"A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous." ~Ingrid Bergman
If you had to define a first kiss could you? What is it about a kiss that makes it so magical? What is it about a kiss that can drive one crazy, as we anticipate it, dream of it? Hollywood has spent millions of dollars trying to portray the perfect kiss. The directors through their visions have shown us, the audience how a kiss should look, where we should embrace, what we should feel, what we should say, where the kiss should occur. Who can forget the magical first kiss between Jack and Rose in "Titanic"? Or "From Here to Eternity", the immortal kissing scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr on the beach as waves crash around them? Even television shows have held us captive as we have desperately wait week after week for our two favorite characters to break down and finally kiss; Ross and Rachel, Mulder and Scully, Jack and Kate. There is just something about the culmination of chemistry, flirting, want and desire, that leads to the magic of the first kiss. In essence the kiss that will answer the question, is this the first step toward intimacy or nothing more. Keep in mind, everything in Hollywood is finely choreographed, unfortunately or maybe not, a real life first kiss can be wonderful, awkward, unpredictable, gentle, loving, frenzied and even disastrous at times. The magic of it all, through out our life we will encounter over and over so many different types of “first” kisses. Some first kisses we will look back and laugh, others we will cherish, still others leave us wishing we could repeat that moment/kiss one more time.
“First Kiss”I was 10 years old, it was summer, it was Lloyd’s birthday party. At the time, boys were, yuck, boys, I didn’t “like” them. I played baseball and basketball with them. So there I was at Lloyd’s birthday party, when I was dared by a group of friends to kiss him. He stood across the room, no parents were present, I was dared, what is a girl to do? I bravely walked across the room and gave him a quick peck on the lips. Turned around, wiped my lips with my hand, mouthed the word yuck to my friends, went into the bathroom where I washed my face several times. I came out of the bathroom smiling, after all they dared me and I did it. That technically would be my "first" kiss. It would also be the first time I learned how cruel friends can be toward one another. I had no idea that Lloyd had a crush on me. How much I hurt him later when he asked me to “go” with him and I said “NO…gross”. I walked up and kissed him, he had no idea about the dare. That was probably the first time but not the last time a girl would confuse the heck out of poor Lloyd. For the record I apologized to him in high school.
“Wow The Real First Kiss”
Fast forward several years later, to high school. There can be nothing worse in your teen years then attending a New Year’s Eve party dateless. As a teenager I already felt gawky, inelegant, add to that the dread of the clock hitting midnight and standing there alone, like a fool, while everyone else had someone to kiss. I told myself, on the bright side, everyone at the party would have their eyes closed when they were kissing, so just maybe they wouldn’t notice me standing there twiddling my thumbs. There I was standing alone, feeling out of place, as everyone began counting down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…then my heart sank as the ball dropped, the moment I dreaded, midnight on New Year's. As I turned to head out of the room, make my getaway, I felt a hand take mine. I turned, looked up saw his gorgeous blue eyes, I couldn’t believe who was standing there holding my hand. He was sooooooooo out of my league yet there he was staring into my eyes, saying Happy New Year. I lost my breath has he pulled me in to him and kissed me. They were the softest lips I have ever felt against mine. He was so gentle, his kiss tasted so sweet. He left me dazed as he walked away. He would be my crush for many years, sadly that would be the only time we would kiss in high school. But that night I was given an amazing wonderful gift, my first passionate, heart stopping, take my breath away, "WOW" kiss. For those few minutes I felt special. Just thinking about that first kiss still makes my heart skip a beat even after all these years.
“Awkward First Kiss”George was a gentle quiet shy soul, I was the outgoing, talk too much social butterfly. We started a friendship in class, shortly after we began to flirt with each other. I was thrilled to be going to the dance with him. There is always anticipation, a bit of anxiety leading up to the first kiss with anyone. Have you ever really liked someone but when you kissed them, it was just not... good?? George and I were on the dance floor, the first slow dance of the evening. The dance I had been waiting for, anticipating that moment I hoped would come. As we began to sway back and forth with the music, he leaned in and kissed me. This first dance, first kiss, should have been a scene out of a Hollywood love story but instead of kissing John Travolta I was kissing the tin man from "The Wizard of Oz." The kiss was stiff, unmoving, frozen, mechanical, not at all what I had expected, dreamed of. It was to say the least very awkward. As I pulled away from him, abruptly ending the dance, he asked me if I was okay. The only answer I could come up with, I needed to go to the bathroom. Being the typical teenage girl and not having the experience or maturity necessary to deal with the “situation”, I did what every teenage girl does, grabbed my two best friends and headed straight to the bathroom. I had only kissed two guys before this, I knew what a kiss was suppose to be, I knew what I liked, this was not it. This was my first dance, with a real date, and he couldn’t kiss…what the heck was I suppose to do? He had a girlfriend before me, I thought he should know how to kiss. My dream night ruined by one bad kiss. After relaying to my friends the disastrous kiss details we decided jointly the best solution was to avoid kissing him. For the rest of the night, every time there was a slow song, I would either dance with my head on his shoulder, making sure never to look up (that way there could be no temptation on his part) or I would head to the bathroom. When I arrived home that night, an ejection seat couldn’t have gotten me out of the car faster. Yes I know, I was a jerk. In my teenage mind I told myself it would be more hurtful to tell George he couldn’t kiss. I reasoned, how do I teach a person to kiss, when I had only kissed two people? To me kissing should be natural. Looking back, I know I should have been honest, said, hey loosen up, relax the lips and jaw, be gentle, slow down. Nothing kills the chemistry faster between two people than a bad first kiss. I knew after that kiss, there would be no other dates, no more flirting.
“I Love You First Kiss”From the time a girl first realizes boys are different, starts to “like” them, she begins dreaming of hearing I love you for the first time from the perfect man. Hollywood has portrayed the first "I love you" many times, her hair is always perfect, he is gorgeous, he looks her in her eyes, gazes for a second, then softly whispers I love you as he draws her in for a long passionate kiss, with one hand gently behind her head, the other around her waist pulling her in closer. That would be Hollywood version, not the screenplay of my life. When I first met Marty he was a midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, to be honest, I thought he was an obnoxious, arrogant man. I am not sure when or why but the next thing I knew every night at eleven my phone would ring and it would be Marty. He started to grow on me. Sometimes we would only talk for a few minutes, others we would talk the night away. We began to hang out on weekends, watch TV, play trivia pursuit, go out to bars with the gang. He had a girlfriend, so I never really thought much about the possibility of anything more. I knew I liked him, but we were just friends. That all changed one night in February. Marty's girlfriend had flown up from Florida to attend a Hawaiian party a group friends were holding. It was February, Annapolis was struck by a winter storm that left two feet of snow in it's path. My friends were prepared for the blizzard, we stayed in Annapolis Friday night so we would have no problem walking to the party. We were amazed when "the girls" from a college in Virginia arrived at the party. My friends and I, we didn't like them, in our eyes they were very fake, snooty and extremely rude.
The girls from Virginia showed up in bikini tops, grass skirts and yes panty hose. Two feet of snow and they had very little clothing on. My friends and I could not decide if they were nuts or slutty. We laughed at their panty hose, they had the built in panty, complete with big ole white line at the top of the thigh, and they even cut a slit in the toe so they could wear flip flops. Ode to tacky!
I should point out I had never been drunk in my life prior to this night. No one told me the punch was spiked. Five or so glasses later, I was feeling no pain and willing to speak my mind to anyone, and unfortunately I did. I had just finished telling off one of the girls in the kitchen, she made a rude commnet, I believe I may have used the word tramp several times to describe her and her friends. I walked into the living room to find Marty’s girlfriend crying. Marty was upstairs in a bedroom with yet another of the "bikini top, panty hose wearing tramps." An understatement would be I got a tad bit angry. Add alcohol, tab bit became extremely angry. For me this was not acceptable. Marty was my friend, he was not going to cheat on his girlfriend (whom I liked), with one of "them", especially with one of them! I had to put a stop to it.
I stood at the bottom of the stairs, beginning with his full name I yelled, ”if you ever want to talk to me again, you will kick that white trash out of the room and get your ass down here NOW!” To my amazement and everyone at the party, the girl came scurrying out of the room followed by Marty. He stood at the top of the landing motioning me to come upstairs; he needed to talk to me. I marched my drunken pissed off self up the stairs. As I reached the top of the stairs, he pulled me into the room and closed the door behind me. Then he stood with his back against the door and pulled me in close. I was scolding him, telling him how his behavior was unacceptable, his girlfriend was down stairs crying when he interrupted, looked me in the eyes and told me it was my fault. Drunk and confused I asked how it was my fault he was kissing white trash? He pulled me closer, my body was now flush against his, I could feel his heart pounding, he put his finger over my mouth so I stop babbling and said, “Because I want to be with you. You don't understand, I think I love you.” Then he kissed me, it was our first kiss, it was the first time a guy had professed he loved me. After digesting what he had said, I stopped mid kiss, pulled away, and asked, “What did you say?” he repeated, “I think I love you” then kissed me again.
For some reason, most likely alcohol. I got angry with Marty mid kiss (it was a great kiss) and pulled away. My brilliant, wonderful response to his proclamation of possible love, “Damn it Marty! What the hell are you thinking, Wendy is downstairs crying. What do you mean you love me? I am hungry. I am going to get some ravioli. Oh and I think I love you too.” I walked out of the room, down the stairs past a couple of crowds of 'frozen' people. I didn't understand why everyone was staring at me. Later I learned our conversation was not quiet at all, we were arguing very loudly, everyone, including his girlfriend, heard everything.
At the bottom of the stairs I grabbed my coat, walked through the snow back to the Captain's house. I made myself a bowl of ravioli before going to bed. I look back and laugh now, but that night I was angry, drunk and confused as I cried myself to sleep. I knew falling asleep, that was not the way I was supposed to hear I love you for the first time. If Hollywood had scripted the scene, Marty would have quickly told his girlfriend he was sorry, then come running after me in the snow calling my name. I did not have my magical I love you first kiss. Who knows, I have not given up hope, I may still have that wonderful moment one day when the right person will say I love you, then passionately kiss me. Hopefully I will not be hungry for ravioli.
“The Miracle First Kiss”There is the gentle miracle of a first kiss between a mother and a child. To me the most wonderful first kiss of all. After months of feeling Kathryn kick, move, and turn inside me, countless nights dreaming what she would be like, how she would look, imaging her growing up….at long last after 22 hours of labor, then a c-section, the doctor placed her in my arms. As I held her, I marveled at her beauty, soaked her all in, counted her fingers and toes. I laughed and cried as I put my finger in her hand and felt her grasp it. Her quiet cries stopped as I softly spoke to her, said hello. I held her next to my heart. I put my face down close to her so I could smell her, feel her face next to mine. Her skin was soft, rosy and delicate. I gently kissed her forehead and whispered, “I love you Kathryn Elaine Robinson.” The innocence, the joy, the beauty of that moment can never be matched. There is nothing as pure as the love between a mother and a child the moment they first meet.
“Still on the List First Kisses"
Like many teenagers I kept a diary. It contained my hopes, dreams, loves, heartbreaks, desires, lists, goals. One list was my dream/perfect first kisses. My own personal Hollywood script of where I would like to be kissed. Tonight I dusted off my old diary, reread the list I made so many years ago. I realized I still have many first kisses left on the list, goals not yet accomplished. Some on the list still have possibility; in the pouring rain; under a waterfall; on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Ireland to list a few. While others I am not quite sure what I was thinking, other than being a silly teenage girl with a wild imagination, some of them are; on national television while accepting my Grammy or Oscar, center field Memorial Stadium; The steps of the White House with my husband the President etc. I realized after reading the list, you or I can have as many first kisses as our imagination will allow. So I ponder, why not dream up another list? Maybe I need to add that to my to do list for the weekend.
"My Kiss Conclusion"Anticipating a first kiss can be like standing in the water waiting for the perfect wave to carry you to shore. Sometimes you get the ride of your life, while other times you get a ripple, a dud. The bad wave (Kiss) doesn’t stop you from wanting more, it makes you wade back out in the water and wait for another wave, hoping, maybe the next time will be the ride you have always dreamed of. Just maybe if we are lucky, it will be that once in a lifetime Hollywood perfect knock your socks off kiss. Until then we have a lifetime ahead of us to keep trying, to keep enjoying the beauty and wonder of a kiss!