If you asked me about my first kiss prior to 2005, I may have lied and told you it happened at a birthday party in 8th grade. That’s not because I’m a habitual liar, but because being older than 12 and never having been kissed seemed absolutely humiliating. Unacceptable, I’d decided. So I would tell a sweet story to seem more normal. You know, for social survival.

Most of the aspects of my fake first kiss story were true. Cora Casasamo had thrown a birthday party in her basement in 8th grade. We really had played spin the bottle, with Nelly’s Hot in Hurr blasting in the background. That part was all real. On Zigmund Giopierri’s turn, he really had gotten up, walked right across the circle and sat down beside me. He really had swung his arm around my shoulders and declared, “I don’t need a bottle to tell me who to kiss.”

It was just a cruel twist of fate that that was the exact second that Cora’s mom chose to fling open the basement door, candle flames lighting up the dark basement. Zig and I sprang apart from each other and joined in singing happy birthday to Cora. Our interrupted moment never resumed, and Zig started dating Nia Sondaz just a week later. But I clung to that near first kiss story like a social buoy.

My actual first kiss was three painfully long years later. By then I’d pretty much accepted the fact that I was abnormal, undesirable, unkissable, though I wouldn’t let anyone know it. At that point, I’d started working at my first ever part-time job. I ran the pantry section at Alpson’s family restaurant, tossing salads and plating desserts.

I’d acquired the Sunday morning prep shift that none of my coworkers wanted because it had a 7am start time. I’d have all morning to chop the fresh vegetables for the salads we’d serve for lunch and dinner that day. Despite the undesirable nature of this shift, I actually loved it. I loved the stillness of the restaurant before it opened to the public. I loved how big and empty it felt.

But most of all, I loved that the Sunday opening server was Logan Lowly. I’d had a crush on Logan since the very first day I’d met him at Alpson’s. I loved how loud and unabashedly outgoing he was. I loved how much attention he paid to me. How he didn’t seem to have any idea that I was a social misfit, a loser. He offered me rides home at night after our shifts before I was even old enough to have my learner’s permit. He treated me like he treated all the pretty girls at Alpson’s and that made me feel normal.

Sunday mornings with Logan were special. Much more intimate than a crazy night shift. He’d waltz in around 9am and put on a pot of coffee. Slowly, we’d go about our set-ups with only each other to talk to in the dining room. We talked a lot, joked and flirted sometimes. He told me about his tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend Robyn. Then one Sunday morning he said they’d broken up.

The next Sunday, Logan started telling me about how back when he was in high school, girls never wanted to kiss him. The conversation made me uncomfortable because Logan didn’t know my own deep dark secret, that I myself had never kissed a soul. He seemed to be sure that I had. And I did my best to pretend it was true. He told me how he used to plan to trick girls into kissing him, by asking them for a kiss on the cheek, then turning his face last second, so they were kissing on the lips.

“I don’t think that would actually work,” I teased him. “Any girl would jump away if she actually didn’t want to kiss you.”

“Oh yeah?” He challenged. “Try me. Come give me a kiss on the cheek.”

Confident, empowered, I marched right up to him. I puckered my lips and aimed for his cheek, but he turned his head as promised. I didn’t jump away. Somehow, it still caught me off guard. I didn’t think he would actually go through with it. But there it was. My actual first kiss. Not at a basement at 12, but in a salad bar at 15.

It felt like I’d been waiting a lifetime for it to happen.

2005

57 thoughts on “The Kiss

  1. I was ‘dared’ to kiss a boy at recess one day when I was in the 3rd grade. I wasn’t a popular girl (is anyone ‘popular’ that young?) and he was a bit of a bully, but I did it. Honestly, it wasn’t any different than I was expected to kiss my or close relatives. I didn’t have my first open-mouth kiss until I was almost 17. I liked the guy, but his kiss was the kind that covered from just below the nose to the tip of my chin. Because I liked him, I put up with those wet and sloppy kisses. As an adult, a good kisser is in my requirement list in order to be in a relationship!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow I love this so much! It’s so funny how mortifying it is when you’re a teenager not to have kissed someone – I remember feeling so ashamed about it!
    Also, thank you for reading and liking my post πŸ™‚ I love how you write and can’t wait to read more. And I think the main lesson from this story is that we all need to bring Nelly back into our lives πŸ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I met my first boyfriend at my job at a fast-food restaurant near my home. I used to walk or run the mile to work if they couldn’t drive me. It really is crazy who you meet and the things you learn at your first job. But my first girl kiss was in a game of spin the bottle. I wasn’t sure if it was because she was in college to my senior, or because she was a girl, but she did know how to kiss. Ah, spin the bottle! Such fun times!

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  4. I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 23. It’s crazy how there’s the pressure of the “social norm” to have one’s first kiss really young, and it really shouldn’t be a big deal. Just because rarely are first kisses significant, even if you’d liked the person back then. Your story is adorable nonetheless, and the context in which it took place is a lot more unconventional than others!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, it took me way too long to realize that those “social norms” mean nothing and that life will always happen at its own pace. Once I figured that out, everything felt a lot easier.

      Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s tough being so young and insecure, feeling like everyone else seems to have figured out something about life that you haven’t. But really, I think most people were just faking it too, some are just better at it than others!

      Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Such lovely memories! I remember a church Halloween party where we had a haunted house. It was my job to kiss boys on the cheek as they went through. One wiseacre turned his head and kissed me on the mouth. He thought it was very funny. I must have been about 15. πŸ™‚ All the best! Cheryl

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  6. Logan’s “tricky” kiss was something a host at a Hawaiian luau would do to tourist wives and guys’ girlfriends. In fact, sometimes he would get away with 2 or 3 kisses from the same woman. Good “flashback” post.
    Art

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a wonderful story. Caused me to comb my mind for that Alison kiss age 11. My brother’s wedding, I had snuck a rum and coke, before I knew it was a Cuba libre.
    Gave me the Dutch courage to ask her to dance. She was lithe and easy to dance with. After 3 dances the last two slow, slow dances. The smell of her intoxicating. Then she suggested we take a walk. It was a walk on soft cushy ground. She stopped and looked up at me. I was 6′ even at that age, she 5′ 2″.
    Looking up at me, she said your eyes are magnetic. Next thing I had touch kissed her.
    She smiled and said, “now a real kiss…”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. But it actually brought me to a gal I knew when I was around 16 or 17. She was gorgeous and tall, with beautiful hands and her eyes were so magnificent and I always stared a little bit too long. Now, in many ways, she was my perfect girl. But I was now in a relationship with Alison. Yes, we were. And Gayla was dating one of my best friends back then.
    Somehow, we spent a lot of time together considering the fact that we were not together. She liked my appreciation of her wit and ability to look somehow stunning in a clever way few others noticed.
    The lad she was dating only got the outside and was just hanging on for the first time.
    I don’t know how often in the next four years we were near but always with another.
    Yet I thought she was so exqusite and extraordinary that she could not be interested in me.
    We had slow danced a few times and almost kissed which was more thrilling.
    But we never actually got together despite innumerable similar interests.
    Well, after decades. Numerous marriages and equally remarkable careers, we re-engaged almost by accident. A Facebook friend asked me if I knew Gayla.
    Turned out I did. We exchanged numbers and began a three month growing attraction. Then she asked me what I was planning for Christmas?
    See we had both lived in France, and in Kenya and in Japan and had Jamaican holidays. There were New York similar years and we both had gone to graduate school in Paris at the Sorbonne.
    During our months of conversations, I wondered back to how I used to wonder what it would be like to kiss her.
    Our discussions became more open and one night she said, “I had the biggest crush on you.”

    Flummoxed is the only word that comes to mind. So, I shared my attraction to her from the first time we were introduced. I remembered exactly what she was wearing. And she remembered small details about the circumstances. She knew Alison and Linda who was my best friend but many assumed was my girlfriend. A tale for another day.

    Any rate, the day after my birthday, she called and said, “I think we should spend Christmas in Paris, together.”
    Mind you we had not physically met up yet.

    Though I was as attracted to her current day pictures, perhaps to others she had changed or aged. To me she was as beguiling and gorgeous as she was years ago.
    Strange how age is often in the eyes of the beholder.
    Well, I was curiously thrilled excited and frankly I was surprised. We had yet to meet up in person.
    How do you go off on a Christmas for a few weeks with someone you’ve not seen in 20 years or so?
    What is the protocol? Awkwardly I approached the obvious. How and where would we meet, or just meet on a plane to Paris and then plans to spend weeks together. We both wanted to stay in the same hotel in Paris, recently remodeled. So, no old memories or ghosts.
    But, but..
    Well you can imagine. This was crazy, crazy. And yet.
    I remember then I called her, I had an urgent request to go near where she was just above San Diego.
    We could meet after all these years and I re-read my journals from the time we were 16 and 17 and 18 and more. I had from the first time we met, an abiding attraction.
    She had also traded much more detailed information with my friend Linda.
    Increasingly it seemed, somehow amassing we had not found a way to get together.
    She remembered an evening at a place called Trader Vic’s, in a downstairs corner of the Plaza Hotel. We had gone with our respective dates. Met up with a larger group. Somehow we ended up sitting next to each other, both quite drunk. Not sloppy but definitely past the social drinking stage. Our respective dates had both passed out.
    We both wanted to go for a PJ Clark hamburger.
    A bit mutually handsy but under the circumstances not crossing any lines.
    I remember a moment when I wanted to kiss her. Of course I refrained. Ironic in retrospect. My girlfriend Alison and her boyfriend Addison had been having an affair with each other.
    We had no idea. Yet I remember I had a sense sooner or later that we would get together.

    So, we managed to get our less lively dates into a taxi dropping them off and we went for a hamburger. Which sobered me up. My friend Linda had invited us both for a night cap. Actively trying to get us together, as it turned out.
    Well, when we got into the cab post burger, I could see Gayla was still drunk. To drunk to go on. I was adament about the logistics of going to Linda’s and Gayla was being quite bold, you know the bold when you have had too much to drink. So I took her back to her parents apartment, helped her upstairs and said goodnight. She gave me a wonderful hug and almost kiss.
    Ever the gentleman, I made sure she was safe in her room and left.

    My flight was due to arrive in the afternoon, but it was just after 9 o’clock when we landed.
    We had planned to meet near a gorgeous beach, and go to her house though I had booked a hotel.
    I arrived at the beach, in the remaining twilight. Walked towards the wondrous ocean sound.
    A voice familiar yet different, called my name. A few feet behind me, was Gayla. As gorgeous as I remembered. The light, the fading light served to enhance the beauty I remembered across the decades.
    We came closer to each other. I caught a whiff of her scent and she commented still wearing Chanel Pour Homme, eh.
    There was a soft breeze as we began to hug. But that was not to be. Our lips touched, brushed together. Her eyes were so clear and beautiful, and it was a near perfect eternal moment. We both kissed each other. And every fibre of my being was on fire, we slowly allowed our, lips and then our tongues touched. My entire body jumped. There was a deep lingering kiss, heart pounding. Gayla pulled the slightest way, enough to look deep inside me and I allowed myself to look into her eyes, too long a gaze in the past was just right.
    “So what do you think my dear? Think we can travel over the Christmas holidays. Think we can enjoy our Paris?
    I have wanted wanted to kiss you from the night we met. I have imagined kiss you.”
    All this time, always so close but just a little bit far away.
    My first kiss was as thrilling as I had imagined. How is it possible to imagine something like that, and then 2 decades later…
    Better than I imagined. It felt like a first kiss, a very first kiss.
    How is it possible?
    How could it not be possible.
    I knew we could travel together. I knew that we could spend Christmas together.
    Our respective family members, did not understand especially during a Christmas holiday. Yet nothing seemed more natural.

    So, that was how my imagined first kiss became our first kiss.
    We share so much, so many things in common.
    Some things they say are meant to be.
    But such a powerful connection, intense and emotional. I felt so comfortable and happy.
    We kissed again, deeply and so softly. Familiar yet thrilling delicious and delightful.

    The first kiss, I will remember for the rest of our lives…

    We wondered briefly what would have happened if we had our first kiss back then.
    Stopped and realised we were experiencing the eternal moment, two who were separate but meant to be together…

    End of the first time, my belated first kiss. Alison told me that she was inflamed in the woods when we kissed.
    Yet she knew that she wanted me to be her first kiss and to take her virginity. And knew that she’d never keep me, so she had a fling. All those years ago. I was so naive.
    But Alison, wanted me to take her sister, who wanted to not be a virgin. Too strange, too strange yet the story of the Virginia night, and.

    So, Gayla and I are together apart. She went to California just as the Pandemic locked us down.
    We spent much more than 2 weeks away in Paris. A week in January Venice was so perfect.
    Yes, we spent one week in our Paris suite.
    But I learned that two people can have a relationship so intimate yet not need to be together to be together.

    I did not know this was possible. Until it was…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, I thought your 11-year-old story was romantic, but this is just remarkable. Is this true? It would make a great plot for a movie.

      Thanks so much for sharing it here with me! I really enjoyed reading it.

      Like

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