Back to blogging with my three co-bloggers! Each week, one of us chooses a topic and we all post a blog entry on that topic, usually on Thursdays. (Usually we are on time. Usually. Ok, mostly. Sometimes? Don’t judge me.)
Here are the links to the other fabulous blogs:
This week, Moma Rock chose, and she said, “That first kiss … ”
Now, before I write about any kiss, I want to share my thought process when I saw the subject. My first thought was that at least one of my co-bloggers would not be super comfortable with this topic, as there is often hesitation when we get to the subject of past romantic relationships. My second thought was that those of us in committed relationships would probably feel compelled to write about our first kiss with our significant other, in case the men actually read the posts. I decided I wouldn’t buckle under the pressure. Or, maybe more accurately, I’d write about that, but I’d write about another first kiss, as well.
It’s not like there was anything wrong with my first kiss with my husband. It was a wonderful kiss in a romantic place. It was our first “night” date – we’d been on a couple of lunch dates, but somehow those weren’t the same. (In fact, to this day, I still tease my husband because after our first lunch date, he shook my hand; we’d met at a restaurant near his work and had eaten outside, and he was afraid a co-worker would see him. I got a hug on the second date.) Chicago’s Navy Pier was the site of our first night date; it’s right on the lake and has an absolutely gorgeous view. We had a few drinks and strolled the Pier, and at one point we found a bench away from the throngs of tourists and looked out over the lake. It was there we kissed. My husband likes to joke that I kissed him, though I didn’t. I like to remember it as mutual. It was a good kiss on a good night, the beginning of a relationship that has now exceeded a decade.
Obviously, I remember that first kiss, perhaps because it was my last first kiss, perhaps because it was romantic and led to a life-long relationship. I don’t know. And I wonder because, when I really think about it, there are several other first kisses I cannot remember. I’ve done my share of dating, and it’s a little mind blowing at how many of the first kisses I’ve forgotten. It makes me wonder why I remember the ones I remember, and why the others simply slipped away.
As I dwelled on it, I realized that, for me, anticipation and expectedness play a huge role in what stays in my mind. I seem to remember the kisses I really wanted, or the ones I wanted but didn’t expect; the ones I thought would never happen but somehow did. Several immediately come to mind. I will share the story of one.
When I was in my early twenties, I lived in Los Angeles/Hollywood. I fell in lust on a regular basis, a habit fueled by the fact I often helped out my friend Harry when he set up rock shows at local clubs. I was in long-haired musician heaven. I’ve always been a fan of pretty boys, and they were everywhere. You couldn’t throw a drumstick without hitting one.
I spent a lot of time with the long-haired boys, but I didn’t date too many of them. I made friends and we hung out; I wasn’t the groupie type. The crushes came and went, usually extinguished when the guy opened his mouth to speak – or to introduce me to his girlfriend. Eventually, of course, one crush took hold and morphed into something more like affection. And, of course, he had a girlfriend.
For some reason, this time I held out hope. We became friends, and I had no beef with his girlfriend, who was pleasant if not particularly friendly. I waited for months, not wishing anyone heartache, but absent-mindedly hoping maybe he’d realize he liked me better than her. Our friendship grew in spite of the girl, largely because we hung out in the same circles. I was ok with that, even if my heart hurt a little each time I went home alone.
A few months passed. He and his band travelled to Colorado for some shows, and I didn’t see him for a few weeks. Upon their return, they scheduled a show at the club down the street from my apartment. Friends with the whole band by then – and still in my state of suspended emotion – I showed up. I found a table. I sat alone. I watched the door.
He walked in. He was alone. My heart leaped. He looked around. He saw me. He strode over.
He told me he was happy to see me, he was glad I had come. He said he had to load equipment, but would I stay after the show? He had something to tell me. He seemed serious. I said I would; I hoped everything was ok. He said, and I remember this all these years later, “Well, [girlfriend’s name] and I broke up.”
Heart. Pounded. Hard.
I sat through the show, all the bands preceding his. I don’t remember their names or their songs. His band came on last. I vaguely remember parts of his band’s set; I know they ended with a cover of Wish You Were Here. I remember heading to the club bathroom to check my hair and lip gloss. I remember heading backstage to find him, helping load equipment – totally a girlfriend move.
He didn’t have a car, and somehow he ended up in mine. He lived in Laurel Canyon, crashing on the couch of a friend who just so happened to rent Jimi Hendrix’s old house, but we somehow ended up at mine. I remember sitting on the living room floor, because my roommate and I didn’t have a couch. We talked for hours, about everything. It was kinda like the end of Sixteen Candles, sitting knees to knees, but without the fancy house or birthday cake but with lots of long hair.
I remember talking and talking, the night flying by. And then, while I was mid-sentence, rambling about god knows what, he kissed me. A kiss I’d wanted for months but never, ever thought would come. A kiss I clearly have not forgotten.
And maybe that’s it. Maybe a kiss is more than just that moment in time – it’s the build up, the anticipation, the expectation, the wish. Perhaps I don’t remember the other first kisses because there wasn’t much to remember. Maybe I saw those coming. Maybe I didn’t wait so long, or work so hard.
L.A. guy and I remain friends. I’ve never asked him whether he remembers our first kiss, whether he remembers much at all of our relationship all those years ago. In the end, I suppose it doesn’t matter. Although our dating relationship didn’t go very far or last very long, my memories of it are good. They are sweet. And I’m happy about that.
It’s as it should be. That first kiss . . .