I was not the type of little girl who dreamed about my wedding day, or spent a lot of time writing “Dorklet Jones,” “Dorklet Smith,” “Dorklet Pierce,” or whatever combination of my first name and my crush’s last name (thank god I never liked a boy named “McCorkle”). But I did think a lot about kissing. I never went through the “ew, boys” phase, and even before I had any business kissing, I thought it would be pretty great. A boy named Gerald gave me a peck on the cheek at a party just before I started sixth grade, which sent me into perfect spasms of “eeeeeEEEEEEEEeeeee!!!” so I figured that a real, on-the-lips kiss would be The Height of Romance.
And so, as I lurched through puberty, I thought an inordinate amount about how various boys might kiss, and created elaborate (but chaste) scenarios that involved candlelight, or crowded dancefloors, or secret assignations in the choir room at school. By the beginning of eighth grade, I had already envisioned The Perfect Kiss with a boy for whom I had extra-shiny eyes. We were friends, and would socialize together in big groups at weekends, but I wanted him to be The One.
Eighth grade seemed to be when people first began pairing off (at least among my crowd), and so when Ted* and I started sitting next to each other on April’s couch to watch Psycho and eat pizza, I knew it was only a matter of time.
Sometime in late September, a fateful note was passed to me by Ted’s best friend, who wanted to know if I would “go out” with him (which didn’t mean to actually “go out,” but whatever). Ted was smart and funny, and really quite handsome for a 14 year old boy, with a lovely olive complexion, dark floppy hair, and a lanky sportiness that made him just a little bit cooler than the rest of us. I exulted inwardly, replied in the affirmative, and returned the note via my friend. Then I waited for Saturday night, when the regular weekly hang-out was to be at my house.
I don’t remember what movie we watched, or what other sort of adolescent intrigues were going on, because I was completely high on anticipation and the details of my plot, which involved flirtatiously coaxing Ted down to the lake behind my house, where, with only the moon reflecting on the water to highlight my sparkly eyeshadow and expertly fluffed bangs, he would tenderly whisper his love. Then we would lock eyes and draw together slowly, so slowly, embrace with a heretofore unknown passion, and kiss, each entwining the other’s hair in our fingers.
The evening was winding to a close, and parents were coming to pick up my friends. I was hoping that Ted was thinking along the same lines as I, and so I managed to get him onto the back porch. Before I could suggest a lakeside stroll, his father was at the front door. Okay, no lake, no reflected moonlight. We stood there for a few moments, both realizing that This Was Happening, before he shuffled forward a step and said “…my dad…” Okay, no tender declarations. This is still salvageable.
“Yeah,” I said.
“Well,” he said.
And then he was on me. Hands on my shoulderpads, seething hairless ferret of tongue in– and around–my unsuspecting mouth. I was too shocked to reciprocate; all I could do was hang on, literally, so I wouldn’t be knocked over, and try to figure out where things had gone so wrong. No initial embrace, no gentle kiss, no twining fingers. THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN.
When he came up for air, I managed to refrain from wiping my mouth on my sleeve before stammering a “goodnight.” He launched himself inside and out the front, and I stood in a daze on the back porch, my slobber-coated chin, not my eyeshadow, glistening in the light.
I broke up with him on Monday. THE END.
* Name changed to protect the ridiculous.
It was a terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-kiss, but I treasure the memory, anyway. Good or bad, what’s your first kiss story?