Do you remember your first teenage love?
I’m not talking about adult love, with its risk-adverse weighing up of compatibility and other grown-up concoctions of complication. And I’m not referring to the childhood affections, solemnised through playground ceremonies that came complete with daisy chain crowns and rings crafted from blades of grass. I mean the meteoric rush of hormones and endorphins that is unique to your first sexually-charged romantic encounter.
Most of us recall the object of our teenage affection. We can reel off the basic details of that relationship as part of a funny anecdote to be shared at a dinner party. How you met, how old you were, what they looked like, whether or not you ‘did it’, what deeply terrible fashion choices you were making at the time…
But do you remember how you felt?
Not just the surface-level factual details, the actual intensity of emotion you experienced at the time.
If a recent Humans of New York story is anything to go by, I suspect that you don’t.
This week, the popular online photography project Humans of New York (which has featured the images and stories of countless ordinary people all over the world) posted this picture.
“We’ve been together for ten months now so we’re trying to keep the passion alive.”
What followed in the (normally uncommonly positive) comments section of the Humans of New York Facebook page was some pretty critical, dismissive thinking.
“You’re in trouble if after 10 months you’re already trying to keep the passion alive” said one commenter, who attracted more than 10,000 likes for their observation.
“You mean “we’ve been alive for 10 months”?” said another.
“If you’re trying to keep the passion alive after only 10 months….maybe it was never really passion. Wisdom comes with age” said one particularly patronising person.
I have to admit that my initial reaction was also a bemused but condescending guffaw. “Such sweet kids”, I remarked to my partner. “They’re just so incredibly grown-up and mature in their own heads”.
And then I was firmly put in my place – along with all the other commenters – by none-other than the creator of Humans of New York Brandon Stanton.
Brandon, who generally lets his imagery do the talking and his subjects speak for themselves, spoke up in the comments section on Facebook and openly reprimanded his fans.