Last week I was scrambling to come up with a blog post idea, so I put it out to Twitter. What should I blog about?
Kristina Martin of Ten Minute Missive jumped in with a terrific idea:
I actually misread it at first as “your first kiss,” but then realized it’s probably the same story anyway.
I was a bit on the naïve side when I started first grade. I was aware that boys and girls were different, which I demonstrated in kindergarten by standing in the restroom beside a male classmate while he peed and I sang Mr. Rogers’ “Everybody’s Fancy.”
But concepts like relationships and flirting were a little lost on me.
So when a fellow first-grader named Derek approached me on the playground, shuffled his feet in the bark chips, and asked, “wanna go with me?” I replied, “go where?”
Once he’d explained the concept of boyfriend and girlfriend, I agreed that sounded like a pretty good arrangement and he went off to play tetherball while I continued swinging on the monkey bars.
After school, my new boyfriend asked me to come over to his house. I have a dim recollection of my mother checking with young Derek’s parents and verifying in person that the house wasn’t a crack den.
Then we were left to solidify our new relationship by playing Candyland. We were having a fine time until his older sister appeared in the doorway and folded her arms over her chest.
“Is that your girlfriend?” she demanded of Derek.
He looked at me and shrugged. “I guess.”
“Have you been on a date?”
“What’s a date?” I asked.
“It’s where you eat something and drink something together.”
Derek and I looked at each other and realized we had not, in fact, been on a date. We were ashamed.
The sister sighed. “You need to go on a date if you’re boyfriend and girlfriend.”
So a neighbor kid was sent to fetch the necessities. He returned a few minutes later with half a Kit-Kat bar and two glass soda bottles filled with water. Derek and I completed our date under the close supervision of the older sister before returning to our game of Candyland.
But she wasn’t done with us. “Now you need to smooch.”
“What’s smooch?” I asked.
She rolled her eyes. “You have to choose,” she explained. “You either smooch, kiss, or make out.”
I was only familiar with one of those terms, and since kissing didn’t sound so bad, I looked to Derek for confirmation.
Derek frowned at his sister. “Now?”
“Yes, now,” she insisted. “Otherwise, you aren’t boyfriend and girlfriend.”
“Can we go in the closet?” he asked. “I don’t want you watching.”
The sister agreed to afford us some privacy, so we slunk into the closet and closed the door behind us. I stood there someone’s wool coats brushing the top of my head as I listened to Derek breathing in the darkness.
“Do you want to smooch, kiss, or make out?” he asked.
“I only know what kissing is,” I admitted.
And with that, he leaned forward, gave me the world’s fastest peck on the lips, threw open the closet door, and fled like he was being pursued by a pack of cootie-infected wolverines.
After that, we decided the boyfriend and girlfriend thing might be a little overrated. I don’t recall an actual breakup, but I do know we steadfastly avoided each other the next time a game of kissing tag broke out on the playground.
Got a good first kiss or awkward kiss story? Please share! And hey, let’s make this worth your while. Best story gets a signed copy of Making Waves.
Let’s hear it!
Oh, and for the record, I’m still not sure I understand the difference between kissing, smooching, and making out. Even so, I’m determined to practice as much as possible until I get it right.