Many of you reading this would have a hard time believing that I was painfully shy growing up but when I was a young man, I was so lacking in self confidence that I was usually unable to work up the courage to even TALK to girls! Regardless, I still look back at those painful development years and my first experiences with a basic sense of pride and nostalgia.
This is the true tale of my very first romantic kiss. The journey was a long and difficult one we all have to face but in the end it is more than worth it! I hope you find it interesting.
When I was 16 my father coached the lil’ league girls’ basketball team my sister was on and I went to some of their practices and games. One of the girls on the team had an older sister I struck up a conversation with about the relatively “safe” topic of ‘the team’ and our respective sisters. I used the guise of suggesting that she and I step outside the gym ‘to get some fresh air’ but the reality was, it was VERY cold outside and more ‘FRIGID’ than ‘fresh’. I wanted to get her away from everything else so I could get to know her better.
Outside we talked on the school playground and I was completely enthralled! I believe my parents sensed my interest in “A” and invited her and her sister from the team over to my house that afternoon. The two of us were in the back seat of the car as my father drove but it was still cold and she and I were freezing. As a habit, I cupped my hands together and blew my breath into them to warm ’em up until “A” coyly suggested that we hold hands since hers were cold too. I was elated by her sly idea since I didn’t have the nerve to seize her hands on my own. The overwhelming joy I felt made that car ride seem incredibly short. When we arrived home I reluctantly released her hands since I no longer had the inventive excuse to possess them.
That pivotal day was the beginning of my first serious relationship. When my father drove “A” and her sister home she suggested that we could go see a movie the following Friday. I enthusiastically accepted her offer but later worried about what was expected of me. It was my first real date and I was petrified of the thought of awkward moments where I might have to be brave and courageous. It’s a very scary thing for a young man to have to be the aggressor in courtship since there is the great possibility of emotional rejection. I waited on ‘pins and needles’ that Friday night as I constantly checked the window to see if her family station wagon was in our driveway. Completely out of his usually frugal character, my dad generously gave me money to pay for our tickets and box office refreshments. After an eternity of waiting for her arrival, my impatience was appeased when she pulled up.
We surveyed the choices at the theater and decided to see “Arthur” since it was a comedy which we both thought we would like. Luckily for me, the movie was very amusing and it allowed no open opportunity for awkward moments to surface. Afterward we went to get something to eat and talked awhile in the car. I wasn’t so fortunate then since it was just her and me alone in the front seat! ‘The Moment of Truth’ seemed at hand.
The butterflies present in my stomach before were now in my throat and trying to fly out! I’m sure that she felt them too but it’s too easy to look back on that moment NOW and downplay the tension involved in those ancient teenage mating rituals. It was very real at the time and we were both scared of overestimating the other person’s level of interest. Not surprisingly, we avoided those adolescent risks and she drove me home. In my driveway she hinted that she would like to go out with me again and I immediately agreed since she brought up the idea and relieved my worries about the quality of my companionship. It was just too awkward for ME to be the one suggesting another date since I didn’t even have a car or driver’s license and was completely dependent on her or my parents to provide the transportation. While I was disappointed that we hadn’t kissed; I was also relieved that she obviously enjoyed herself and it was over so I could relax.
In summary that night I concluded that my first date wasn’t a complete success since it wasn’t consummated in a good night kiss but it wasn’t a failure either. In relative terms, I decided that anything less than total disaster was basically ‘success’ due to my VERY limited experience in courtship. I vowed before going to sleep that I would work up the courage to kiss her soon. Little did I know how long it would take!
As unbelievable as it may seem, literally months went by while we dated steadily and still had yet to have our first magical kiss. Both of us were painfully shy and that wasn’t the best combination for teenage ‘explorers’. Someone has to be a risk taker and neither of us could overcome our baseless fears to take the first step. Countless times, we were about to take the ‘plunge’, when our nosy sisters would fly in the room and interrupt us with glee. Those little monsters knew exactly what they were doing and it brought them no end of sadistic amusement. Their invasive disruptions ruined the mood more times than I can count. I was starting to think IT would NEVER happen and that we were doomed to only hold hands forever.
In some ways, I believe my COMPLETE LACK of manly COURAGE made our feelings and my appreciation for her stronger. You tend to concentrate on less carnal and physical things when you are stranded at ‘first base’! (Hahaha) It was obvious (even to ourselves) that we were PATHETIC when we started making plans for “IT” to happen. After several false starts we found ourselves at the previously arranged location and time that we had promised the event would transpire. (Somehow, making a ‘kiss pact’ gave it more impact and we were DESPERATE to get over our self imposed hurdle.)
The setting seemed perfect: her parents house on Sunday night while they were gone to church. It was just the two of us alone. We sat on her couch in the darkened den and listened to the radio while holding hands and talking. The only light in the room was the illuminated dial of the stereo. Short of candles or a flickering fireplace, it was as romantic as any two bashful kids could hope for. The personal time we had to ourselves was melting away rapidly and I knew her parents would be home, all too soon. I knew that if it was ever going to happen, it would have to be before all our actions were closely scrutinized by the ever watchful eyes of her family. Sadly my confidence was as vacant as ever and I sat paralyzed until the familiar headlights of her father’s car cut through the window.
I wanted to SCREAM out in frustration and failure! I couldn’t believe that I had just blown another perfect opportunity. She made eye contact with me and I could see the same disappointment in her eyes. The entire thing was utterly ridiculous since we both NEEDED it to happen, and that just made it even worse to us! Her dad asked what we had been doing while they were gone and I’m sure we made up some benign tale. He needn’t have worried obviously, but it just seemed easier to fabricate something than to admit we were unsuccessful at our detailed plans to kiss. Maybe we feared he could see the ‘guilty’ looks on our faces. Unsuccessful we might have been, but the
DESIRE was definitely there!
When my dad pulled up in their driveway to take me home, I resigned to accept the latest ‘defeat’ and walked into the hallway to retrieve my jacket from the coat hook. I heard “A” tell her parents that she was going to tell me ‘goodbye’. She turned the corner to the hallway where I was and before I could even THINK, she planted an intense, passionate kiss on me that completely caught me off guard! I’m not sure how long it lasted since time stood still for me but I can tell you that I felt all the stereotypical ‘skyrockets’ associated with powerful kisses. I’m not sure but I think I floated all the way out to the car!
That is the absolutely PATHETIC but true story of my first kiss! After she and I surpassed that initial barrier it wasn’t a problem anymore and we kissed nearly continually until our faces hurt! That relationship ended long ago but I’ll never forget my first kiss and the long road we traveled to arrive there!