Department of English

Fall 2010 Edition

First Kiss

Marleen Park
Expressive 1010 2nd Place
Professor: Julia Combs

I know what this hesitation on the doorstep is for. The moment I have been dreaming of is finally here! He is actually going to do it! He thanks me for a wonderful evening, hugs me, and then begins to lean closer and closer. I gently close my eyes and wait for the magic. Warm lips on mine, I feel butterflies in my stomach. This is how it is supposed to happen, right? A long- awaited first kiss. For many, a first kiss is a rite of passage, a build-up of emotions that by a simple touch are released with a fiery passion. For me, however, it was not.

A typical first kiss should consist of a young girl and a young boy who like each other. And not a "we're just friends" kind of like, either. They must have feelings for that other person. It does not necessarily have to be a deep, powerful pull to the other. A curiosity and an attraction must be present. A typical first kiss should be special and leave the kissers wanting more. Kisses are a way of showing love, adoration, or even lust. Sometimes they are given, and sometimes they are taken. But no matter how it happens, one is supposed to feel a longing for it. A personal connection must be had.

The setting was always very important to me as well. Maybe on a lake with the glow of the moon cascading my lover and me in dim light. Or perhaps, in a sudden rainstorm after a long walk in the park. Even on my porch after a simple date would be ideal. A Harmons parking lot, however, is not so ideal.

At a very young age I decided that I would not kiss anyone until I was at least sixteen. Boys had cooties anyway. What I did not realize is that those cooties go away around the age of thirteen. Still, I was not going to hand out my kisses like candy on Halloween. They were sacred to me. A boy had to earn them. However, I needed some direction just in case. I needed to know exactly how a kiss happened. I went to my sister. After all, she had A LOT of experience. The talk I had with her was quite educational. I learned things that I still find repulsive. We won't go into that.

My sister told me that one should never over-prepare for a first kiss, but it was still necessary to acquire some knowledge on the subject. I was told that kissing is instinct and should come naturally. If not, well, go get that checked out. Easy for her to say. I was not to pucker my lips too much. Lips needed to be firm, but not sloppy. Moist, but not wet. And my breath needed to be fresh, minty fresh. That was vital to my kissing future. I always listened, but I knew that the only way to figure it out was to actually kiss someone.

A week before my eighteenth birthday, I decided that this first kiss was going to happen, whether I liked it or not. I called up my friend, and we began to plan. No, we began to plot. We went through her phone and discussed the pros and cons of each boy. I chose my victim and crossed my fingers that he would want to kiss me. Who wouldn't? Right?

I was at my wit's end as the day grew closer. I awoke the morning of "the kiss" with a stomachache. I could think of nothing except the evening ahead of me. But I kept giving myself pep talks. I had to be ready. I drove over to Chick-fil-A, as it was the rendezvous point. I sat waiting in the booth until my future kiss finally arrived. I heard a chime, and he entered the classy establishment. He walked over and sat down. We talked. We flirted. We became very thirsty. Harmons it was. We headed straight to the cold beverage aisle. Over and over I told him that it was my birthday this week. I also mentioned that I had not had my first kiss yet. Now I had his attention.

With our newly-quenched thirsts, we sat on the tailgate in the parking lot of Harmons. We kept talking and talking and talking. I was done talking. I knew that if I did not get this kiss over with soon it would not happen. Finally, I blurted out that he had something over by his car that he "needed." He looked at me kind of funny and walked toward the direction of his car. I didn't move. I took deep breaths to calm my nerves. I tried to rid myself of a pit that had formed in the depths of my stomach. I slowly followed behind him. I stopped in front of him and he reached out for a hug. I quickly looked up at him, closed my eyes, and planted a kiss right on his mouth.

I waited for the fireworks to come. They didn't.

I did nothing wrong! I puckered just right; firm, not sloppy; my lips were moist, and I had minty breath! I couldn't believe that I had just wasted my first kiss! It was hardly a kiss. It was more of a let-me-touch-your-lips-with-mine kind of thing. I didn't get butterflies, and there was definitely not any fiery passion occurring. Still, a kiss is a kiss, and I was relieved that that first awkward one was over.

I have heard that a kiss is a rite of passage, a build-up of emotions that by a simple touch are released with a fiery passion. For me, however, it was not. My first kiss was not typical. It was a learning experience. Good things, such as a first kiss, should never be forced or rushed. Good things come in time. A first kiss should be with someone you like and care for. My first kiss was nothing like I had planned and dreamt about. However, my first kiss was mine, and I will always smile when I pass a certain parking lot.