Monday, July 20, 2009

Waiting for true love's first kiss

Like most little girls who grew up reading fairy tales and watching Disney movies, I had a lot of preconceived ideas about what my first kiss would be like. Although I hadn't quite worked out all of the logistics I felt somewhat confident that it would take place in a picturesque setting, with my own theme song playing softly in the background, and small woodland creatures nearby cheering me on or perhaps making some kind of chocolaty snack that my boyfriend and I could share after that magical moment when our spirits and our lips combined to be one.

While this may seem far fetched, keep in mind that I grew up in Montana, so the serene setting and woodland creatures actually shouldn't have been that hard to come by. But alas, the waiting room for my first kiss was not filled with sunshine and butterflies, but instead with vampires and zombies.

Let me set the scene. It was the week before Halloween, and as was tradition, our church was hosting its annual Halloween party. Two important notes: this was 15 years ago, before Halloween was replaced with "Fall Family Festivals" and I didn't live in the Bible Belt where it would be completely unthinkable to hold a celebration of Halloween in a church. Our church held a Halloween party, complete with a haunted house, and our youth group was in charge of staging and executing the event.

But this would be no ordinary Halloween party. This was a night where destiny was shining down on me. My boyfriend, whom I had been dating for three weeks, would be at the party and I was sure that this would be the night where I would move from being 15 and never been kissed to 15 and breathless, wobbly knees, hold me close or I may fall to the ground and need to be resuscitated by yet another kiss. Now, as adults, three weeks may not seem like a long time, but three weeks in the high school First Kiss Waiting Room is like six months in the real world - it's kind of like dog years vs. human years.

Other than a few games of spin the bottle at birthday parties, I had never actually been kissed. However, because of my duties in the haunted house, I was literally stuck in the attic most of the night. I don't know if you have ever worked in a haunted house, but these types of jobs are different then your average day job. As visitors entered the haunted house, my job was to scream at the top of my lungs and them lunge at them with my hands covered in "blood" (a mixture of Karo syrup and food coloring - much more realistic than ketchup for those of you keeping score).

Mid-way through the party, I went downstairs for a quick boyfriend check and what did I see? Another girl, we will call her Jessica Rabbit for the moment, was sitting on his knee. There she was in her size four stone washed jeans, flipping her long blond hair back over her shoulder and laughing at him like she thought he was funny. I was devastated. I was supposed to be pretending he was funny and flipping my hair around - or something - and while I'm busy scaring the begezzes out of people, Ms. Rabbit was moving in on my man!

Well, as you can imagine, I did what any intelligent, loving, Christian, girl would do in this situation; I had my best friend tip me off when little Ms. Rabbit was coming through the haunted house where somehow an entire bowl of fake blood was accidentally doused on that pretty blond hair of hers. Very reminiscent of the scene in Stephen King's Carrie only much more satisfying and well-deserved.

Unfortunately, this mishap caused her to have to leave the party early, putting my plans back on track.

As the party started to wind down, I knew I had to make my move. My boyfriend started walking out to the car with his friends and I walked out with him, my hands, hair and shirt all stained with red Karo syrup. I looked more like a trauma victim than a princess. And although there was a distinct lack of squirrels and bunnies there were plenty of power rangers, spider men, and Barbies with plastic masks who had gathered around. The little munchkins seemed to sense that something magical was about to happen and they wanted to be a part of it. That and all the candy had run out inside the party. In fact, I can't think of anything that could have made the night less romantic, except possibly if my head would have started spinning a' la The Exorcist. But at this point I was committed and nothing was going to stop me from leaving that sidewalk without a kiss.

I quickly reached up and gave him a hug and thanked him for coming. He started to pull away, but I kept my arms around his neck and the hug lingered. Our eyes locked and I knew this was it. He started moving in closer and our lips were so close that they were just about to touch. I stood up on my tip toes so that I could reach his lips. I noticed that he closed his eyes so I closed mine as well. I tilted my head just slightly and took a deep breath in. The air around us was chilly, so I could feel my breath as I breathed out slowly and my lips finally touched his.

The kiss lasted only a few seconds and then I felt his arms loosen. He said something about talking to me later, got in the car and drove away.

I looked up at the beautiful night sky above me determined to take in all the sights and sounds of the moment, took a deep breath, and began to cry.

It was awful!

It was sort of like when you get a piece of meat in your mouth and you have to keep chewing it and chewing it but you can't swallow it so eventually you have to just spit it out.

How could something I had waited my entire life for be so incredibly terrible? Was it me? Was I a horrible kisser? I mean, I really didn't have much practice, other than the pillow, my hand, and the inevitable truth or dare games. I had read a lot of Judy Blume books and even a few of my mom's Harlequin romance novels, which I was sure would have prepared me for this night. I wasn't expecting actual fireworks, I wasn't that naive, but I wasn't expecting the night to end in tears. Come on!

The night ended with me crying to my best friend and my dad taking us out for Happy Meals, which I still contend can fix almost anything. There is some kind of happy chemical in those french fries . . . I'm just saying.

My first boyfriend did not end up being my true love, although he did end up one of my closest friends in high school and college. It's funny how life works out that way.

I've had a lot of kisses along the way, some good and some not so good, but perhaps none quite as memorable as that first.


  1. Kristen, you really couldn't help but join the blogisphere with that husband of yours. What ever did you talk about before now? I've enjoyed reading your blog and it's inspired me to write more often on mine.

  2. Kristen,
    I'm still laughing! Thanks for sharing - sure brought lots of memories to mind for me. Good luck with the blog. You're off to a great start.

  3. Every Halloween I still remember those Haunted Houses in the church basement...I would LOVE to go back and do that again!! Wow, reading your stories makes me remember SO many fun (aka STRANGE) things we used to do back in the day!! Thanks for posting these :) (Mel)

  4. First kisses are never amazing!