “Tater-Tot Casserole.” They start out tantalizing. The passions are strong. The couple can’t get enough of one another. Over time, though, the appeal wanes, just like “Tater Tot Casserole.” One person in the relationship chooses to move on, but the other person refuses to let go. This jilted person may obsess for 10 or 20 or 30 years about a 1st love that got away.
Women seem to have the hardest time letting go of a 1st love adolescent relationship. Maybe it’s because women are more emotionally driven, whereas men are more physically driven. It’s easy when we’re young to mistake the passions of youth for true love. That’s why so many teenage marriages fail. 1st loves rarely pass the test of time or develop into true love.
True love involves work and sacrifice. True love refuses to give up despite difficult circumstances. Such things as financial setbacks, illnesses, problems with children, the loss of loved ones, career moves and boredom test the strength and commitment level of couples truly in love. Overcoming obstacles together strengthens couples’ love and fulfillment. True love thrives and grows in the present; “1st love” languishes in the past.
I’m not saying they’re no long-lasting 1st love relationships or genuine “Second Chances” reunions. Of course, there are! I’m saying that most 1st love adolescent romances aren’t meant to last. Too many people forfeit the joy and fulfillment that comes from true love because they can’t stop obsessing about a love that got away.
What’s a solution? Try “Tater -Tot Casserole!” (This is meant lightheartedly!)
* Click here for a “Tater-Tot Casserole” recipe.
* Make the recipe and put it into the oven. Light candles. Play “Desperado” by the Eagles. Dance to the music while the food cooks. Listen to the words.
* Sit down and eat to your heart’s content.
* For the next several days, live on the leftovers.
* Make “Tater Tot Casserole” every week until you just can’t take it anymore. (If you still love it after so many weeks, then you and the Tots deserve one another!)
* Remind yourself that like “Tater Tot Casserole”, your 1st love didn’t stand the test of time! Force yourself to acknowledge that if you were meant to be with your 1st love, you would be. The past has passed!
* Make a conscious decision to live in the present. Let true love find you, or if you’re married, focus your attention on your spouse. A little love and attention just might create the sparks you long for!
* Anytime you feel yourself falling back, make another batch of “Tater-Tot Casserole.” Listen to “Desperado.” Add a song by Michael English and Wynonna called “Healing”. It’ll inspire you. Dance and rejoice! Letting go of a long- ended 1st love leaves you free to find fresh, real-time love.