My First Romance

by Sharlene Tan, Zee Castro   |  Mar 3, 2004
photo by Dakila Angeles
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My first love letter:
I got it when I was in grade school. It wasn’t a real love letter. It was more like, “I like you. I think you’re really pretty. Do you want to meet at the playground?”

My first crush:
This boy named Tim! When you’re young, taking someone’s hat or kicking them is the way you show your affection. I’d take his hat, run away, and be like, “Come chase me!” I was a very fast runner, but he was also very fast so that’s how he won my esteem.

My first date:
It was a movie date with Tony Gambone, and my parents had to meet him. Mom made spaghetti, while my siblings dressed up in costumes to be obnoxious. While Mom was making spaghetti, the washer’s screw fell into the sauce! She said, “Oh well, somebody will find it tonight.” And of course, while we were eating, Tony bit down and went, “Oh wow!” He found it in his spaghetti. I was horrified, but Tony was cool about it.


My first boyfriend:
I was a high school freshman, and he was a college freshman. It was a big deal! My parents wouldn’t allow me to go out with him so I snuck out. Once, my dad happened to drive by Dairy Queen and saw me there with him. Busted!

First time someone broke my heart:
In high school, I found out my boyfriend had been seeing other girls. He was a model so he was always around beautiful women. I was naïve enough to think they were just friends.

First time I asked someone out:
I don’t know if I ever asked someone out [ Hugh, her husband: You asked me out! ] Oh yeah, I did. It took some bravery. I rode my bike to his restaurant and didn’t know his ex-girlfriend was there. She was in the bathroom when I showed up, and I said, “Hey, I was in the neighborhood. Wanna go out to lunch?” He went, “Oh… can we do it some other day?” That’s what happens when you ask someone out. Maybe you end up marrying him!

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First real lesson love has taught me:
Learning to trust somebody was a big thing for me. Learning to give somebody your heart, and not be afraid you’ll get hurt. You can get hurt, but the payoff is better.

First time I fell in love:
I don’t know if I’ve ever been really in love until I met my husband Hugh. I think I thought I was, but I always held a part of me back. Love is pretty deep and encompassing. Love is not just the feel-good time when you first meet somebody or the first six months where everything you do is really charming. You’re trying to woo him, and he’s trying to woo you. Love is when you get past that point, and you get really honest and communicate. It took me till my mid-20s, when I met Hugh… I had to know myself better before I could be really good in the relationship.

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About the author
Sharlene Tan
Former Fashion Editor, Candy
About the author
Zee Castro
Council of Cool 3/Contributing Writer
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