Luvabeans wrote an entry recently that has had me waxing nostalgic about the different kisses I have received over the years. I will move through chronologically to avoid the confusion any of you might have had about how many people I’ve been kissing lately. (I have only been kissing the Fiery One, in case you were wondering. I don’t normally engage in those French cheek kisses unless I’m hanging out with the fransaskoise, and I haven’t been around family in months for those grandma kisses, so I have been exercising complete kissing fidelity).
1. My Paternal Grandmother Means Well
My paternal grandmother is not an incredibly cuddly woman, but when she hugs you and kisses you she means it, and she makes sure to do it once every visit. She often makes a light chuckling noise when she does it and then breathes in a sigh while giving your shoulders an extra squeeze between her hands as she pulls away, which always lets me know how much she enjoys her family. She is one of the few members of my family that I have always looked up to and respected immensely, and it is because in some ways she was not the stereotypical Mennonite wife to me. She was not constantly pushing food at me in place of real human conversation, a neurotic behaviour that I was always thankful I didn’t have to endure in her home, and she is highly educated for a woman of her time. She went to university in the forties and received not only her BA but also a Master’s in Librarianship. At that time, few librarians were women, especially single women who warded off marriage until their thirties. When I was a kid I liked to envision her as a young woman in a large city, working to support herself independently and living in an apartment and wearing a smart hat pinned to her hair.
Despite all the respect and love and whatnot, her kisses always inspired a small amount of dread in me when I was a kid. It was her lips. They’re not ugly lips, but they are a little odd. Just inside the mouth, the normal exterior lip skin gives way to that moist, pinker interior skin for most people. My grandmother’s is sort of pushed up and forward slightly, so that any kisses include connecting with that soft, wet lip lining. I would twist my neck to offer her my cheek in order to avoid any actual meeting of my lips with hers, and then I would quickly summon up a thought or an image to occupy my brain for the two seconds that I didn’t want to be thinking about that pink, wet flesh rubbing against my skin. I love the love, just not the bubbled forward interior lip skin.
2. C Is Not For Cookie, Although She Was Tasty In My Closet
When we were in grades four and five, C and I were best friends. We went over to each other’s houses every day, bought matching pens, had sleepovers, rode bikes, tortured her little brother, made forts, etc. We were nearly inseparable and shared every detail of our nine- and ten-year-old lives. In grade five, she started dreaming about her first kiss with a boy and confessed that she had been practicing on her pillow. I was surprised at this, because kissing boys had not occurred to me at all yet. Most of them were like stupid little children, and I couldn’t imagine with any desire that grand moment of the First Kiss when his dry, prairie-chapped lips would press against my stoic, still mouth.
C suggested that we go into my closet, close the door, and practice with each other. Her pillow was not up to snuff in teaching her proper kissing practices, so I guess I was next up for the job. We stood awkwardly in the semi-dark with our hands resting on each other’s shoulders while we giggled in nervous fits and starts until she said impatiently “okay, let’s do it already”. We lightly pressed our lips together, and I pulled away. Her lips were incredibly chapped to the point of peeling sandpaperiness. C left me in the closet to go apply some lip balm, and then hurried back. This time she took my arms and put them down around her waist and wrapped hers around my neck, because this was how close we knew adults were sometimes when they kissed. We stood there stiffly in the dark, repeatedly giving each other pecks on the lips until she pulled away, rubbing the lip balm from her mouth with the back of her hand. “That’s good enough for a first try,” she said. “We’ll practice more later.” The air outside the closet seemed bright and chill, and I felt electrified in a way that I had not felt before. She could practice for boys all she wanted, but I waited anxiously for our next session so that I could kiss her. The next practice session never came about, and I was much too shy to instigate more of the same, knowing that my motives would be too obvious. It took me weeks to find my balance and relax around her again without working through intricate calculations in my mind of how to get her back into my closet. For her, I was merely practice for the real thing and didn’t count, but for me, she was my First Kiss.
3. My Face Was A Giant Mint For Richard’s Love
When I was twenty, I fell madly in love with a man named Richard. Eventually, he did the same, and a short six months later we were engaged to be married. Due to several circumstances which would require an entire entry or thirty to explain and permission from Starcat, the engagement should never have happened, but despite the size and weight of these circumstances, the biggest reason that the engagement should never have come about was the kissing problem. Richard and I just simply did not mesh well in the kissing department. We had all the basics down, but no matter how much effort I expended in the direction of not getting sopping wet spit all over my face, I still ended up kind of grossed out by the excess saliva.
On top of this tragedy, he had a thing for my eyelashes. He sucked on them. Has anyone else ever heard of this? Because I had to endure it. It was weird. We would be kissing, and then he would trail kisses up my face, which is fine and normal, and then he would start licking and sucking on my eyelashes. Wet. Awkward. Vaguely disconcerting. I took to wearing non-waterproof mascara as a deterrent, which worked wonders. One night he was sucking on my eyelashes and pulled away to ask “why do you wear that shit on your eyes? It tastes awful.” I answered with “I like that shit on my eyes.” He seemed to accept that and eventually learned to leave my eyelashes alone.
Do not agree to marry someone whose kissing style mildly grosses you out. Love can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but not chronically sloppy kissing.
4. Did We Ever Actually Make Out, Or Am I Just Blocking It Out?
I mean absolutely no insult to Starcat, but I don’t remember ever making out in that traditional sense with the tongues and the tilted heads and the roving hands with him. We lived together for three years. Admittedly, the two of us were never ones much for kissing each other a lot. That sounds strange, but it’s true. There was no lack of passion, just a lack of interest in kissing too much. So, Starcat: did we make out? how often? when? where? for how long? do I need counseling to recover lost memories?
5. Everybody Wanted Her, And I Got Her, Even If Only For A Little While
Annie was beautiful. She was rooming with a friend of mine who lived across the street from me, and at night I could look down into their living room from my apartment and see who was over there. I found myself loitering in front of my window more and more often, absentmindedly fingering an earring while watching Annie going about her business in her apartment across the street. Even from across the street in the middle of the night I could see the beauty of her wide, gentle smile. One evening while I was over at her place visiting my friend, I screwed up the courage to ask her out. It took all the courage I had, but I had no choice anymore. I could not stand to merely watch her from across the street for another night.
We went to gay-friendly bookstore/coffee shop, but after an hour of that we admitted that that was not what we really wanted to be doing, so I came up with the brilliant idea of breaking into my ex-landlord’s basement to steal a couple bottles of his homemade wine. After a successful thieving, we went back to my place, uncorked a bottle each, and talked for hours. At about two in the morning, we experienced one of those conversation lulls, and both of us blushed several shades of fuschia. “Do you want to kiss me?” she asked, giggling softly into her collar. “Yes,” I answered. I felt paralyzed with the desire I felt for her, and remained so still leaning against a throw pillow, the several feet of space between us seeming impossibly vast. “Are you going to kiss me tonight?” she asked. “Yes,” I nodded, but still I made no move. We sat quietly watching each other, too shy to just fall together and get on with it, until Annie made the bold move. “Follow me,” she said. She leaned forward until she was on all fours. I did the same. She crawled a step forward. I did the same. “Good?” she asked. “Yes, very,” I answered, and then we kissed, leaning forward on hands and knees across the great distance of our fear and desire. She had the softest lips I’ve yet to encounter.
6. This One’s Got It Going On, Oh Yeah Baby
The Fiery One is hands down the best kisser I’ve encountered, and I’m not just saying that because I happen to be married to him and he reads this blog all the time. I’m saying it because it’s true. Why the hell else do you think I call him the “Fiery One”? In fact, he’s sucking on my earlobe right now, oh, and there he is on my neck, and it’s nearly impossible to type with someone’s tongue in your mouth, so off I go. Maybe Annie’s weren’t the softest.....
Thanks for the nod, wordkisses.