My first french kiss.

My first french kiss.

It was 1989, I was 8 years old, in the 3rd grade.  I lived on a mil­i­tary base in Win­ter Har­bor, Maine. Every Fri­day, a van would come and pick up all the kids a (in a legal non preda­to­ry way) and take us to Mill­bridge, the near­est town to see a movie. [INSERT EPIC MINDBLOWING UPDATE: while writ­ing this I googled the the­ater, which is like googling an image in a dream you had or like that scene in High Fideli­ty where John Cusack finds his ex list­ed in the phone­book and screams “She’s an extra ter­res­tri­al, a ghost, a myth, not a per­son in a phone book!”…basi­cal­ly you don’t real­ly expect it to exist out­side of your brain because it’s YOURS and it’s the PAST…anyway, an arti­cle post­ed TODAY telling me that the own­er died and the the­ater will be clos­ing after 36 sum­mers. True sto­ry: here’s the arti­cle.]

milbridgetheaterSo despite my tears I’ll keep typ­ing. There was a boy I liked, but he couldn’t decide between my friend Sarah and I (I even­tu­al­ly fell for her too, oof.) We all com­pro­mised and he asked both of us to be his date that night (yes, 3rd grade.) Dur­ing the movie he had his arms around both of us and I was hap­py and sad and full of exis­ten­tial angst. On the ride home I start­ed to pull away as the new Aero­smith song “What it Takes” (To Let You Go) played on the radio. It was rain­ing, and I had my head again­st the win­dow-it was pret­ty epic; one of those moments that NO ONE IN THE WORLD COULD EVEN UNDERSTAND because YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW because I was the ONLY PERSON TO EVER LOVE ANOTHER PERSON, etc.

So we get back home and as I go to get out at my stop, he takes my hand, pulls me toward him and says “let me french you good­bye” but with­out wait­ing for an “ok” from me. Every­thing went into slo mo and all I could see was his mouth open real­ly wide and com­ing toward me like Alien to Sigour­ney Weaver. I closed my eyes and part­ed my lips for my first kiss:


strange suc­tion

a tick­le on the roof of my mouth

a slick tin­gle around my lips

what actu­al­ly hap­pened: his mouth was just on top of my mouth, we kept them wide open, he licked my hard palet­te and then cir­cled my lips like he was Burt’s Bees. Done. Over.

Sud­den­ly, all that angsty exis­ten­tial dark­ness lift­ed as I real­ized I NEVER want­ed him to kiss me again. I looked at Sarah and smiled as I gave up my claim on him and turned my sites toward her. Let’s just say thanks to play­ing house I learned how to real­ly enjoy kiss­ing, and haven’t stopped since. My fiance and I were fea­tured on the cov­er of DC’s city paper kiss­ing at the Pride parade because we are both huge Allies, and because we both looked pret­ty hot. pridekiss (1)Just say­ing. I mean but real­ly. When I’m 80 I’ll remem­ber the­se boobs fond­ly and be hap­py they made it onto the inter­net.

So, kiss­ing pro tips:

1. Don’t force it; move with your part­ner, com­pro­mise your styles if they are dif­fer­ent and find your rhythm.

2. As I learned when I was 8, don’t go in with your mouth wide open and don’t try to eat your part­ner.

3. Remem­ber to swal­low once in a while.

4. Date or be engaged or mar­ried to some­one super hot.

5. KISS THE ONE YOU LOVE EVERY TIME YOU THINK IT. If you’re like me you wor­ry about death a lot. So kiss before sleep, at good­byes, and every moment in between. Because, death.

6. Don’t think about death.


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