I remember being young, much younger than I am now, and getting absolutely giddy at the thought of receiving my first real kiss. Well, that first kiss came and went, without so much as a firework, or butterfly in sight. Honestly, it was quite a memorable experience, but for all of the wrong reasons. The setting, not a first date, or movie-theater with a boy I’d been passing notes to (circle yes or no), or crushing on from class. But instead, it was at a friends 11th birthday party, yea I know, I started my “research” early.
It was the first, of many, real boy-girl parties I would attend. “Real” meaning that we had finally outgrown running naked through sprinklers together on the neighbors lawn with unabashed enjoyment, overcome our immature fear of invisible yet life threatening cooties, and were starting to realize there was something strangely intriguing, unknown, and tempting about the opposite sex. A few of my friends had older siblings, and had overheard (read: eavesdropped on) stories about what games & frivolities were expected at parties like these, now that we were so much more mature, pin the tale on the donkey and freeze tag just wouldn’t cut it.
After a few minutes of whining and prodding from the birthday girl, her parents decided we weren’t in any immediate danger, and relocated themselves to the kitchen upstairs, no doubt to refill their party cups with spiked punch. As soon as the door closed behind them, we found ourselves being drawn by some yet undiscovered gravitational force into a misshapen circle on the well worn shag carpeted floor, in the dimmest corner of their quasi-finished daylight basement; all eyes nervously watching the partially filled 2 liter bottle of Dr. Pepper laying precariously in our midst. The walls had been decorated with magazine posters of our favorite boy bands (NKOTB and Hansen *squeal*) and television stars (Devin Sawa, Jared Leto, and Leonardo DiCaprio *swoon*), the ceiling above dripped with colorful streamers, & limp oxygen filled balloons, and our pulses raced with prepubescent hormonal excitement.
Flash forward 5 minutes and don’t blink or you’ll miss my first kiss, with a red headed, freckle faced, annoyingly nerdy boy from school. By todays standards it would have been called a peck, or perhaps just an accidental brushing of his lower lip over my chin, and top lip across my teeth – or rather, my braces. I had been so excited about graduating from the group of “never been kissed losers” to the club of “chicks that’ve been kissed” that while I smiled awkwardly over my recently tightened brackets, he leaned in, and, we missed. Only now, looking back, do I realize what a gigantic moment of embarrassment I sidestepped. My newly blooming love life would have gone up in a poof of smoke right then and there if he had sliced his lip open, or even worse, if he’d been an orthodontia ridden preteen like myself, and our brackets had locked?!?!!? I could be sitting in a convent right now, instead of on a well-worn leather sofa in a local coffee shop. Renewing my vows of chastity and modesty instead of allowing my gaze to rest on the tender lips of the well-dressed civil servant next to me sipping his espresso.
Now, as I prepare to bid adieu to my 20’s, and march steadily, head held high, into my 30’s, I realize that so many of my past relationship attempts have begun with a kiss, much like my first, where for whatever reason, whether it be my smile, his anxiousness, or simply bad timing, we’ve missed. I can honestly say that I have yet to experience a firework lighting, goose-dot creating, toe curling first kiss, and anxiously look forward to the day it happens. Until then though, I’m biding my time, enjoying my solo adventures, and smooching a frog every now and then. I maintain the hope, and faith, that someday, that frog just might be the oddly nerdy prince I’ve been waiting for.
So, there you have it, the embarrassing story of my first kiss that really wasn’t. Your turn now – tell me, what do you remember about your first kiss? Was it a complete disaster, or are you one of the few blessed souls whose first kiss was with their soul mate?