Monday, October 25, 2010

Here's Lookin' At You, Kid... Or, The Art of Kissing

I love kissing. I've loved it ever since my first kiss in the 7th grade, after school behind the big pine tree near the school buses. His name was Mark and he was in the 8th grade. I don't know if the kiss was good or bad; I don't know how long it lasted or if anyone saw (watching kissing as sport was really big when I was in middle school) and I definitely don't know where Mark is today, but I do know that after the first time we kissed, I was hooked - not on Mark, but on kissing.

I couldn't wait for my first kiss. I thought about it all the time. What it would be like, how romantic it would be, who it would be with. Some of my friends had already had their first kiss and I couldn't wait to be a part of that club.

The first kiss was a big production. With Mark, we had to go through an entire network before the kiss actually happened. It was about as intense as Nuclear Weapon Peace Talks between the US and North Korea. A flurry of "do you like Andrea?" and "Mark is going to wait by your locker after school!" conversations were held by a crew of middle school girls who could have moonlighted as hostage negotiators. There were also the intricately folded notes written back and forth - you know the ones I'm talking about. They were like Origami on steroids and written in tiny handwriting. Notes that began with "hey, what's up? Me, just sitting in math class, thinking about u." We didn't have cell phones or text messaging back then, and social networks involved human beings, not Facebook or MySpace, so we used reams and reams of notebook paper (and we wonder why we're in an environmental crisis). There was nothing like one of the negotiators coming up to me at passing period and handing me a folded note that said "To: Andrea. From: Mark." I was in heaven.

Finally, the day arrived, and I was so nervous. After the last bell rang, I made my way to the big pine tree, trying not to walk too fast or giggle. I was chewing gum and threw it out right before the kiss commenced. I had my eyes closed, head cocked to the side, and we connected. It was about as technical as a space launch. I imagine the crew of middle school girls sitting around in headsets, congratulating each other at lift off. After the kiss ended, he walked me to my bus and gave me another hug. I sat on that school bus, grinning from ear to ear and wanting to shout from the rooftops. I got home, called the network to tell them what happened (including that Mark was a great kisser. Really, Andrea? What the hell did I know about good kissers?) While Mark and I broke up two days later (and believe it or not, that ISN'T the shortest relationship I've had), I was a goner. I was in love with kissing.

Now that I'm an adult, the "first kiss" is still a production. While I am definitely way more experienced now (insert joke here), I still get that nervous anticipation in my stomach, and I still get that grin afterward. I didn't realize that with age, however, the negotiations would start up again, and somehow feel a lot more complicated.

There was the first kiss with John* and rather than just kiss, we discussed the kiss for what seemed like three hours... What did the kiss mean? What did it mean for our relationship? According to him, the minute one kisses a woman, she gets all goofy and wants to start planning the wedding. I wanted to say "don't flatter yourself," but that may have killed what little mood was left. Eventually, our lips found their way to each other and that first kiss was... really bad. It was awkward and because we talked so much about it, it felt like I was kissing my same, neurotic self. I mean, seriously, the conversation we had out loud was the same kind of doubt riddled conversation one usually has in one's head or with friends, but nothing that should ever be discussed with the person you're obsessing over kissing... or should it? Is it wrong to talk about a kiss before it happens? No, of course not, checking in is important, I just think that the type of conversation John and I had should be held with someone else... a therapist, for example.

Don't get me wrong, eventually we figured it out and the kisses were great, but I'm pretty sure he thought that every time our lips met, I was writing the wedding guest list in my head. In all reality, all I could think about was how great of a kisser he was - and yes, years later, I think I'm pretty good at judging a good kisser (insert joke here). The last thing I was thinking about was our lovely fall wedding that would take place outdoors, with violins softly strumming as I walked down the aisle in my - wait, what was I talking about again? Oh yeah, the fact that I wasn't planning the wedding every time we kissed.

In my mind, the first kiss should be spontaneous and take place just as the plane is taking off. He should grab me, kiss me passionately and then say "here's lookin' at you kid" and walk off into the misty night. The problem is that I have yet to find my Humphrey Bogart (actually, I prefer Cary Grant) and I definitely need to stop wishing for Hollywood to direct my kisses. Now that I've been on strike (if you don't know about the strike, stop reading, click here to read my first blog about the strike and then come back to this post) these lips have been pretty lonely but I've also had a chance to not worry so much about the first kiss, wonder if he's going to kiss me and what is that kiss going to be like. Now, I have time to get the Hollywood notion out of my head and figure out what it is I really want from a kiss.

What is it, you ask? Ah, that's just for me to know. Just know that even if there's some negotiating involved, it's gonna be a great kiss, and like that first kiss behind the pine trees so many years ago, I'm pretty sure I'll be grinning from ear to ear, and I know he will be as well...

Next time: The F Word

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the awkward.

No comments:

Post a Comment