Today, I’ll talk about two kinds of love.
The first kind, I think, just about everyone reading this post has known: the “alpha” or that memorable “first love“, “puppy love“.
… In Thai, there is no direct equivalent to puppy love. The closest expression is rák rÊEk or rák khráng rÊEk, “first love.” Though young lovers, in their awakening, believe that their first romance will last forever, it will not take them long to realize the painful truth that alpha rarely becomes omega. (Sex Talk, p. 200)
The second kind is of course the “omega,” the “last love“. This omega is known in Thai as rák khráng sùt-tháay, literally “love for the last time.”
… Like lovers the world over, passionate Thai lovers are sometimes given to saying, Khun pen rák khráng rÊEk lÉ rák khráng sùt-tháay khǑOng phǒm (male speaker) / chǎn (female speaker), “You are my first and my last love — my alpha and my omega.” In fact, I think there was a Thai film entitled rák khráng sùt-tháay. (Sex Talk, p. 200)
Call me cynical, but I think at least half of whoever professing that is lying. How many people get to be with their first love. I wager not a lot.
Amazing what growing up can do to youthful innocence…
Less than twenty years ago I would definitely call my today self un-(Thai heroine)-romantic. Like many girls, I dreamed that I would meet The One Love of My Life one day. He would be my First and my Last. The “purity” of the romance was so earth-movingly important. How could anyone want it any other way? The one-life, one-love was what’s going to be.
One problem was that I couldn’t decide at what age I would meet him — my First & Last. The “right age” kept shifting in one direction — further. In my teens, when age 27 was “oldish” for a girl, I imagined about 20 would be prime to meet the prince charming who would fall head over heels in love with me (and it had to be at first sight) and ask for my hand. The timing would coincide with my graduating from university. And then we would live happily ever after, with two beautiful children.
Then, after having graduated from university, I still thought age 23 would be a good age to marry. One tiny problem was that the First Love came and went long ago. All the boys in university didn’t seem like candidates for The One. So, the second love was still no where to be seen.
As I pursued graduate studies in America from age 23, I figured age 27 wasn’t “oldish” at all. It was actually a rather good age to be married. Still in search for the Last Love in a foreign land, but trouble was dating American style was really a bit too adventurous for this pious Thai heroine.
But the Thai “heroine” would soon learn that a girl cannot decide when her true love is going to arrive at her doorstep. I spent 10 years in America ineptly (Thai heroine-style) looking for The (Last) One. Only to find him (or rather he found me) one week after returning home in Thailand.