A STANDARD FOR LOVE
My brother and I are just over a year apart in age. We shared a bedroom when growing up. (We also shared the same parents.)
Sometimes we would stay awake, when we were supposedly going to sleep, and talk about the girls and women we loved. The girls were classmates around our ages (7 and 8) and the women were adult neighbors and teachers.
We had a standard, in the form of a question, that determined just how much we were in love with the person we were talking about. I don’t know which one of us came up with this standard/question, but we used it on each other. After one of us finished talking about the love of our life, the other would ask this question. “Yes” meant that it was a serious, everlasting love. “No” meant it was only a passing fancy.
One time I went on about Miss Lotsberg, my Grade 3 teacher. Oh how I loved Miss Lotsberg! She was pretty and pretty and oh so pretty! I knew that there was a chance for me because it was Miss Lotsberg. She was still single.
My brother waited until I finished and then he asked, “Would you eat Miss Lotsberg’s poop?”
“Yes!” I said without hesitation. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
There would have been doubt about the depth of my love if I had hesitated. And it would not have been a serious love at all if I had answered, “No.”
I don’t know when my brother and I outgrew the poop question as a standard for love. One day something, or someone, flushed it from our lives never to be asked again.