Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The first cut is the deepest. Or is it?

“I would have given you all of my heart, but there’s someone who’s torn it apart. And he’s taken just all that I have, but if you want I’ll try to love again. Baby, I’ll try to love again, but I know…the first cut is the deepest.”

Many people believe that your first love is the one you will remember for many years or maybe for the rest of your life. I am not sure if that is always the case. Who makes the most impact on someone’s life, their first or last? This question is not easy to answer, but so is anything that has to do with matters of the heart. It all depends on the individual, how they feel and what they experienced in life. Interestingly, this subject matter is covered by that that classic song “first cut is the deepest”.

Written in 1967 by Cat Stevens, “first cut is the deepest” was originally released by P. P. Arnold in the spring of the same year. Stevens’ own version originally appeared on his album “New masters” in December 1967.

The song was a hit single for PP Arnold in 1967 and was widely covered by other artists like Keith Hampshire (1973), Rod Stewart (1977) and Sheryl Crow (2003).

Throughout all these years, the artists keeps emphasizing the phrase “first cut is the deepest” and explaining how they couldn’t love then because they were hurt in the past. This got me thinking about my first love. Was he really my first love or my first crush? Was I really in love or was I fascinated by the idea of being madly in love? Maybe it was just peer pressure because all my friends had boyfriends. Maybe I just wanted to be part of the grown-up-and-cool class. That aside, I actually considered him my first boyfriend, but does that make him my first love?

I am trying to unravel the mystery of whether my first boyfriend actually left a scar in my heart or whether he tore it apart as the song goes.

The answer is no. Don’t get me wrong, we were all lovey-dovey and he was a really sweet guy who said and did all the right things. It was my first taste of love and I must admit it felt like heaven.
Yes it was that good. The little gifts, late night chats, spending time together and knowing that someone loves you…felt like I was the only woman alive. All was well until another girl came along and tore us apart. He forgot about me and submitted to temptations. He broke my little 18 year old heart.

Okay, I was hurt at the time. That was five years ago and I am way over that experience. So, five years later, the saying “first cut is the deepest” doesn’t make sense to me. That’s simply because my first love and all that bliss with the one who broke my heart can’t hold a candle to how I am feeling right now. Do not get it twisted, I’m not denying that I remember the guy and the good times that we had, I do. I still think fondly of my first love, but he can’t hold a candle to my new love. So I feel no pain, regret, or longing. All what remains is a fond memory of how I felt back then, but there is no lingering hurt.

I chatted with a few friends and realized that some believe the first cut is the deepest while others don’t. 28-year-old Tebo* disagrees with me. She believes the first experience makes the strongest impression. So deeply affected was she by her first love that she still compares the guys she meets today with her first love, first kiss and first sexual experience.

“I still remember my first relationship as if it happened yesterday. Even though he broke my heart it’s still hard for me to forget about him and at times I find myself missing him. Funny that this memory is still so alive even though it happened 12 years ago,” she said.

For Boitumelo Teto, the first cut is the deepest because it is an epiphany for many people. For him, the first relationship is profound because that’s when kids actually realize that the opposite sex is not so gross.

He believes it’s not always easy for people to forget their first kiss, sexual experience or the first time they actually fell in love.

“Experiences like that, you don’t easily forget,” said Boitumelo.

For 45-year-old Jack Batile, memories of the past will always remain in the past. He has no time for reminiscing about days gone by because his bliss is happening now. For him, his soul mate is the woman he met, fell in love with and has been married to for the last 10 years.

“I can’t think about my first love and I am not sad that it didn’t work out between us. I have found my soul mate and that’s all that matters. I don’t recall anything about us and I can confidently say my first love didn’t leave a scar in my heart. I was young and na├»ve, so I didn’t know what love is. I believe we get to learn about love when we are old and able to make wise decisions,” he said.

Jack doesn’t believe the first cut is always the deepest because there are many other ‘cuts’ that can hurt even more, like the loss of a loved one.

Barolong Seboni, a poetry and literature guru, believes the saying “first cut is the deepest” is just a proverbial statement and it is up to people to choose whether they believe it or not.

“Just like other proverbs or poetic phrases, it differs from individual to individual. I for one do not believe it. I believe as one grows they encounter other relationships that may leave lasting impressions. So it’s not necessarily the first cut that is deepest,” he said.

I guess that answers the question whether the first cut is always the deepest. It’s not. One’s first love may be the deepest until they encounter another more intense, more emotional relationship. Or even until they meet their true love. Once you meet your true love that will cut deep.

The good thing about old scars is that they eventually disappear and are soon replaced by new ones. That, my dear friends, is the circle of life.

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Sunday Standard August 2 – 8

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of August 2 - 8, 2020.