Squawk Radio

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Eloisa on Love and Death

My son is twelve years old. His world is not yet darkened too much by hormones; he still likes his parents most of the time, and his little sister, most of the time. Even school is OK. There is only one person in his class whom he really doesn't like -- let's call her Beatrice. Poor Bea. Everything she does is annoying. She's afraid of the littlest bugs. If a ball is flying through the air toward her, she screams and crouches even though -- he demonstrates a lazy flight with his hand -- the ball hits the ground long before it would hit her. "In fact," he add with emphatic sincerity, "she screams really loudly all the time. And she's always after me!"

As far as he's concerned, his class is full of Henry's and Andrew's and skateboards....no girls. Except Bea. Bea is always at his elbow, screaming at something and clutching at him. Bea asks to be his partner in science. Bea tells him what she thinks the right answer to a question is -- even though he didn't ask her.

In short...in the view of this particular romance author (and therefore, expert) Bea is in love.

Alas, her feelings are not reciprocated.

Things came to a head this afternoon when Bea again insisted on being my son's science partner. They were doing a project involving finding small creatures in the stream behind the school. He related with real fury in his voice that she found a "snake-like little thing" and she insisted on putting in it the same container with his katy-did, even though he told her not to. And then that "snake" ate off his katy-did's arm. "And then my katy-did died. She killed it!" At that point, apparently, he became so "frustrated" that the teacher separated them.

Poor Bea. In the midst of love, we are in death. In response to the promptings of her heart -- to be next to my son -- she promoted a massacre.

Surely you had an utterly unrequited crush at some point in your past -- come on, tell us one embarrassing thing it led you to do! Your anecdote hopefully won't end in blood and tears, like my son's...
Eloisa James, 9:47 AM