You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh
I love Louis Armstrong SO much. 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, some silly early 50’s – I really enjoy our entertainment industry from that era.
It seems like we were on the cultural cusp of hitting a real progressive stride, which then got sideswiped by the patriarchal misogyny of the just post WWII generation.
We then attempted to culturally counterbalance in the late 60’s, early 70’s, but accidentally morphed into a weird ultra-masculine 80’s, early 90’s. Leading into our current past few decades of extreme cultural and economic cycling – spinning off more and more of us closer to peasant society, while dropping an elite few into a top tier of cultural and economic decision-making powerhouses.
But, I digress.
(This is the kissing part)
Before my first real kiss, I had my first telephone call from a boy when I was in 6th grade. He was super sweet, and as far as I can tell, has turned into a fine man. My father about had a heart attack. Under no circumstances was my mother permitted to allow me to speak with a boy on the telephone again.
That was the end of that.
Until I was 15.
He was a Senior in High School. Football player. Extremely self-confident. I assume his interest was due to me being a novelty at our High School that year, having moved from Europe back to our insulated, little, very suburban Midwest school district. Or, maybe it was some Senior boy prank that I never was privy to. Either way, he picked me out specifically and aggressively pursued me.
The entire situation was odd, to say the least. I was an extremely shy outcast, starting the year with only one friend, and awkwardly taking Senior classes as a Sophomore due to the alternate program I was transferring in from. (cue John Hughes)
After I agreed to ride in a car with him on my own (violating my parent’s rules of no riding in cars with boys, and no riding in cars without an adult until I had my driver’s license) from an after game pizza outing, to my house, he got out of his side of the car and quickly ran to my side of the car to open my door. He held my hand as we walked up to my front door. Before we reached the porch light, he stopped, still holding my hand, turned me towards him and took my other hand.
I remember thinking, “ohmyg-d, he is going to kiss me! This will be my first kiss! I wonder if my face will change, or if he will leave a mark on my lips. Is he going to know that I have never been kissed? Please don’t let me mess this up!” I also remember the entire kiss being confusingly soft, hard, lasting forever and over so quickly. The tongue thing was interesting, lovely and unexpected too.
When it was over, I ran inside my house, bolted for the bathroom, locked the door, and jumped onto the counter to get as close to the mirror as I could in order to see if there were any changes. I carefully studied my eyes, my cheeks, my neck, my arms, and my lips. As I stared at myself, I realized that I would possibly remember this moment forever, as my first true kiss.
And I have, in this so-far forever.
Once I was convinced that there weren’t any noticeable physical changes, I steadied myself and re-joined my family in their evening activities, as if nothing had happened at all. I didn’t tell anyone about my secret first kiss – I wanted to keep it all to myself, as my own little treasure, and did so for years and years (looking at you, HRHMLFK).
That guy? He carried on for a short while, until he convinced me that I was his girlfriend. Within days of my acceptance, he changed his mind, calling me on the telephone to let me know that I was too homely for him to be seen with anymore.
Yet, I continue to somehow be surprised when people are super strange and unpredictable. The nature of optimistic me, I suppose.
When was your first kiss… ?
Love, Ms Herisme xo