Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Some Day my Kiss will Come

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Some years ago I wrote a little story about how my husband and I shared our first kiss. I share it again here. (Don't get too freaked out, it's pretty funny).


Photo by katerha, courtesy of Flickr


I still remember the moonlit night.  Actually, it might not have been a ‘full moon’ but it could have been—I was on fire.  And so was he.  We were sitting real close—he at the wheel, me next to him—on that little bump between the passenger side and the drivers.
Doug put his arm around me.  His dark brown hair, worn longer than most of the high school graduates his age, was slicked back.  Though not long enough for a ponytail, I imagined running my fingers through the thick strands and speaking “sweet everything’s” in his ear.
I can still feel the chills traveling to Bermuda and back when he said, “May I kiss you?”  His face was real close.  I could see the fine lines between his eyebrows.  My lips were ready.  They quivered instinctively.  And then suddenly…they stopped.
Was Doug really asking me to kiss him?
All the guys previous to the prince were more of the ‘take and grab the kiss when you can get it type’.  What should I do?  What would he say if I told him, “no?”
So I made up this line, right then and there--a line, by the way, that I’d never had to use on any other guy before because I hadn’t had to.
I said, “I don’t kiss until the fifth date.”
The fifth date?  The FIFTH DATE?
But I had said it. 
He was looking at me with his puppy brown eyes, and they seemed to be saying, That’s a joke, right? 
…Why DID the chicken cross the road?  What is black and white and red all over?
My face.  My face.  My face.
Fortunately, this guy was smart.  “Can you go out tomorrow night?” he asked.
Man, he wanted to kiss me bad.  And well, I wanted to kiss him too, so what was the problem?  More directly, what was my problem?
My oldest brother promised me it would happen.  He’d watched me from the kitchen window at the end of the first date, the second date, the third and the fourth date.  After being mad at him for spying he’d say simply, “Don’t worry, you’ll marry him!”

Marry the guy?  Was he nuts?

            Still, after the few minute visit in the car, this being the fifth date and receiving nothing but a good-
bye, I found myself walking into the house crying, “He doesn't like me!  He hates me!  On the fifth date he 
was supposed to kiss me!” 
            I knew then that the prince of my dreams would never call again.
            I was wrong.
            The next day he called and we went on the fifth date…but nothing, and I mean nothing happened.  
Not even a kiss on the cheek.  Unbelievable!  Maybe I reminded him of his sister.
I had met his sister the previous week.  Although attractive, she was tall, big boned, and had so much boundless energy I thought the floor was going to sink in when she spoke.
No, it couldn’t be that.  Maybe…maybe…With a swish of my arm I took a quick smell. 
Oh, glory!
I smelled like the old leftover spaghetti from the refrigerator!  Actually, not exactly like the spaghetti.  My mom was still getting after me for putting the leftovers in the cupboard by mistake.  We were looking for that meal for days!
“Is anything wrong?” …Oh, the sad, puppy eyes.  His inquisitive eyes searched my own as I clamped my arms to my sides and nodded a definite, “no.”
 “Well then, can you go out tomorrow?”
Tomorrow?
The next day I cleaned my pits especially well, and waited somewhat impatiently for my prince to come.  Maybe he was just nervous about kissing me…maybe he wanted to, but because he’d never done it before…maybe this was a huge joke initiated by my “supposed” friends in school.
I hadn’t yet forgiven my friends for the orange peel incident.  Four years later it was still running through my mind like a slow motion picture movie--the tray with my hot lunch…potatoes…gravy…chicken fried steak…feeling hungry…smiling…my stomach groaning…walking down the isle to sit…receiving strange looks…some private joke?  Loosing my balance…slipping…slipping…clank!  Silverware flying…crud in my hair…faces…too many faces laughing…

Maybe…maybe he WAS afraid…

I went back to the bathroom and re-brushed my teeth, and looked into the mirror for that all-too-common zit that always made its appearance at just the wrong time.  I smiled at myself, trying to let “the inner glow” that my mother said I had, shine through.  But all I saw was frightened eyes.  Ok, frightened eyes and a large zit trying to break forth on my chin.
The doorbell rang.
My heart skipped.  I was no longer standing like molten rock, gaping at myself.  I turned from the bathroom mirror.  He was down the hall in the living room.  My dad was giving him the old “now take care of my daughter,” routine, which was really, “if you lay a hand on my daughter, you are one dead buddy” lecture.  My stomach rolled over once, then twice, before I entered the room and our eyes met.
He smiled, his eyes walking into my own with silent words I could only imagine meant, “Don’t worry, the kiss is coming later.”
“Hi,” I said.
“Hi,” he answered.  “Ready to go?”
I was more than ready.  A movie was fine too.  You could hold hands and kiss in the dark.  The screen glittered like so many lips…what was this movie about anyway?  I just couldn’t guess.  The kiss, where was the kiss?
And then it was over, and his hand was in mine walking me to the car.  This has to be it, I thought as the door opened and he walked to the other side.  Or was it?
            “Did you like the movie?” he asked.  The car sputtered its famous start.
“Yeah,” I lied.  Well, I could have liked it.  “You?”
“It was great!  I loved that cool part when…”
I was no longer with him.  Sure, my body was in the car, but my soul was thinking of what was to come.
What would it be like?  Smooth?  Swift?  Wet?  Tender?
The car stopped.  I was waiting.  And sweating.
“Sooo…”
“So, do you want to go out to dinner tomorrow?”

After the kiss, buddy…

“Sure.”
Doug opens the door and walks around to my side.  The door creaks open like a great gate.  I stand, the cool evening breeze ignoring the heat of my thundering heart.
“Sooo….I guess I should go inside…”
“Ok.”

Ok?

“See you around seven?”  He winks.
Well, what was that supposed to mean?
…On my bed I reflect on my lack of charisma, or my great ‘smelling’ body, whatever it was that was keeping him from kissing me.  Why hadn’t I just allowed him to kiss me on the first date?  Why? 
            On the seventh date, Doug and I spent an entire day together, beginning at the city zoo.  As animals of all sizes and shapes stared back at me behind wire fencing, I couldn’t help thinking about how different this dating experience had been for me.
            I had dated various men—boys, I think now, who I’d allowed to kiss me even before I knew if I really liked them.  It was the kiss, always the kiss I wanted, with no thought about what it all meant.
            Symbolically speaking, I had dated lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, birds—even frogs, but never a prince.
            As the evening became a misty gray we left the zoo, talking and laughing.  Doug and I held hands and he told me about his family, his job and how much he enjoyed being with me.  Somehow I forgot all about the kiss.
            When it came, we were in the car as before.  The sky was dark, the moon shining  
within the window like truth.  And yes, the kiss was grand, kind of like a dairy smooth ice-cream cone, chocolate, only warmer.  We finished some minutes later—I’m not sure when.  All I could think about was how much I liked him.


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