Friday, February 24, 2012

First Kisses, and Kisses that Count

"There have been five great kisses since 1642 B.C. ... (before then couples hooked thumbs.) And the precise rating of kisses is a terribly difficult thing, often leading to great controversy...Well, this one left them all behind." ~ The Princess Bride

So, we're talking kisses… the good, the bad, the most memorable.

Call me old fashioned, but I can't confess to having a whole lot of experience with different kisses with different people. I fell in love young, fell in love quick, and fell in love completely. I didn't have to keep trying. But, for the sake of conversation, I'm going to talk about three 'first kisses' for me.

My first 'kiss' from a boy was in second grade, and Brent Mack stole a kiss on the playground. I got mad at him, pushed him, and took back my big blue marble and walked away. (We were playing marbles). That was the extent of it. Barely memorable other than I managed to save my marbles. Sorry, Brent. (Since there's a chance he might read this... I'm just putting that out there. )

My second 'kiss' was when I was sixteen, and a boy at church whom I'd been spending time with asked for a kiss. It was sloppy, poorly executed, and the last one he got from me.

My third 'kiss' was the only one that matters.

I was in college, and had been spending a lot of time with this boy named Patrick Delaney I met in Algebra class. We'd spent time in groups, we'd studied together, and we'd spent a lot of time talking. We'd even graduated to holding hands. In truth, I'd seen him the first day of school and even pointed him out to my mother. She and I had this game we called "Beep". If one of us saw a cutie, we would say "beep" and the other would have to find him. I "beeped" Patrick to my mother. Months later, after we started seeing each other, that's how I told my mother who he was. "Mama, remember that boy I beeped to you?"

The first kiss with Patrick wasn't the first one he tried, but it seemed he was thwarted with each effort. You know how in the romance novels, the couple looks into each other's eyes and there's that "click"? They lean in… lips almost touch… and they're interrupted JUST before that magical moment? Yeah… that was us.

Kind of made it fun… would he succeed this time?

A bunch of us had gone to the movies… Friday the 13th Part Gazillion or something… and after the movies we all went to Clarendon Gorge near the campus. This is a beautiful park you have to reach by crossing a suspension bridge. NOT easy for me. I was always terrified. Still would be if asked to cross that bridge again. Patrick usually had to coax me across, because I seriously was petrified. (Look at that view... seriously... if you're not scared, you're dead) But, on the other side was a gorgeous wooded area, and down the path you reached a river. Once we got there everyone kind of disbursed. I have very poor vision, even when I was nineteen, and seeing at night is an exceptional challenge for me, so I didn't want to walk around in the dark even though the moon was bright. Just not bright enough for me.

So, Patrick and I made our way to sit on this large, flat rock on the edge of the water. It was gorgeous. The sky was bright. The moon was big. It was cool but not cold (early October in Vermont). Just right for sitting close. The water was trickling by. We sat on the rock talking and holding hands for a long time… and then he kissed me.

And that was it. I was done. Call it overly-romantic (Hello! I'm a romance author!), call it naïve youth, call it whatever you want, but at that moment I knew he was the last person I would need to kiss. I'd found the right one.

We will celebrate our 20th year of marriage next month. So, I guess I was right.